New Berlin West knew that the unbeaten Greendale Panthers had an outstanding offense. But in Friday night's 44-7 win by Greendale, it was the defense and special teams which stood out.
"When your defense and special teams are scoring a lot of points, things are going pretty well," Panthers coach Rob Stoltz said. "We had a fumble return for a touchdown, an interception for a touchdown and a blocked punt for a touchdown."
Now add to that quarterback Josh Ringelberg and the dynamic duo of Mitchell Brees and Cody Kmetz (6-for-50, TD) had their aerial circus going and the Vikings didn't have much of a chance.
Ringelberg, who had an off-night by his high standards, completed 17-of-24 passes for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns, but West picked him off three times.
Brees caught the game's first score with a well-placed pass by Ringelberg into the left corner of the end zone and he scored the only TD in the second quarter with a 30-yard interception return.
Unfortunately, Brees was ejected from the game in the second half for his second unsportsmanlike infraction. The first one came on his interception when he turned and trash-talked the Vikings on his way to the end zone. The second came when he retaliated after an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Vikings.
Stoltz left his media interview to meet with the officials after the game.
With the score tied 7-7 when West's Travis McKeon scored on a short run, Frankie Rutkowski's field goal gave the Panthers the lead for good at 10-7 with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
But on the second play after running back the kickoff, Greendale safety Jack Ringelberg stripped New Berlin of the ball on the 26-yard line and ran the fumble in for a 17-7 lead with six seconds left in the quarter.
Afer West got the ball back, Brees, who caught first score of the game, then picked off West's sophomore quarterback Jonathan Kozlowski and raced 30 yards down the right sideline for a TD and a 24-7 lead with 11:52 to play in the half.
West later missed a field goal with 5:55 left in the half and the score stood at 24-7 at intermission.
But Ringelberg took Greendale 72 yards in 6 plays the first time they touched the ball after intermission and Ringelberg passed 41 yards to Cody Kmetz down the right sideline for a 31-7 lead at 7:39.
Then the special teams got in on the scoring when defensive tackle Chris Phillips blocked a punt and scored for a 37-7 lead at 3:55 of the third period.
"When you’re playing a team like that you can’t make mistakes and we sure made a lot of them today," coach Al Moroder said.
"They scouted us well. They got off the football well. They rallied to the football. It’s a tribute to them."
West fumbled two more times in the fourth quarter, stopping two drives and Ringelberg passed to Ty Ramirez for an 18-yard score with 5:29 left to play.
But without a doubt, the offense took a back seat Friday night.
"Without question our defense played great tonight," Stoltz said. "I thought we had some multiple things going on schematically and our kids, hats off to them. They executed, they played their hearts off. There’s no doubt about that."
Greendale (4-0) now travels to Tosa West (1-3) on Friday, while New Berlin West (2-2) hosts Pewaukee (3-1).
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