New Berlin — Last October, Pewaukee Pirates' kicker Donny Cramer's 25-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter gave the New Berlin Lions the only blemish on their Woodland Conference schedule. Cramer's kick gave Pewaukee a 24-21 victory and essentially, the league title.
The Lions finished one game behind the Pirates in the league standings, and the letdown carried over into the playoffs as Eisenhower lost its first-round postseason game 11 days later.
Bad taste remains
Most of the starters on that Lions' team are long gone, but Eisenhower coach Jeff Setz hopes his current players remember that feeling when the two teams meet again at 7 p.m. Friday at Pewaukee.
"Most of the (current players) were on the sideline during that game, but I'm sure they remember it very well and how it kind of cost us a conference championship and affected our seeding for the playoffs," he said. "I'm hoping they have a bad taste in their mouth from last year and that there is a revenge factor."
Both teams come in at 2-0. Pewaukee has not allowed a point in back-to-back shutouts of Nicolet (40-0) and Greenfield (42-0). Running back Derek Watt has six touchdowns - three rushing, two receiving and one kickoff return - and Bryan Spakowicz is the leading rusher with 106.5 yards per game.
"They've got some very aggressive kids who come off the ball on both offense and defense and play very, very hard," Setz said.
Injuries mar victory
The Lions enter the game coming off a 56-6 home shellacking of the St. Thomas More Cavaliers on Friday. The win was costly however. Three Eisenhower starters left the game with injuries and their status for the Pewaukee matchup is uncertain.
Linebacker/receiver Tyler Williams (knee), offensive lineman Nick Ruiz (ankle) and linebacker Alex Novakovic (back) were all hurt against the Cavaliers.
"We're going to need every player we can get out hands on," Setz said. "Pewaukee is a very good football team. They're going to be a real challenge for us."
The Lions jumped all over the Cavaliers with six first-half touchdowns, including three by running back, Tyler Faber, who finished with 126 rushing yards on 10 carries and caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian York. Faber, a senior, has battled various injuries throughout his career, including a back injury this summer, but is as healthy as he has been since his sophomore year, according to Setz.
"He's getting close to where he was a couple years ago," Setz said. "You need a couple of playmakers to beat teams like Pewaukee. Hopefully, we can spread it around a little bit and get players involved and keep Pewaukee on their heels."
Receiver Ian McKechnie and York played a role in spreading it around against St. Thomas More. York was 8-for-13 for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and McKechnie caught four passes for 37 yards and two first-half touchdowns.
- David Cotey
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