Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes Football

Dukes D Silences Slinger 28-7

The Blue Dukes traveled up Highway 41 to best the Slinger Owls 28-7 in their first road game and first victory of the season.

The win was no small matter, given the massive size of the Owl’s offensive line with each player averaging 300lbs and standing well over 6′ 2″. All that bulk contributed to Slinger putting up 33 points to beat Grafton in Week One, which the Owls hoped to repeat against Bay in front of a large and loud hometown crowd.

Cade Garcia ended the game with

Cade Garcia passed for 235 yards on 14 completions and 90 yards rushing on 10 carries with 2 touchdowns and 4 extra points.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery

Box Score/Play-By-Play PDF

Hard Start

The Dukes started the game with a strong offensive drive that was cut short by an early interception that turned the ball over to the Owls at their own 19 yard line. Slinger needed just six plays before their QB followed a crushing block up the middle to race 47 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

The Dukes came right back with an 11 play drive that featuring a balanced approach of runs by Bo Bassindale and Cade Garcia, along with passes to Alex Anthony and Michael Kirkendoll. Garcia would finish the drive with a 1 yard keeper, as well as an extra point conversion to knot the score before the quarter ended.

Slinger started what appeared to be another scoring drive, but the Dukes made some adjustments on defense and forced the Owls to attempt a field goal, which wandered wide of its mark, returning the ball to Bay at its 9 yard line. The offense sprang back into action, executing runs by Bassindale and key receptions by Anthony. Bassindale went on to out run six defenders to the corner of the South end zone for a 5 yard TD, and Garcia’s extra put the Dukes ahead 14-7.

The Owls put together six plays, covering about 60 yards, before Case Fleck picked off his second pass of the season at the 4 yard line, and returned it to the 9 yard line before getting his legs cut out from under him. The defense had its second stop of the night, and had finally found its groove.

Garcia then completed two consecutive passes to Anthony, who was on his way to another stand out night with 8 receptions and 122 yards. Garcia continued by eluding a strong rush, escaping to his left before finding Kirkendoll for a first down.

Only the clock seemed able to slow the Dukes offense as the half ended.

Meeting the Blue Wall

The teams exchanged possessions to start the second half with the Owls getting stopped two more times by the inspired Dukes defense, which was hamstrung by the absence of 5 of its starters.

Bay began its next scoring drive at its own 30. The 11 play drive included two different 30 yard completions to Anthony, and a third which looked to be a catch, but was ruled out-of-bounds. (A video replay would have proved otherwise.) The drive finished with a 10 yard Kirkendoll TD run, and another Garcia conversion to raise the Dukes’ lead to 21-7 with 11:38 in the final quarter.

Gang Tackle

Dukes fans delighted in seeing the return of gang tackling by the Bay defense.

Photo: Brad Caspari | Full Photo Gallery

The Owls greatest challenge of the night would prove to be its nemesis: the resurrected Dukes Defense. Led by Andy Oates (15 tackles) and big hits from Michael Kirkendoll (10 tackles), who delivered some big time hits, the pair were joined by solid performances by newcomers Patrick Nau (6 tackles) and David Thompson (6 tackles) and at least 5 tackles each from Tommy Brunner, Carson Kimple, and Case Fleck.

Slinger’s first possession of the fourth quarter was stopped in just 6 plays, leaving the Dukes with the ball on their own 41 yard line. Whitefish Bay fans were starting to see the gang tackling they’ve come to expect out the Blue Dukes defense with solid performances by linemen George Beatty, Mark Moraski, Thomas Deakin, and Jacob Ross, who frustrated Owls defenders, often 100 pounds heavier than them.

On the second play of the drive, Garcia took the ball and followed a blocks by Beatty and Nau before breaking left and delivering a speed driven 55 yard TD run. He capped the night off with his fourth extra point conversion and giving Whitefish Bay a 28- 7 victory.

Final Tally

Garcia would end the game with 235 yards passing on 14 completions, 90 yards rushing on 10 carries, score 2 touchdowns and 4 extra points. Kirkendoll exited with 6 receptions for 113 yards, 10 rushing yards and a TD. Bassindale ran for 47 tough yards on 13 carries and scored 1 TD.

Duke of the Game

The Dukes Defense, of course.