Blue Dukes Open Playoffs with a 56 – 21 Blast

Dukes take field


The Dukes came to play in Game 1 of the WIAA Boys Football Tournment.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery

The South Milwaukee Rockets could have used a few to stop Whitefish Bay from delivering a crushing 56 – 21 defeat in Game 1 of the 2016 WIAA Boys Football Tournament.

Explosive Start

The Blue Dukes began with a fumble recovery on the first play from scrimmage by the visiting South Milwaukee Rockets. Carson Kimple pounced on the loose ball after a form tackle by Case Fleck and the Dukes took possession on the South Milwaukee 35 yard line. On the next play, Patrick Nau started left and found a gaping hole on the back side of the play and was able to take the ball to the end zone. With his first of many successful PAT kicks, Zach Lichosik made it 7-0.

After a first down by the Rockets, the Dukes defense forced a punt. Ryan Nelson went unblocked and had a clear path to the punter.  The punted ball stood no chance against the heavily wrapped broken hand of Nelson and the Dukes took over deep in Rockets territory.

However, the Dukes were unable to overcome two penalties and after an incompletion on a fourth and 13, the Rockets once again had the ball on offense. After a first down, two negative plays including a sack by Tommy Deakin, led to a South Milwaukee surprise punt on third down.

After two consecutive pass completions for first downs by quarterback Cade Garcia, Michael Kirkendoll took the handoff and on a highlight worthy 22 yard run, scored the second Blue Duke touchdown of the contest.

Trying to Answer Back

The two score lead would be short lived as the Rockets dug deep into their playbook and completed a reverse option pass for 60 yards and were able to score one play later. The Lubar Stadium scoreboard now read 14-7.

The ensuing onside kickoff was recovered by Jeffrey Lacefield-May and after both teams failed to convert fourth downs near midfield, the Dukes offense took over on the South Milwaukee 49 yard line. Garcia used the final play of the first quarter to find Alex Anthony five yards behind his man on a post route and after another PAT, the Dukes led 21-7 after the first quarter.

Three plays later and after an 11 yard sack by Brady Weas, South Milwaukee was forced to punt the ball back to the home team who started the drive on the forty yard line of the Rockets. Four plays later Bo Bassindale completed the march with his fourth run of the drive for a touchdown to make it a 28-7 contest.

Bo Bassindale

Bo Bassindale delivered a four yard touchdown run to propel the Dukes to a 56 – 21 victory.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery


The visitors would not quit, despite the absence of their starting signal caller due to injury sustained two weeks ago, responded with a seven play, 52 yard touchdown drive of their own to cut the lead to 28-14.

The Rockets again attempted an onside kickoff and once again the Dukes and specifically Chris Crosby recovered the ball near midfield. Following runs by Bassindale and Nau, Garcia found Anthony on a slant route to the 25 yard line. Anthony made a move on two defenders and raced to the near pylon for his second score of the game. The Dukes now owned a 35-14 lead midway through the second quarter.

Faced with a looming deficit and a fourth down and long, the Rockets opted not to punt but came up short of the first down marker. One play later, Nau ran for a 36 yard score.

The defensive line made the next possession miserable for the Rockets and a punt resulted in another Dukes possession. Three consecutive runs by Bassindale may have lulled the Rockets to sleep as Anthony was able to get by his man again and hauled in the Garcia pass for a 27 yard score with one minute left in the half. The Dukes took the 49-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.

All Blue in the Second Half

Although the Dukes had the ball to start the second half, the drive stalled after one first down and Lichosik was called on for his first punt of the evening. Chris Caspari and Russell Enea combined for a smothering punt coverage tackle.

The Rockets would later close the gap in the only score of the third quarter with a fumble return of 57 yards. With the score at 49-21, the clock resumed normal operation.

The Dukes were content to keep the ball on the ground and with hard running by Bassindale and Nau, were able to cap off an eight play 67 yards drive with a four yard touchdown run by Bassindale.

With the scoring complete at 56-21, The Blue Dukes were able to substitute multiple players on both sides of the ball and the Level 1 playoff victory was in the books.

Dukes of the Game

Our Dukes of the Game are Alex Anthony on offense for catching 5 passes for 137 yards and scoring 3 first half touchdowns, and Carson Kimple on defense for multiple hard-hitting tackles and holding off South Milwaukee’s double team coverage.

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