Wisco too strong for Raccoons
Conference-title bid falls short against powerhouse
"It wasn't our night."
Oconomowoc football coach Ryan McMillen put it best after his team endured a 35-0 loss to Wisconsin Lutheran on Wednesday in a battle that could have clinched the Raccoons a share of the Wisconsin Little Ten title. The Vikings, perennially among the top teams in the WLT and state, sealed a 7-0 season and dropped OHS to 5-2 in conference play, 5-4 overall.
"I think the better team probably did win tonight; I'm not going to lie," McMillen said. "But we did hit with them and we hung in there. We played four quarters the way we wanted to do."
Wisco built its lead gradually, taking a 14-0 lead at halftime after a scoreless first quarter.
When quarterback Marcus Radue broke an 85-yard touchdown run with 2:27 to play in the third quarter, the Vikings had a farily insurmountable four-touchdown lead, and Oconomowoc had still not moved the ball closer than the Vikings 45-yard line.
Cooney did mount two strong drives thereafter, turning the ball over on downs at the Wisco 11 on one series and then reaching tantalizingly close before a nail-in-the-coffin heartbreak. After Brady Nold rushed the ball to the 1 on first down, Wisco stuffed Cooney three times. On fourth down, junior quarterback Garrett Stocke threw his fourth interception of the night, which Brandyn Cockroft returned 98 yards for a touchdown.
"Their speed is hard to simulate, I'll say that," McMillen said. "Anytime it's an option team, you can't simulate it in practice, and you can't simulate the tweaks and the different things they do in terms of their blocking scheme against you."
Steven Brand had both first-half touchdown scores for Lutheran, and Justin Hysi added another. Though the loss kept Cooney from its first conference title since 2001, OHS still had the playoffs to look forward to for the first time in four years.
"I think everyone felt good about our plan, and I still feel good about our plan," McMillen said. "All of us were in there; we knew what we were playing for. We shot ourselves in the foot against a good team, and you can't do that. They're going to make you pay in a big way ... They're a little bit bigger and stronger than we are. It comes down to the weight room in the offseason, and that's where they won a conference title."
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