Dukes Outhustle Hawks, 48 – 31

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Bo Bassindale rushed for 3 touchdowns to help the Blue Dukes toward a convincing 48 – 31 win over Greenfield.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery

The Blue Dukes advanced to the Division 2 state quarterfinals with a convincing 48-31 win over Greenfield, the champions of the Woodlands East Conference.

The game was not as close as the final score suggests, as Bay scored 41 unanswered points to take a 41-7 lead, before the Hawks managed 24 points in the final four minutes of the game. The game was a true team victory, featuring outstanding play on offense, defense and special teams.

It was a Dark and Windy Night …

Like all good pre-Halloween stories, this one took place on a dark and windy night. The strong south wind definitely had an impact as over 80% of the points were scored into the north end zone.

The Dukes started with two solid running plays, but turned the ball over on a mishandled pitch-out. The Hawks quickly took advantage of the turnover and poor tackling, scoring in just 3 plays to take the early 7-0 lead. Bay’s offense jump-started with a beautiful 32-yard completion from Cade Garcia to Alex Anthony, followed by two completions to Michael Kirkendoll, for 16 and 8 yards. But the big blue machine would grind to a halt with a questionable intentional grounding call which turned the ball back to Greenfield short of mid-field. The defense found its footing, starting with a big-time open field tackle by David Thompson. Two plays later the Hawks quarterback, who had just run for what would have been a first down, was tackled by Case Fleck who stripped the ball away and killed the Hawks momentum. This was the first of several plays that would be turning points in the contest. Bay started its drive with a 28-yard pass to Anthony and some hard running by the backfield. Penalties would smother our momentum and once again, we handed the ball back to the visitors. Greenfield moved the ball 50 yards in 11 plays, gaining some critical first downs by their offensive line employing a deceptive technique, suddenly standing up to look toward the bench, and drawing our line offside. The Hawks made it to the Bay 25-yard line before the defense held its ground.

Blue Dukes Offense Overpowers

Bo Bassindale took Bay’s first play of the second quarter around the left side, following some great blocks by Chris Caspari and Brady Weas, and raced 47 yards before getting knocked out of bounds at the Greenfield 28-yard line. This was the second big turning point in the contest. Garcia handed the ball to Bassindale two more times, one negated by a penalty, before finding Maurice David Lee wide open on a post pattern for a 29-yard TD pass. Zach Lichosik nailed the extra point attempt to knot the score at 7 apiece. Greenfield’s next possession ended after seven plays, when Thompson intercepted a double reverse pass at the Bay 20. However, the Dukes could not manage anything but penalties and were forced to punt from their own 15-yard line. With Lichosik standing ready to punt from the goal line, it looked like momentum was back with the Hawks; that is until Lichosik, with some help from Mother Nature, boomed a 75-yard punt which eventually stopped dead on the Greenfield 10-yard line. That marked the third, and arguably the biggest turning point in the game, as the Hawks would never recover field position for the next 30 minutes.

With the wind in their face and the Dukes defense in their way, Greenfield was forced to a three-and-out. The Hawk’s punt carried on 20 yards. Garcia immediately found Anthony for a 26-yard touchdown pass, who made a stutter step to fake the defender before grabbing the pass with one hand and walking into the end-zone virtually untouched. Lichosik nailed the extra point, 14-7. Greenfield’s next possession was another three-and-out punt attempt. This time the punter got a low snap and was chased out of bounds at the 11-yard line by Thomas Deakin and Weas. Four plays later and Bassindale punched his way into the end zone for a touchdown, with Lichosik’s extra point giving the Dukes a 21-7 half-time lead.

Cade Garcia

Cade Garcia is the first quarterback in Blue Dukes history to break 2,000 passing yards in a single season.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery

Dukes Defense Unrelenting

The third quarter would start the same way, with the wind favoring the Blue Dukes and the Hawks pinned deep in their own territory. Greenfield managed a first down, but when faced with the prospect of punting again on a 4th and 3 from their own 37, decided to place their bets on their quarterback, not their punter. The Hawks went to the QB draw play which had worked well earlier in the game. The QB slipped past two tacklers but not the third, as Tommy Brunner wrestled the big runner to the ground, giving the ball back to the offense. Bassindale broke free on a 20 yard run to the Hawk’s 18. Kirkendoll and Bassindale pushed the rock to the 11 before Garcia hit Lee in the corner of the end zone for 6 points and a 27-7 lead. The touchdown pass was Garcia’s 24th of his record-breaking season. He currently is the top Division 2 quarterback remaining in the tournament, with 2,281 passing yards on the season and is the first quarterback in Blue Dukes history to break the 2,000-yard milestone.

Lichosik’s kickoff carried the end zone, requiring Greenfield to start on the twenty once more. On the third play from scrimmage, Noah Alling and Carson Kimple combined for a quarterback sack at the 1-yard line. Kirkendoll returned the ensuing punt to the Hawk’s 16-yard line, where two plays later, Bassindale carried the ball the remaining 9 yards to day light and a 34-7 lead. The stout Dukes defense held the Hawks to yet another three-and-out, with hard play by Andy Oates, this time taking over on the Greenfield 43. Garcia looked for another quick touchdown strike to Lee, but in attempting to complete the diving catch, the ground shook the ball loose. Seven plays later, after seeing Anthony in a favorable position, Garcia called an audible and threw a tight pass to Anthony who had split the defenders, but the ball was deflected into the hands of the Greenfield safety. The Dukes defense kept up the pressure with Kimple making a hard tackle on a screen play and Thompson barely missing his second pick six of the season. Jordan Riley then stuffed Greenfield’s heralded running back for a loss, giving the Dukes the ball on the Hawk 10-yard line.

Time to Deliver the Dagger

The Dukes started the 4th quarter with three straight runs to Bassindale, the last for his 3rd TD of the evening, and his 15th on the season. Bassindale ended the night with 20 carries and 124 yards, inching closer to the 1,000 yard mark for the season, a level that only two other Blue Dukes running backs have ever attained.

The defense, which at this point of the game had limited the high powered Hustlin’ Hawk offense to just 7 points and less than 100 yards of offense, forced yet another three-and-out. Several backups were proving they are ready for prime time including Jacob Hawig and RayQuan Bolden. However, with less than 5 minutes left in the game, the Greenfield offense took full advantage of a series of questionable calls by the officials, including several pass interference calls and roughing the passer call, to score twice within 90 seconds.

After a second onside kick was recovered at the Bay 47-yard line, Patrick Nau carried the ball three straight times, punishing his tacklers on the first two carries. With a third and short, the Hawks blitzed in an all-out attempt to stop the sophomore fullback who pushed his way into a gap and ran 44 yards for the Dukes final touchdown. The Hawks would score once more with 23 seconds left to make it 48-31.

Whitefish Bay gets a rematch with Homestead this Friday in Mequon. Be there to support our Dukes!

Dukes of the Game

Hard to pick this week, so the entire offense and defense share honors as our Dukes of the Game.