Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes Football

Dukes Pillage the Vikings

Photo Courtesy of Rod Brower

The (2) Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes advanced to Level II of the Divison Three Playoffs on Friday night, eliminating the (7) New Berlin West Vikings, 36-6.  It was the Dukes’ first home playoff win at Lubar Stadium since the 2017 season and their 5th straight win this season.

While the Bay offense struggled to get going in the first half, the Dukes D shut down everything the Vikings tried to do and gave them no breathing room.  On the night, the Dukes D forced 7 Viking three-and-outs and 12 punts.  With all 11 pursuing to the ball on seemingly every play, the Bay defense allowed just 78 yards of total offense, including 44 yards on 38 rushing attempts.  Senior linebacker Dom Bartolone led the team with 11 tackles and Reid Jamerson (1.5), Michael Strecansky (1), and Henry Hissrich (0.5) combined to give the D three sacks.  Even more impressive, the vaunted Dukes D had a jaw-dropping 11 tackles for loss in the game, with Bartolone, Jamerson, and Hissrich adding two each.

The Dukes put their first one in the endzone on their second drive of the game.  After Nigel Cheeks returned a punt 17-yards to the Vikings 18, senior QB1 Luke Wells called his own number and snuck it into the endzone from the 1-yard line to give WFB a 7-0 lead with 4:16 left in the first quarter.

The Vikings’ defense would keep Bay in check offensively until just before halftime.  Starting at their own 14 and with only 40 seconds left in the half, the Blue Dukes called upon Cheeks to get them down the field.  On the very first play of the drive, the senior running back burst through the line and found himself in the endzone 86-yards later to put his team up 14-6 at the break.

Cheeks would add his second touchdown of the game early in the third quarter, this time on a 34-yard run in which he had to break multiple tackles and hurdle over a pile of defenders.

After one of the many three-and-outs from New Berlin West midway through the third, Cheeks went back deep to field the punt and ended up with his third score of the game, taking it to the house from 56-yards away to give the Blue Dukes a 29-6 lead heading into the final quarter.  Cheeks’ night was done after racking up 163 rushing yards on 10 carries and 109 return yards on 6 punts.

Facing 3rd-and-9 from the Viking 10, Wells found wideout Kamarion Ivory in the endzone on a comeback route for their last score to push the lead 36-6.  The pitch and catch was the 4th time this season Wells and Ivory found the endzone together.

Despite their frustrating start, the Bay rushing attack gained 262 yards on 33 attempts for an average of 7.94 yards per attempt.

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Next Up…

The (2) Dukes welcome back former North Shore Conference foe (3) Port Washington to Lubar Stadium for a Level II showdown.  Kickoff will be at 7pm.