New Berlin West's 'Thunder & Lightning' backfield of Bryan Watson and Travis Mckeon sparked the Vikings to an impressive 48-14 victory over crosstown rival Eisenhower Friday night before a packed house at West.
The win by West snapped a 2-game losing streak to the Lions and improved their record to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Woodland Conference West Division. Ike fell to 1-3 and 0-2 in conference play.
Watson, the ‘Thunder’ in the backfield, scored four touchdowns and McKeon, the ‘Lightning,’ totaled 227 yards rushing (11.9 average) and two touchdowns to spark the Vikings offense.
Watson talked about the win over their crosstown rival.
“It’s huge,” he said. “We had ‘Beat IKE’ all over our school today. It means a lot to finally beat them...We really made a statement in town.”
McKeon was also all smiles.
“It just feels great,” he said. “We finally beat IKE after two years. We lost to them my sophomore and junior year, so it feels great to beat them by that much (34 points).”
West coach Al Moroder was happy with the win, but he was looking more at the big picture.
“I’m proud of the kids. They put their heart and soul into it,” he said. “It’s a big win for us and it’s just another step on the way to get to the playoffs and that’s our main goal right now.
“We’re overcoming some injuries, and we have our eyes set on the playoffs. We have a good Pius team coming up and we’ve got to prepare for them.”
The Vikings hit the road now to meet the Popes (0-2, 2-2) at 7 p.m. at Wisconsin Lutheran College Friday. The Lions (0-2, 1-3) go from the frying pan into the fire, hosting Greendale (4-0, 2-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Both offenses had solid performances from their sophomore quarterbacks. Eisenhower’s Sam Carey completed 13-for-18 for 111 yards and rushed for a score while West’s Jonathan Kozlowski, playing for an injured Wiese, was 6-for-12 for 85 yards and a touchdown pass to Chamika Wijenayake, who had 5 catches for 84 yards, a healthy 16.8 yard average.
After a scoreless first period, Watson scored on runs of 20 yards at 11:27 and 3 yards with 1:47 left in the half for a slim 13-0 lead.
McKeon had a 43-yard run on the 5-play, 73-yard drive on the first score. Kozlowski took the Vikings 93 yards in 15 plays on the second drive, with McKeon ripping off a 36-yard run in that drive.
McKeon scored on a 5-yard run at 4:21 of the third quarter to close out a 10-play, 85-yard drive, sparked by Kozlowski's 29-yard pass to Wijenayake.
Eisenhower’s offense then finally responded with a 12-play 75-yard drive topped off by Nick Ganzke's 2-yard run to close out the third quarter trailing, 20-7.
But West came back with not one, but two quick drives to take a 34-7 lead with 8:58 left in the game.
First McKeon topped off a 4-play 56-yard drive with an 8-yard run at 11:17, as he sparked the drive with a 30-yard run. Then Kozlowski passed to Wijenayake to close out a 3-play, 38-yard drive.
Eisenhower then had perhaps their best drive of the night, going 58 yards in eight plays, closing it out on a sneak by Carey with 6:05 left in the game.
But the Lions couldn't stop the Vikings, who covered 53 yards in three plays on three rushes by an inspired Watson, who scored on a 3-yard run.
Watson also scored the final TD on a 21-yard run with 2:59 left to play.
Both McKeon and Watson gave the offensive line their due.
“We (Watson) complement each other so well,” Mckeon said, “especially the way our line is blocking so well. I just feel like our offense can’t be stopped right now.”
“We just went out there expecting to do what we’ve been doing all game,” he said. “The line blocked perfectly, we just ran through the holes hard and ran through as many people as we could and got as many yards (as we could).”
Linemen Brett Connors, Lukas Lauer, Spencer Stanfield, Kevin Thiessenheusen and Tony Talatzko have now posted over 600 yards rushing in two conference games.
Running back Steve Harrell did a good job for the Lions, rushing for 98 yards (6.1 ave.) and and keyed the Lions offense.
West’s Nathan Hendrichs was 6-for-6 on extra points and Ike’s Nathan Erickson was 2-for-2.
Moroder was also pleased with his defense.
“They (IKE) came out and they ran strictly spread — and they haven’t shown that all year,” he said. “We adjusted and we rallied to the football and we did what we needed to do to with a game.”
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