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Dutchmen no sweat for CG-B in step two PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 18:03

Oostburg blanked again as Rockets win rematch to advance in Div. 5 playoffs

The suspense that often highlights rematches between hard-hitting football teams lasted about one half last Saturday at Cedar Grove-Belgium High School.

Thanks to a determined effort, underdog Oostburg made things interesting in a second-round WIAA Division 5 playoff game, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the host Rockets from pulling away in the second half for a 31-0 win that kept them on a postseason roll.

“Everything’s out the window when you play someone a second time,” Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Chris Zablocki said of his team’s rematch against a foe that lost to the Rockets, 35-0, in Central Lakeshore Conference play Sept. 25 — and didn’t get much closer the second time around.

“Oostburg’s kids came out fired up and ready to play, and I told our kids that they would.

“But our kids were just as ready. To their credit, they worked hard, prepared for this game and did whatever they had to for a win.”

With the victory, second-seeded Cedar Grove-Belgium improved its season record to 11-0 and advanced to a third-round game at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, in Fond du Lac against top-seeded St. Mary’s Springs.

Unlike the teams’ previous meeting, the Rockets didn’t seal the deal in the Oostburg rematch until they scored three second-half touchdowns.

The Flying Dutchmen (9-2), whose only two losses this season came against Cedar Grove-Belgium, trailed, 10-0, at halftime and were poised to cut the deficit when they drove to the Rockets’ 41-yard line early in the third period.

However, the Cedar Grove-Belgium defense ended the threat by stuffing a pair of running plays. After stopping quarterback Marcus Buehler an inch short of a first down on a third-down sneak, the Rockets gang-tackled tailback Jake Menzel for a one-yard loss on fourth down.

The Rockets took over with 8:08 left in the period, their lead preserved and momentum firmly on their side.

“The stop we got on fourth down was a play that took the wind out of Oostburg’s sails,” Zablocki said. “It was typical of what our defense has been able to do all season.”

Six plays later, Cedar Grove-Belgium capped a 59-yard scoring drive when quarterback Kyle Bruggink rolled out and found Tyler Garcia wide open in the Oostburg secondary for a 33-yard touchdown pass. The completion was the first of the game for the Rockets, who relied
heavily on a rushing attack that piled up 284 yards on 57 attempts.

“I knew that play-action pass would work,” Zablocki said. “When Oostburg started stacking their defense at the line, it opened things up for us.”

Besides having their hands full with a finely tuned foe, the Dutchmen had to play the second half without their biggest weapon. Luke Menzel, their top rusher and defensive back, went down with a season-ending lower-leg injury late in the first half.

After taking a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter, the Rockets added a pair of insurance scores on touchdown runs of six and seven yards by tailback Nic Vrubley.

Vrubley, a senior, finished with 115 yards on 29 carries. He also used his right foot to provide seven points — four on conversion kicks and three on a 26-yard field goal that sliced through a brisk crosswind on the final play of the first half.

The Rockets also got plenty from the other half of their powerhouse backfield. Fullback Spencer Jacque rushed for a game-high 155 yards on 18 carries, including a 61-yard touchdown burst that put his team ahead for good on a pivotal play in the second period.

With less than six minutes to play in the first half, Oostburg had played the Rockets to a scoreless standoff. The Dutchmen mounted a drive that reached the Cedar Grove-Belgium 30, but lost yardage on a running play and an incomplete pass that left them facing a fourth-
and-13 at the 34.

When Oostburg elected to go for it, Buehler’s pass was intercepted by linebacker Nate Drewry, who returned the ball to the Rockets’ 39. On the next play, Jacque took the handoff on a trap play, cut to the right sideline and raced untouched for a score with 5:03 left.

“Those two plays were huge momentum changes,” Zablocki said of the turnover and Jacque’s sprint.

“The game could have easily been 0-0 at halftime, but our kids found a way to make some clutch plays.”

The loss of Luke Menzel seriously hampered Oostburg’s comeback attempt, Zablocki said. However, even with the senior standout in the lineup, the Dutchmen had trouble moving the ball.

They finished the game with just 68 yards in total offense, including 57 rushing yards on 29 attempts.

The play of linemen Wayne Paulus and Aaron Bley and linebackers Jacque, Drewry and Ian Evans helped stonewall the Dutchmen at nearly every turn.  

