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Missed chances hurt Whitnall football team

Falcons rule stats, but lose contest

With Jake Burkard leading the way, Whitnall’s Tyler Regeth advances down the field following a fake punt during Friday night’s game against New Berlin Eisenhower. The Falcons lost the contest 14-7.

With Jake Burkard leading the way, Whitnall’s Tyler Regeth advances down the field following a fake punt during Friday night’s game against New Berlin Eisenhower. The Falcons lost the contest 14-7. Photo By Stephanie Jones

Sept. 3, 2013

If statistics won football games, Whitnall would own its first victory of the season.

The Falcons beat New Berlin Eisenhower in most statistical categories on Friday night, topping the Lions in rushing yardage 198-142, in total yardage 328-265 and in time of possession 35 minutes to 13 minutes.

They lost 14-7, however, for a simple reason.

"We moved the ball, but we couldn't score when we had to," head coach Jeff Wallack said. "We had 11 dropped passes, and I figured we left at least three scores on the field. Our kids don't know how to finish yet."

Even with the inconsistency of his receivers, quarterback Tyler Merritt was able to throw for 130 yards, with Michael Grim catching two for 59 yards and Michael Langenohl three for 37 yards.

Dan Callies rushed for 84 yards in 18 carries, Merritt added 45 yards on the ground and Nick Monty chipped in with 40 yards and the lone score of the night.

All that, plus some solid defense, went for naught as the Falcons fell to 0-2 on the season.

They will next visit Greenfield at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in a battle of teams desperately searching for a victory. The Hustlin' Hawks also stand at 0-2 after a 25-13 loss to Pius XI last week.

"Something's got to give," Wallack said of the matchup with the Hawks. "They're in the same spot as us, so I'm sure both teams will have an intense week of practice."

The Whitnall offense was up and down against Eisenhower, but the defense stood strong, especially after its struggles in the season-opening 49-0 loss to Slinger.

"Defensively, we had a great effort," the coach said. "We were able to hold them to just a few opportunities. The problem is that they took advantage of the ones they had."

Wallack cited linebacker Michael Kremer, who led the team in tackles and forced a fumble, and cornerback Keanu Austin, who defended the pass well and offered support against the run.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions (1-1) struck with a 49-yard scoring pass from quarterback Sam Carey to Vince Gabrielsen. They maintained the 7-0 lead throughout the first half.

Eisenhower went up 14-0 on a 35-yard run by Nick Taylor.

The Falcons finally got on the board with 6 minutes, 6 seconds left in the game when Monty bulled over from 1 yard. Tyler Regeth kicked the extra point to make it 14-7, but Whitnall was not able to get the tying score.

"We are making progress, and we are going in the right direction," Wallack said.

Now the Falcons need to turn that improvement into victories.

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