Pewaukee leaves no doubt this time
Pirates double up Lions after winning on late kick in 2008
New Berlin — Perhaps hoping for an encore of the dramatic finish that characterized last year's New Berlin Eisenhower-Pewaukee football game, nearly every media outlet in the Greater Milwaukee area came to watch Friday night.
The Lions just couldn't quite make it to the final act.
Brian York's 47-yard touchdown pass to Ian McKechnie at the end of the third quarter gave Eisenhower a dash of momentum, but Pewaukee added two more touchdowns in the fourth and ultimately pulled away with a 42-21 victory at home.
The Lions' attempted an onside kick to start the fourth after pulling within 29-21, but the Pirates recovered and used the short field to their advantage.
"We tried an onside kick because we knew if they got the ball back in their hands, they were kind of running us over all night," Eisenhower coach Jeff Setz said. "I thought maybe if we could get the ball back in our hands with a little momentum, we might be able to keep the momentum going. It was a gamble and kind of backfired.
Time of possession key
"I don't know what the time of possession was, but they must have had at least twice as much. They just wore us down."
Indeed, the Pirates had the ball 30 minutes and 38 seconds, compared to Eisenhower's 17:22. Hobbled by injuries, the Lions needed seven players to play on both sides of the ball, and the Pirates finished with more than double the total yardage.
"No one's handing out any gold balls tonight and nobody's turning in any pads tonight, so we're just going to use this as a stepping stone to get better," Pewaukee coach Clay Iverson said. "Eisenhower's a very good football team. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the conference."
The battle - billed as a matchup between Woodland Conference powerhouses - held additional intrigue after Pewaukee won on a last-second field goal to claim a share of the conference title in 2008.
Spakowicz a special player
Eisenhower had leads in the first half, with York's 4-yard run and a touchdown pass to Kelvin Hall spotting the Lions a 14-12 edge. But on Pewaukee's subsequent play from scrimmage, the tide turned when Bryan Spakowicz heaved an 80-yard halfback pass for a score to Mike Olewinski.
Spakowicz added a trio of touchdown runs and an interception to his busy night.
"He's a very good football player," Setz said. "He makes their offense go in a lot of different ways. He's a tough kid to stop - he kind of ran us over a few times there."
Said Iverson, "The kid's a horse. He's got that - coach (Mike) Lecher calls it 'the eyes.' He could play in any era, 1940s to whenever, he's just all football player. He played every down on offense and defense and special teams. The kid's all heart. Those are the kids you love to have on your team."
Pewaukee blocked an Eisenhower punt after the next series and added another score to take a 26-14 lead at halftime. The Lions made the most of a pass interference penalty and scored with time expired in the third quarter, but never got closer than eight points.
McKechnie did his share of work in all facets of the game. He caught four passes for 87 yards, led the team with five tackles and returned three kickoffs.
"A lot of our receivers are two-way players, and they just got tired," Setz said. "There's only so much you can run, and they just kind of petered out there."
JR Radcliffe is the sports director at Lake Country Publications.
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