In the 50th anniversary of the historic New Berlin football rivalry, West took the loss as they continue to tread their way through the disappointing season. Lately, internal struggles with COVID-19 have caused the football team to shutdown for two weeks, which may have further contributed to their performance against Ike.
Ike entered the game with a 1-5 record, including 0-5 in conference, while West, who have played less game due to cancellations, were at 1-3 and 0-3 in conference. This caused many people to believe the game would be close and entertaining, but that was clearly not the case.
Conservative Start for Both Sides
West kicked off to Ike first, and Ike slowly marched down the field into West territory. However, West forced 4th down from the 15 yard line. Most high school teams would’ve probably gone for it in this situation, but Ike decided to kick the field goal to make it 3-0. This was the start of the weirdly very important impact that special teams had on this game.
Despite the West defense looking alright to start the game, their offense did not look very promising. On just their second set of downs, they were forced to 4th and short from around midfield. Coach Chossek decided to send the punting team out on the field instead of going for it on 4th down. I’m not one to question his decision-making, but I disagreed with this decision as West had a chance to bounce back from the early score they gave up and gain the momentum. Instead, West gave Ike the ball again as the first quarter came to an end.
No Answer for Ike’s Offense
On Ike’s second possession, they moved down the field effortlessly behind running backs John Weslng, Andrew Lockett, and Matt Collicott. They capped off the quick drive with a 19 yard touchdown run by John Wesling to make the score 10-0.
However, it looked like West had a spark of life on the kickoff when Andrew VanZile returned it all the way down to the 30 yard line in Ike territory. If West could’ve quickly cashed in a touchdown, they would’ve gotten some of the lost momentum back after the Ike scores. But instead, a fumble from Anar Fynbu on the first play killed the promising drive. All life was lost for West’s offense.
After trading punts, Ike got the ball back with just 37 seconds left in the half deep in their own territory. Fans expected nothing else to happen in the half as they were so far away with such little time, but somehow Ike managed to march all the way down the field. In just two plays on the drive, they scored their second touchdown of the game with a 33 yard pass touchdown. West hoped to go into the locker room just having to deal with a 10 point deficit, but all of a sudden their path to victory seemed a lot more unlikely now down 17-0.
Stagnant Third Quarter for Both Sides
Unfortunately for West, they were unable to respond to the last second touchdown to end the first half. Their offense looked the worst it has been all year, but that may have been more due to the incredible Ike defense. Led by defensive end David Weborg, the Lions defense had multiple tackles for loss and forced two quick “3 and outs” from West.
West also damaged themselves offensively with multiple crucial penalties that kept backing them up deeper into their own territory. But despite the offensive struggles, the defense was able to hold well. Neither team was able to score in the third quarter as both defenses looked stellar.
Unfortunately, senior lineman Jacob Gadek went down to an injury midway through the third quarter. He was sidelined for the rest of them game with an apparent foot/ankle injury, but it is unclear if he’ll be ready for their final game of the year.
Limiting the Damage
After the West defense forced Ike to punt again, they were pinned deep in their own territory after a 50+ yard punt. Once again, Ike fumbled, but this time it was right by their goalline. This led to an easy touchdown for Ike to make it 24-0, which all but confirmed the victory for Ike.
On West’s next possession, fans were baffled when they watched them march it down the field effortlessly on Ike. If only they could’ve done this in the first three quarters, they might’ve had a chance in this game. West scored their first touchdown of the game with a pass from Carson Rose to VanZile, along with a two point conversion from Sam Tsoris to make it 24-8. It seemed like there was a glimmer of hope for West if they could get a quick stop and march it down the field again, as there was still a good chunk of time left in the game.
That didn’t happen though. Ike just as effortlessly plowed through the West defense, later leading to another pass touchdown to make it 31-8 with just a few minutes left..
Once again though, West responded after Josh Riegler returned the kickoff all the way to the Ike 16 yard line, leading to a touchdown just a few plays later from Fynbu. Unfortunately, their were too little too late, as Ike was able to run the ball out on their final possession and take the win 31-14.
Another Mark in the Historic Rivalry
With Ike winning this matchup, they have now won 9 of the last 12 matchups between them since 2010. They also took back the prized trophy that the winner of the matchup gets to keep each year. At the end of the game, the entire Ike team sprinted to the table where the trophy sat, picked it up, and raised it up in the air in celebration of their victory.
For West moving forward, they have one more “playoff” matchup to focus on as they visit Elkhorn on November 13. It’s hard to predict which West team we’ll see in this game, but hopefully they can end the year strong after a disappointing season.