“Oostburg has an excellent team, no doubt about that,” said Zablocki, whose squad knocked the Dutchmen out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

“We’ve had a good rivalry with them, but we’ve been able to beat them the last five times we’ve played.”

CG-Belgium 42, Kenosha St. Joseph’s 7

The Rockets didn’t let an early 7-0 deficit keep them from pounding out an easy win at home in a first-round playoff game Oct. 27.

St. Joseph’s jumped ahead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ian Neville in the opening period, but Cedar Grove-Belgium did the rest of the scoring.

After Vrubley’s 27-yard touchdown run tied the game in the first quarter, Jacque scored on runs of three and 74 yards in the second period to give the Rockets a 21-7 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Bruggink threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Anderson, and Jacque added a 69-yard scoring run.

Vrubley’s 13-yard touchdown run in the final period capped the scoring.

The Rockets collected 494 yards in total offense, including 460 yards on the ground in 43 attempts.

Jacque finished with 216 rushing yards on 11 attempts, and Vrubley had 205 yards on 22 carries.

St. Joseph’s, which finished the season 5-4, had 173 yards in offense. Neville had a team-high 70 rushing yards on 21 carries.


THE SWARMING EFFORTS of Oostburg defenders weren’t enough to keep Cedar Grove-Belgium fullback Spencer Jacque from rushing for a game-high 155 yards in his team’s 31-0 playoff win last Saturday.  Photo by Sam Arendt

 

 
Mulloy, Paul ignite Rockets’ surge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mitch Maersch   
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 16:49

Individual, team crowns give CG-B a clean sweep in conference cross country

Four conference titles on a record-setting day.

Cedar Grove-Belgium cross-country coach Ron Wood said his teams’ performance in last week’s Central Lakeshore Conference meet at Sheboygan Lutheran couldn’t have gone much better.

“I don’t know how it could have,” he said. “A successful day, at least in terms of championships.”

The Cedar Grove-Belgium boys and girls successfully defended their team titles Oct. 15, with the boys winning in a blowout and girls edging rival Sheboygan Lutheran.

Individually, the Rockets’ Josh Mulloy and Marina Paul each repeated their conference titles of last season.

The Cedar Grove-Belgium boys scored 19 points, one off the school record, and four off a perfect score of 15. Lutheran’s 58 points left it a distant second among six teams with full lineups.

The Rockets swept the top three individual places and had four runners in the first seven. Mulloy finished with a 5,000-meter time of 16 minutes, 36 seconds,  only one second slower than his time in last year’s conference race despite cold, rainy conditions.

The Rockets’ Joel Merritt did what he has done all season, placing right behind Mulloy in 17:05. T.J. DuMez fought off an Elkhart Lake runner for third place, finishing in 17:10.

Among Cedar Grove-Belgium’s other scoring runners, Richard Beabout took sixth (17:18) and Alex Holle was seventh (17:33).

All five of the Rockets’ top finishers earned all-conference honors. Even those who failed to score did well. Brandon Krauska took 14th (18:21) and Al Murphy was 15th (18:43).

Wood said he was proud of the way his runners “rose above the elements and a little flu. They’re hitting their stride at the right time, that’s for sure.”

Ozaukee had only one runner in the boys’ race. Doug Grimm finished 21st in 19:19.

In the girls’ race, Cedar Grove-Belgium scored 37 points, six fewer than runner-up Lutheran. Oostburg was third with 104 points.

Lutheran, ranked No. 1 among the state’s Division 3 teams to Cedar Grove Belgium’s No. 4 spot, defeated the Rockets a couple of times earlier this season.

“We put the challenge down to them and they responded,” Wood said of his girls. “We laid down the gauntlet and sent a message.”

Paul finished the 4,000-meter race in 15:35, trimming 19 seconds off her title run last year.

The Rockets’ Kiera Depies was second in 15:51. Last year, she ran 18:11.

Among the Rockets’ other finishers, Erika Meinen placed sixth (16:43) and her sister, Jessica, took 12th (16:53). Kelly Del Ponte finished 14th (17:03), Taylor Ansay was 15th (17:07) and Tammi Del Ponte was 19th (17:29).

The Ozaukee girls scored 132 points and finished sixth in the seven-team standings.

