West football gets crucial opening win over Port Washington


Josh Meyer and James Franckowiak

Last Friday, the football team got off to a great start to their season with a 19-6 victory over the Port Washington Pirates. The final score is deceiving, as the game really felt like a blowout for West. For the entire game, West had control on both sides of the ball, and it brought some promising signs for how the rest of the season will go.

West Comes Out Swinging Early

Early on in the game, the Vikings’ defense looked great, as the first Port Washington possession was quickly halted. Then, on our first offensive play of the game early in the first quarter, quarterback Carson Rose was able to throw a deep passing touchdown to Andrew VanZile to put West in front out of the gate. Not only did this instantly give West the momentum in this game, but it also gave some encouraging signs at quarterback, since in previous years West has been unable to pass the ball effectively. Last season, the entire offense ran through running back Adam Siegel, who is now in college. This season, there’s a huge hole to fill on the offensive end, and it looks like Rose’s contributions at quarterback might help.

Dominant Defense

Other than the first possession, the offense wasn’t able to get much more going in the first half, but the defense picked up the slack with two 4th down stops deep into Viking territory. Defensive back Adam Dziegielewski contributed to many of these stops, including three straight tackles for the Vikings and a crucial open field tackle on 4th down to give possession back to the Vikings. By halftime, Port Washington was still scoreless, and the Vikings held a 7-0 lead.

Wearing Down the Port Defense

The Vikings started with the ball in the second half, and they immediately pounded the Port defense with running plays from Andrew VanZile. VanZile, who had the reception touchdown earlier in the game, was able to run straight through the Port Washington defense, and capped it off with a 2 yard touchdown run. VanZile looks to be the main offensive weapon for West going forward.

By the early 4th quarter, West had forced two more punts out of Port Washington, keeping them scoreless. Then, once again, West was able to march down the field with the run game, mostly from VanZile. However, Bryce Kuchler, a junior running back, received his first carry of the game on 4th down deep in Port Washington territory and converted the 4th down. This later led to another rushing touchdown for VanZile, giving him three touchdowns for the game and extending the Vikings lead to 19-0.

Too Little Too Late

Late in the 4th quarter, Port Washington was able to finally get things going offensively, and they were able to put up a touchdown on the board with about three minutes left in the game. However, they were unable to convert the two point conversion, and they simply were out of time to make a comeback. West was able to run out the clock on their next possession and claim the 19-6 victory.

Other Notable Things from the Game

It was Senior Night for West; 17 seniors are on the roster this year compared to the 11 from last year. At the end of the game they did the Senior Walk, which was a wholesome moment after a big win. 

Another important thing to note is that senior Zach Grusczynski left before halftime with an injury that is undisclosable by Coach Chossek and the West staff, but it appeared to be a left arm/wrist injury. Senior Mike Paget did not suit up for the game for an unknown reason. Nobody else missed playing time due to injury. 

Overall, it was a solid start for New Berlin West football, but there are still a few issues that need to be addressed. Coach Chossek stated that, “the biggest area we want to improve is consistency.” He also says another issue they will look to improve on is, “the small details of each assignment and play.” If they are able to address and fix these issues, another strong year for football is for sure to come.