"Consistency" is a word the New Berlin West football team must introduce into its vocabulary.
After starting the season 2-0 with impressive wins over a good Wauwatosa West team (28-20) and crosstown rival New Berlin Eisenhower (48-14), the Vikings suffered a 27-20 loss to an unimpressive Pius XI team Friday at Wisconsin Lutheran College.
"We have to learn how to win consistently," a disappointed coach Al Moroder said. "We had an emotional hangover from the Eisenhower win. We started at the bottom, we're getting better, but we're not there."
The Vikings now must play the two best teams in the conference to close out the regular season, at Greendale (5-0, 3-0) and Pewaukee (4-1, 2-1) in two weeks at home before getting into their new format of crossover games.
West running back Bryan Watson got the Vikings on the board with 7 minutes, 1 second left in the first quarter, taking it in on a nice 22-yard run. But then it was all Popes on the next three scores.
Shannon Nunnery scored on a 22-yard run to tie the game at the 4:16 mark. Then quarterback Joe Blando made a big play, hitting Stephon Anderson for a 64-yard touchdown and the PAT made it 13-6.
After a nine-minute scoreless second period, the Popes upped the lead to 20-6 when Jalen Fischer tossed an 82-yard touchdown pass to Luis Saafir and Alex Surprise's PAT came with 3:37 left in the half.
But West picked up some momentum going into halftime at 1:31 when running back Travis McKeon raced 18 yards for a score and Nathan Henrichs' PAT made it 20-13 at the half.
But Nunnery scored on a 25-yard run for a with 8:11 left in the third quarter for a 27-13 lead.
Sophomore quarterback Jonathan Kozlowski tossed a 62-yard score to speedy to Chamika Wijenayake at 5:08 left in the game to cut the lead to 27-20, but that was it for the Vikings.
"We gave them a bunch of free plays, play action fake, block punt," Moroder said. "We had a touchdown called back on a holding call and then didn't score on.
"They made big plays. They wanted it. It was their first win, it was homecoming, they were more emotional than we were."
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