Random Lake took fourth with 115 points, and Elkhart Lake was fifth with 125. Howards Grove was last with 172.

Ozaukee was again without standout Ali Hughes, who finished in the top three in every race this season before being sidelined with a leg injury. She hopes to be ready for Saturday’s sectional meet at Sheboygan Lutheran.

Jeanette Lapinski had the Warriors’ top run with a 17th-place time of 17:24. Their other finishers were Caitlin Siesco in 22nd (17:55), Sarah Brown in 24th (18:06), Nikola Zanker in 28th (18:14) and Sara Crynock in 41st (20:46).

“I was disappointed with the team finish, but runners improved on their times from last month at Sheboygan Lutheran,” Ozaukee coach Mike Herrick said.

“It was a good effort by the team on a cold and rainy day to race.”

The Rockets’ twin sweep marks the first time they have won the CLC boys’ and girls’ titles in the same season.

Wood said the key for his teams in this Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 sectional race on the same course will be “physical maintenance and mental preparation.”

The top two teams in sectional meets advance to the state final along with the five top individuals from non-qualifying squads.

The Rocket boys finished second at state last year and returned their top runners this season. The girls missed qualifying for state as a team last year.

The girls’ race starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by the boys at 11:45 a.m.


JOSH MULLOY of Cedar Grove-Belgium raced to his second straight Central Lakeshore Conference title last week.    Photo by Sam Arendt

 

 
It’s all power all the time for CG-B PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 22:35

 Irrepressible rushing attack, hard-nosed defense keep Rockets football team on march in CLC opener

If somebody is going to beat the Cedar Grove-Belgium football team this season, they’re going to have to put the clamps on the Rockets’ running game.

Good luck.

Although Cedar Grove-Belgium turned the ball over four times in last Friday’s Central Lakeshore Conference opener at Random Lake, the miscues had minimal impact on the outcome.

Piling up 364 yards on the ground, the Rockets pounded out a 21-6 win that underscored their commitment to a take-no-prisoners approach.

“We knew this would be a tough game, and we made it more difficult on ourselves by turning the ball over like we did,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Chris Zablocki, whose team improved to 3-0 overall.

“The game got a little sloppy. Maybe it was early season jitters, but we made too many mistakes.”

In the end, though, the Rockets’ errors were overshadowed by a hard-nosed offensive approach and the footwork of tailback Nic Vrubley.

The 6-foot, 188-pound senior played the workhorse role to perfection, rushing for two touchdowns and a career-high 251 yards on 36 carries. He also kicked three extra points.

After the Rockets grabbed a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Bruggink to tight end Chris Peszko in the first quarter, Vrubley doubled their advantage by scoring on a 6-yard run in the second period.

The Rams answered with a 2-yard touchdown burst by quarterback Mason Anklam to pull within 14-6 by halftime.

But that was it for Random Lake’s offensive highlights. The Rams finished the night with just 147 yards in total offense, including 21 yards rushing on 29 carries, against Cedar Grove-Belgium stingy defense.

The Rockets’ ball-control approach allowed them to chew up territory and time throughout the second half. When Vrubley tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, they were assured of a solid start in their conference title defense.

When Vrubley wasn’t getting the ball, Cedar Grove-Belgium often turned to fullback Spencer Jacque. The senior, who also helps spearhead the Rockets’ defense as a linebacker, rushed 12 times for 117 yards.

The power game allowed Cedar Grove-Belgium to overcome three lost fumbles and an interception. Bruggink’s touchdown pitch was his only completion in eight passes, but he had several balls dropped by receivers, including a pair of potential touchdowns.

“There were four or five dropped passes, so you can’t blame him for those,” Zablocki said. “Random Lake also had some pressure on him.”

Offensive highlights aside, Zablocki praised the defensive play of his team, which has outscored opponents, 72-18, so far this season. He singled out Jacque, Ian Evans, Wayne Paulus and Jake Weyker for leading the charge against the Rams.

“These first three weeks have been a good test for us,” Zablocki said. “We’ve played three really good teams, and we’ve learned a lot about what we have to work on.

“We’ve had to overcome some adversity each time.”

This Friday, the Rockets will try to stay on a roll when they host Sheboygan Lutheran in a Parents Night game at 7 p.m.

 
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