Special teams plays lift Pewaukee past Delavan-Darien
PEWAUKEE—Delavan-Darien coach Bret St. Arnauld couldn’t recall if he had ever coached a football game where an opponent returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in the same game.
That was until Pewaukee pulled it off Friday night.
Michael Walters’ 90-yard kickoff return and David Young’s 80-yard punt return helped No. 3 Pewaukee score 28 unanswered points en route to a 28-7 victory over the No. 7 Comets in a WIAA Division 3 second-round game here Friday night.
Pewaukee (10-1) advances to take on top-seeded Monroe on Friday after the Cheesemakers outlasted Fort Atkinson 41-40.
Delavan-Darien, meanwhile, is stuck wondering what could have been after outgaining the Pirates 517-193 and coming up with six red zone possessions but only tallying seven points in all.
“I can’t remember if I ever saw a kick return and punt return in the same game,” St. Arnauld said. “We also had a lot of missed opportunities, as well, leaving 21 to 28 points on the field.”
The Comets’ lone score came on its opening drive when quarterback Jake Benzing scrambled right and floated a 26-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Ben Ingersoll to make it 7-0.
But Walters immediately answered with a 90-yard kickoff return down the sideline to even the game at 7-7.
Delavan then had consecutive possessions in the red zone, but a turnover on downs, followed by a Ryan Gengler fumble at the Pewaukee 10, kept the game tied at 7.
“The fumble was tough because if we score there, it’s a 14-7 game and maybe things are different,” St. Arnauld said.
Pewaukee’s special teams struck again in the second quarter when Walters returned a short punt 20 yards to the Comets 20.
Six plays later, Seth Bickett plowed into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to make it 14-7 in the second quarter.
Young then struck the crucial blow later in the second quarter when he shook off a tackle at the 20 and turned up field and outran the Comets for an 80-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
The Comets tried to claw back into the game in the second half when Benzing hit Cesarz with a 57-yard pass to the Pirates’ 25.
Cesarz had 10 catches for 249 yards in his final game with the Comets.
Despite Cesarz’s big catch, the Comets’ drive stalled inside the 20 again as Pewaukee took over on downs at their 18.
Pewaukee eventually struck one more time late in the third on Bickett’s 4-yard touchdown run to push the Pirates ahead 28-7.
Delavan-Darien continued to move the ball in the fourth quarter but could not muster any more points.
“I felt we were right there in the game, and the score does not indicate how close it was,” St. Arnauld said. “But that’s football, and sometimes you end up on the short end of the stick.”
PEWAUKEE 28, DELAVAN-DARIEN 7
Delavan-Darien 7 0 0 0—7
Pewaukee 7 14 7 0—28
Scoring summary: D—Ben Ingersoll, 26 pass from Jake Benzing (Giovany Gonzalez kick). P—Michawl Walters, 90 kickoff return (David Collins kick). P—Seth Bickett, 1 run (Collins kick). P—David Young, 80 punt return (Collins kick). P—Bickett, 4 run (Collins kick).
Statistics: First downs—D 21, P 12. Yards rushing—D 27-93, P 37-89. Passing—D 44-21-1, P 10-4-1. Passing yards—D 354, P 104. Fumbles—D 4-2, P 1-0. Penalties—D 9-67, P 5-32
Last updated: 11:07 pm Friday, October 28, 2016