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Pirates defense tames Lions

Sept. 7, 2012

Minutes before Friday’s kickoff, a steady day-long rain finally subsided and overcast skies cleared to reveal a full rainbow that neatly framed Granger Memorial Field at New Berlin Eisenhower.

Unfortunately for the home fans, the suddenly comfortable conditions were about the only thing worth celebrating, as visiting Pewaukee dominated the Lions 27-0 to open Woodland football divisional play.

The Pirates have won their first three games over Woodland Conference foes by a combined score of 84-6. A win over Greendale next week would firmly establish Pewaukee as the team to beat in the Woodland and a Division 3 powerhouse.

“You can’t complain with the results, but we’re more a process-oriented team,” Pewaukee head coach Justin Friske said. “We don’t talk about wins and losses much. We want to continue to plug away every day, get better every practice and make sure we are not playing our best football in Week 3.

“Our guys have done a really nice job of buying into the process and getting back to work.”

Neither team scored in the first quarter. Pewaukee drove the ball to the Eisenhower 20-yard line before turning it over on downs. However, the Lions were stuffed for no gain on three plays and then let the Pirates start over from that very spot when punter Sandro Pesqueira, under duress, shanked a punt out of bounds at the line of scrimmage.

On the next play, Pewaukee senior running back Anthony Miosi busted loose for a 20-yard touchdown run. Later in the second quarter, after the Pirates again took over in Eisenhower territory following a Doug Devoe interception of Eisenhower quarterback Vince Gabrielsen, Pewaukee running back David Girmscheid dove over the pile on fourth and inches to just barely clear the goal line and give Pewaukee a 13-0 halftime lead.

“We’ve been putting our defense under a lot of pressure with field position,” Eisenhower head coach Jeff Setz said. “When you give the ball up on your side of the field, you give the other team four downs to make 10 yards rather than the typical three. Then you’re asking for trouble.”

Girmscheid also made his presence felt on defense, where the 5-foot 10-inch, 165-pound linebacker captained a unit that held the Lions to 10 total yards in the first half.

“That guy is just relentless in all facets,” Friske praised. “If (quarterback) T.J. (Watt) is the heart (of this team), then David is the soul. They make a great combination, and they’re our captains for a reason. They couldn’t be more different physically, but David plays a whole lot bigger than the measuring tape.

“I’d be scared if he weighed 200 pounds; he might really hurt somebody.”

The Pirates continued to take advantage of shaky special teams play by Eisenhower in the second half. An impressive blocked punt by airborne junior lineman Matt Ottman deep in Eisenhower territory set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Miosi.

Watt then capped an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown keeper to put Pewaukee up 27-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

It was a tough opening test for the Lions (1-2), made more difficult by the fact they were starting their third-string quarterback due to injuries. However, Setz refused to use the position upheaval as an excuse for his offense’s struggles.

“Pewaukee just outplayed us in the line,” he said. “They were much quicker off the ball, and we couldn’t run our offense at all. Our guys just seemed slow off the snap.”

The Pirates had four rushers finish with at least 40 yards, paced by Ben Tenpas’ 63.

“It was great to get a shut out,” said Girmscheid. “(Pewaukee and Eisenhower) have had some heated games and this is my senior year, so I’ll remember this one for a while. We’ve been working since January; now it’s our shot. All the seniors came together, and we’re looking to make it a big year.”

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