For the second season in a row, the New Berlin West football team opened with a disappointing non-conference 34-12 loss at Grafton on Aug. 22.
The Blackhawks led 26-0 at halftime, and it was all downhill from there for the Vikings. Last year the Vikings dropped a 3-0 decision to the Blackhawks at home.
"We battled for three out of four quarters, but three turnovers and a blocked punt allowed Grafton to win the football game," coach Al Moroder said. "Our highlights included a touchdown run by junior John Kozlowski and a touchdown catch by senior Colt Bender."
The bad news was not the loss, as much as an injury to senior Nathan Ehrmann, a defensive back wide receiver.
"That is a large void we will look to fill both on the field and with his leadership throughout our program," Moroder said.
Romeo Wood was the game's star as he ran for three touchdowns and 121 yards in 18 carries.
He ran in the game's first score from 15 yards out with 28 seconds left in the first quarter, as both defenses dominated the period.
He then opened the second period with runs of 27 yards at 7:21 and 14 yards with 2:27, before quarterback Brendan Fugate tossed a 14-yard score to Sam Miller for a 26-0 lead at half.
Quarterback Jonathan Kozlowski had perhaps the most exciting run of the night, as he raced 91 yards for the Vikings' first score of the season with 3:31 left in the third period, the only score of the quarter.
Fugate then hit Nic Fullington for a 9-yard score with 8:12 left to play for a 32-6 lead.
West finally got on the board for one final score with 4:41 left to play, when Kozlowski tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Bender.
Fullington finished with 75 yards rushing for Grafton, while Kozlowski was a one-man show for the Vikings. He passed for 10-for-19 for 117 yards and a score but tossed two interceptions. He ran for 56 yards and a score, accounting for both touchdowns.
On the receiving side, Bender had four catches for 69 yards, and Mindi Wijenayake finished with five catches for 40 yards.
The Vikings go from the frying pan into the fire at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, when they host Waukesha West.
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