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Wednesday

July 2014

23

Football

Oconomowoc gives Wisco a major push

Oconomowoc gave Wisconsin Lutheran all it could handle.

A frigid Friday night in Oconomowoc was even cooler than expected when the home team  lost 27-10 to the visiting Vikings, one week after another tough loss to West Bend East.


Cooney held a lead over the perennial Wisconsin Little Ten title contender in the fourth quarter, but Wisco went on a scoring flurry in the final period to put away the Raccoons.

During the Vikings’ second drive of the game, Oconomowoc junior Aaron Cramer recovered the team’s first many fumbles. Oconomowoc coach Ryan McMillen knew his team forced Lutheran to do something they weren’t use to doing.

“Wisco turned it over a few times, but they turned it over because we played them unlike anyone else has played them,” McMillen said.

Despite Oconomowoc’s resilience on defense, the offense could not capitalize in the first quarter.

“Defense played their tails off, there’s no doubt about it,” McMillen said. “We know how to play [Wisconsin Lutheran], and they know how to play us.”

Lutheran took control when Adihia Bell fought his way for a 15-yard touchdown to put the visiting Vikings up 7-0.

Oconomowoc junior Chris Church provided the home crowd with one of the game’s most exciting plays when he chugged for a 66-yard run. He was caught by a Lutheran defender inside the Vikings’ 10 yard line.

Two plays later, sophomore quarterback Canton Larson found a wide open Nick Gomez for a 3-yard passing touchdown to tie the game up at 7-7.

Wisconsin Lutheran took over possession, but not for long as the Raccoons defense forced yet another Vikings turnover. Oconomowoc would ultimately recover four of Wisco’s seven fumbles.

The subsequent drive for the Raccoons began when senior Alex Eckes caught a Larson pass and jockeyed his way for a 25-yard gain.

Eckes’ happy feet gave Oconomowoc kicker Will Yelverton the opportunity to boot a 25-yard field goal to put the Raccoons up 10-7 with 1:30 to go in the first half.

The third quarter was another defensive battle as the Vikings missed out on a chance to tie the game when their field goal attempt was no good. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter where things went south for Oconomowoc.

“We just had things left on the table: couple balls dropped, missed assignments,” McMillen said. “We just couldn’t get that big play to pop.”

Lutheran took control of the game when Jordan Webb scored on a 5-yard run to put the Vikings up, 14-10.

The duo of Webb and Bell would prove to be the dagger as both scored ensuing touchdowns to eventually seal the game for Lutheran. Wisconsin Lutheran coach Kirk DeNoyer had kind words for the tough play of Oconomowoc.

“I give Oconomowoc a ton of credit,” DeNoyer said. “They got beat last week and to come back and play with a tremendous amount of heart, you could tell they’re a well-coached team. They played hard, they played discipline, and they’re a well-coached football team. They’re going to keep getting better, I know they’re young.”

With only two remaining games left in the regular season, Oconomowoc still controls its own destiny. The Raccoons must win against Beaver Dam at home and West Bend West on the road to finish with a winning conference record to reach the WIAA playoffs.

“We backed ourselves into a corner, and now we’ve got to take a look at what we want to accomplish as a team the next two weeks,” McMillen said.

The loss continues Oconomowoc’s 10-year losing skid against Lutheran.

“Our time, I got to believe, is coming,” McMillen said. “These kids believed tonight, and you saw it. We believed that we could beat them, and we felt good about it, we just didn’t make any plays to beat them. It was just an unfortunate night.

“If we want to cash in the chips, let’s cash in the chips. We’ve got two games. We win two, we get in the playoffs. If we win one, we got a winning record, which is big for these seniors. We’ll show up and play, I know that.”

 

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