Port to return to the postseason

Pirates atone for early mistakes to win on senior night; showdown at rival Grafton is next

PORT WASHINGTON QUARTERBACK Adam Baierl presented a dual threat of running and passing in a playoff berth-clinching victory over West Bend West on senior night last Friday. Port used a strong second half to pull away, 42-22, for its fifth North Shore Conference win. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

A strong finish in the last regular season home game of the season is sending the Port Washington High School football team back to the playoffs.

The Pirates struggled early against winless West Bend West, but outscored the Spartans by 15 points in the second half to pull away for a 42-22 victory.

The Pirates moved to 5-3 in the North Shore Conference, solidifying a spot in the postseason for the third straight year.

“Our kids really stepped up in the third and fourth quarters,” coach John Bunyan said.

After West scored on a 26-yard run in the third quarter, the Pirates scored the final 21 points of the game.

Deron Spicer ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Jacob Lippe added 67 yards on four carries, and Adam Baierl had 51 on 15 runs.

Lippe caught five passes for 97 yards and two scores, including a dazzling 55-yard touchdown with less than 10 seconds left in the first half that gave the Pirates a 21-16 lead.

The play was supposed to be a double pass. Lippe took the backward ball from Baierl and looked to throw, but his target wasn’t open. The senior decided to run.

“He was just an athlete and made a play. He broke it back and it was just pure athleticism,” Bunyan said.

Getting Lippe, the Pirates’ all-around threat to score, has continued to be a challenge.

“Every week we get double coverage or something that’s different. It’s difficult at first but second half seems to be easier once they make adjustments,” Bunyan said.

“They’re not going to leave him one-on-one ever. We have to figure out ways to isolate him and get him the ball, sometimes in wildcat (formation).”

The focus on Lippe creates opportunities for others. In the fourth quarter, a fake to Lippe on a jet motion sweep allowed Devon Edwards to get behind the defense for an 17-yard touchdown pass.

Attention to Lippe also made things easier for Spicer.

“He definitely got going on some great runs. We took advantage of the way they were lining to Jake again. Credit to the o-line for opening up some holes,” Bunyan said.

In Baierl’s second game back from injury, he completed 7 of 14 passes for 115 yards and three scores with one interception. Bunyan said Baierl’s mobility is good and he appreciates the dual threat of passing or running.

Port needed a solid second half after a few missteps in the first. The Spartans scored a safety on a fumbled snap — Bunyan said it didn’t start misting until after the game, but the ground was soaked and the ball was wet — and the Pirates were hurt by seven penalties and some missed assignments.

Landon Dott led the Spartans with 128 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Michael Lang had 107 yards and a score on 16 runs.

Dott went 5-for-11 passing for 51 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Justin Wicke had one and Will Stopczynski the other.

Bunyan praised the play of defensive end Tristan Griswold, who keyed a goal-line stand.

Port’s backup kicker, senior Molly Fyhrlund, kicked the Pirates’ final extra point on senior night.

The players also added their links to the anchor, a Port tradition.

On Friday, Port will close out the regular season at its biggest rival, Grafton, which at 4-4 needs one victory to qualify for the playoffs. The Pirates are battling for a higher seed and possible home game.

“It’s a rivalry game. It’s going to be a fun game,” Bunyan said.

“I’m proud of our kids. They keep working hard. I’m excited for them and the opportunity we have this week.”




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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