Mukwonago hits the win column
Using a staunch running attack and ball control, the Mukwonago varsity football team earned its first victory for new head coach Clay Iverson. The 27–14 victory over Muskego chased the memory of two heartbreaking losses and evens the Indians record at 1-1 in Classic 8 play.
“This feels real good,” said Iverson. “We have lots to get better at, but we were ready for this, we were ready to make the next step and we did. The kids executed our game plan and I’m proud of them. Muskego is not a bad team; they scored to open the second half, but we answered right back. We had a lot of alumni here – it's Hall of Fame night – and we wanted to look good and uphold Mukwonago’s long tradition in football.”
Mukwonago lost in Week 1 on a Brookfield Central touchdown with 14 seconds to go, then allowed a fourth quarter score and fell to Waukesha West in overtime last week.
But without turning the ball over, the Indians delivered a solid ground game attack that led to a 21-0 halftime lead. After receiving the opening kick-off, the Indians drove to the 27 in eight plays but were denied further action when Gerard Barr stuffed Dan Timmers short of a first down. On Muskego’s possession, Nathan Tanguay sacked Peter Roy for a 10-yard loss on third down, and David Kucharski’s punt put the ball on the 27. On the third play, Timmers broke off tackle and
dashed 64 yards for the first Mukwonago score with 3:12 left in the first period.
The Warriors mounted what looked to be an answering drive that carried into the second quarter, but Kucharski was drilled and stripped of the ball by Tanguay, who then fell on the fumble. Though failing to take advantage of the turnover, Mukwonago did reach the end zone a series later. A 67-yard drive was capped by a 46-yard sprint to the 5 by Timmers followed by his score on the next play.
Using two timeouts after a 12 yard sack by Austin Krueger, the Indians forced a Warriors punt and took over on offense with 4:18 left on the clock. Two runs by Aaron Nixon gained 31 yards, and an 11-yard run by Jason Strickler was enhanced with a 15 yard face mask penalty. With 51 seconds left in the half, the Indians had moved to third and goal on the 1-yard line, though a keeper by Nixon resulted in a 2-yard loss on a tackle by Kucharski.
Mukwonago then allowed the clock to drain down to two seconds before using the final timeout. A bootleg by Nixon resulted in six points and a 21-0 lead.
With the ball to start the second half, Muskego reached out to the 6-4, 210-pound senior running back Kucharski to get them back into the game. Running for 59 of the 68 yards on the drive, Kucharski bolted into the end zone untouched from 32 yards out to cut the margin to 21-6.
But Mukwonago had an answer. After receiving the kick, Mukwonago moved from the 28 to the 39 where, on first and 10, Nixon found a wide open Matthew McCartan for a 49-yard gain. Nixon covered the final 12 yards on the next play to put the Indians up 27-6 with 5:20 left in the third period.
Dominic Cizauskas’ stop of Kucharski on a fourth-down reception short of a first down ended Muskego’s next offensive effort. The Warriors next possession was also stopped by key defensive efforts from Cizauskas, Mayson Madden, Collin Groves, and Cameron Groves.
Muskego did score with 1:10 left in the game on a 78-yard swing pass from Roy to Kucharski. Of Mukwonago’s 390 yards of offense, 314 came on the ground. Timmers led the way with 15 carries for 145 yards, with Nixon adding 101 on 21 carries and Strickler another 70 on seven carries. Kucharski, who played offense and defense as well as handling kicking responsibilities, paced the Warriors with 126 yards on 19 carriers.
“I never come off the field,” Kucharski said wearily after the game.
Appropriately, he was in on the Muskego effort to recover his own on-side kick after his long touchdown reception and run.
“Their spacing was just right so I didn’t have a chance to get it," Kucharski said.
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