Muskego is a repeat champion in Division 1
It wasn't necessarily pretty and it certainly wasn't easy, but Muskego found a way to make the plays it needed to for a second consecutive WIAA Division 1 state championship with a 21-10 victory over Bay Port on Friday night.
Bay Port dominated many aspects of the statistical comparison, running 73 plays to Muskego's 37, posting 315 yards of offense compared to 195 from Muskego, out-rushing the Warriors 208 to 139, and controlling the time of possession 30:08 to 17:52.
However, turnovers played a huge role in the game, and a three-play stretch in the third quarter proved to be a huge turning point in the game.
Trailing Muskego 14-3 on its first possession of the second half after forcing a Warriors' three-and-out, Bay Port drove to the 35-yard line. On second down, Pirates quarterback Andrew Thomas lofted a pass to Sam Plumb, who had out-run the Muskego coverage. However, the pass slipped through his hands on what would have been a touchdown.
Two plays later on fourth down, Thomas felt the pocket collapsing and lost the ball while trying to maneuver. Linebacker Bryan Gruehn Jr. of Muskego scooped it up and raced 60 yards for a touchdown. In a three-play span, Bay Port went from a chance to pull within 14-10, to suddenly down by three scores.
Bay Port's defense was outstanding in the game and especially the second half, limiting Muskego to just 29 yards of offense after halftime. However, despite putting together a touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, the Pirates offense could not make enough headway. The final two Bay Port drives ended in interceptions by Muskego junior defensive back Mason Buehler.
Bay Port opened the scoring late in the first quarter when Austin Heim was good on a 25-yard field goal. Muskego would answer quickly, taking a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter when Alex Current capped off a scoring drive with a five-yard touchdown run.
Muskego found paydirt on its next drive as well, with Alex Current ripping off a 36-yard run to get the Warriors into scoring position, with quarterback Connor Grohman getting in on a one-yard sneak a few plays later.
Grohman completed two-of-three passes in the game for 56 yards, including a 41-yarder to tight end Ryan Harrison to help setup the first score.
Isaiah Gash had a big game for Bay Port, carrying it 32 times for 185 yards, though Muskego managed to keep him out of the end zone.
Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.
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