Quick-strike foe leaves Ozaukee football team playing from behind early in Division 6 playoff defeat
The Ozaukee High School football season came to a crashing halt at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh last Friday night.
Falling behind early and unable to muster any sustained offense, the Warriors fell to Lourdes Academy, 39-6, in a second-round game of the WIAA Division 6 playoffs.
“We could never get our offense on track,” Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe said.
“Lourdes is pretty big and pretty fast. We struggled moving the ball on them.
“They are a really good team and really well coached. Some of it had to do with our youth, but we won’t use that as an excuse.”
Ozaukee, which set a team scoring record this season with 340 points in 11 games, was held to single digits for the first time since last fall.
The Warriors managed only 191 yards of total offense and trailed, 33-0, before they got on the board with a third-quarter touchdown.
Lourdes didn’t need long to take control of a game that improved its season record to 10-1.
Less than two minutes after receiving the opening kickoff, the Knights jumped ahead on a 57-yard touchdown run by Tony O’Krueg-Wright. Quarterback Charlie Noone connected with Michael Godfrey on a two-point conversion pass to make it 8-0.
Ozaukee’s troubles continued on its second possession when defensive back Kyle Hellman intercepted a pass by Jacob Wolff and raced 60 yards for touchdown.
A 15-yard pass from Noone to Sam Seibold gave the home team a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The margin grew to 26-0 at the 5:05 mark of the second period when Seibold caught a 26-yard scoring strike from Noone.
When Hellman scored his second touchdown of the game on a 30-yard pass from Noone early in the third quarter, the lead grew to 33-0.
Ozaukee finally found the end zone with 20 seconds left in the third period on a 5-yard touchdown run by Nick Wojciechowski. A two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Knights capped the scoring with a touchdown run with 3:48 left to play.
Lourdes finished with 384 offensive yards, including 228 on the ground. O’Krueg-Wright had a game-high 107 yards on just eight carries.
The Knights’ ball-hawking defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions.
The Warriors’ offensive leader was Wojciechowski, a sophomore who rushed for 41 yards on 12 carries.
Ozaukee posted an 8-3 season record despite having a young roster with only six seniors: Cole Large, Cody Stageman, Kevin Beckmann, Lee Wysocki, Trysten Boyer and Duncan Freiburger.
The seniors finished their varsity careers with a 28-12 cumulative record and helped the Warriors make their fourth straight playoff appearance this fall.
As happy as Lippe was with this season, he is already excited to get working on the next one.
“We were disappointed to lose, but we accomplished a lot,” he said.
“Next year, we are looking forward to even bigger and better things. We are really excited about all the kids coming back for next year.
“We bring back most of our offense: the quarterback, running back, wide receivers, tight ends and most of the offensive line.
“Overall, we had a very successful season. We finished 8-3 and, considering how young we are, that’s great.”
Lourdes’ reward for winning last weekend is a third-round game this Friday against undefeated St. Mary’s Springs, the defending Division 6 state champion.
Image Information: OZAUKEE’S CODY STAGEMAN bowled over a Lourdes Academy defender during a running play in Friday’s WIAA Division 6 playoff game. Photo by Mitch Maersch