A change in tactics helped the Whitnall football team notch its first victory of the season on Friday night, a 41-0 romp over St. Francis.
The Falcons switched their emphasis from the passing game to the rushing attack, as they pounded out 353 yards on the ground, led by Nick Monty's 136 yards in 15 carries.
That was the first 100-yard game for Monty, a junior who head coach Jeff Wallack said is steadily improving.
Quarterback Tyler Merritt was called upon to throw just four passes but completed three of them for 41 yards and one touchdown, a 5-yard toss to Max Anderer. The touchdown throw was the first of Merritt's career.
The victory enabled the Falcons to even their record in the Woodland Conference East Division at 1-1 and move to 1-3 overall.
"After the past two weeks, some change was due," Wallack said. "I thought we should have won both our previous games (a 14-7 loss to New Berlin Eisenhower and a 23-22 defeat at Greenfield)."
The Falcons were able to grab the St. Francis contest because everyone stepped up their play, Wallack said.
"Both sides of the ball played well," the coach continued. "We had a good all-around effort. We had no one star; it was a team performance."
Anderer got things started with a 54-yard touchdown run in the first period. Monty and Nick Smith followed with scoring runs in the second quarter as Whitnall assumed a 20-0 halftime advantage.
Anderer hauled in the touchdown pass from Merritt to open the third period, then Dan Callies and Michael Kremer added scoring runs later.
The Falcons' defense held the Mariners to just 68 total yards, including 26 on the ground.
Wallack said his team, which features a number of underclassmen in the starting lineup, is starting to find its way.
"We knew we would get better as we get more seasoned," he said. "This time, we were able to finish our drives, which we had not done."
The Falcons next take on Woodland East leader South Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at home. The Rockets improved to 2-0 in the division with a 29-14 victory over Brown Deer last week.
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