Catholic Memorial whips Vikings, 41-0
West seniors have had back-to-back playoff experiences
Catholic Memorial started its Division 3 state title defense with a dominating, 41-0, win Friday night over New Berlin West in a Level 1 playoff game, and the next step of the process will be entirely familiar.
The Crusaders (9-1) host Pewaukee (9-1) next week for the fourth straight year in the playoffs, with all four games taking place in either the first or second round. The Crusaders have won two of the last three battles with the Pirates.
The win over West provided a prequel. The dominance started early, with the Crusaders scoring at 7:15 in the first quarter on senior Alec Kocour's four-yard run. After the missed extra point, it was 6-0 Crusaders.
"Our offensive line did a great job," Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Young said. "We just pretty much physically dominated their front. Statistically, it was a good day for us, and defensively, we pitched a shutout."
The next score came on a 17-yard run by Kocour with 2:20 left in the first quarter. It was his second touchdown of the game. After a run by Tommy Garza for the two-point conversion, it was 14-0 Crusaders.
Catholic Memorial set itself up in that position to score a few plays earlier, when New Berlin West quarterback Dylan Wiese — who recently returned from an injury — fumbled the ball and the Crusaders recovered it at the Vikings' 45-yard line. Wiese would finish with three of his nine passes completed for 23 yards.
"Our defensive line has been outstanding all year long," Young said.
Defense gets ball back
The defense showed up again to set up the Crusaders' third score of the game. After Memorial quarterback Cam Krausert fumbled the ball on his own 42, recovered by New Berlin West's Mitch Hewitt, the Crusaders got the ball back on the next play. This time, it was an interception by sophomore defensive back Matthew Lechner.
After four consecutive runs by running back John Clark, a 23-yard run by Krausert, and a couple penalties by both teams, Garza scored on a six-yard run to put the Crusaders up, 21-0. The junior would finish with 11 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Clark would finish with 11 carries for 61 yards, and Krausert would finish with three completions for 49 yards.
In the third quarter, Catholic Memorial added three more scores to finish off the game, starting with Garza's second touchdown on a 31-yard run with 9:59 left. The score made it 28-0 Crusaders.
New Berlin West (4-6, 3-3) struggled much of the game to get a rhythm going offensively, only averaging 98 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards as a team.
"We didn't really get things going off the bat," Vikings' head coach Al Moroder said. "It was very compounded. We played a really good football team. He's a great coach, they're a quality program, and those are the kind of teams you want to play at the end of the season."
It was also tough for New Berlin West's seniors.
"I always feel bad for the seniors," Moroder said. "We talked about how they wanted to lay the tracks for this (team). They're tough, they were 2-7 (a few seasons ago), and now they've had back-to-back playoff appearances. I'm proud of the efforts they gave us."
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