Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes Football

Dukes Sink the Pirates in Overtime

Photo Courtesy of Rod Brower

The (2) Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes emerged victorious in an overtime thriller against the (3) Port Washington Pirates, 20-14, in a Divison Three Level II Playoff game at Lubar Stadium on Friday night.  It was the Dukes’ 6th straight victory and moves them into Level III for the first time since the 2017 season.

With a misting rain and a strong, swirling wind the entire evening, both teams battled the elements and delivered an instant classic that will be talked about for years to come.

After a quick 1st quarter in which neither offense could get anything going, the Pirates struck first with 6:16 remaining in the first half on a 6-yard rushing touchdown that came on 4th and 1.  The Blue Dukes were able to move the ball down the field on the ensuing drive right before halftime, but couldn’t finish it off and gave the ball back to Port Washington on downs.  The Pirates let the clock run down to the half and took a 7-0 lead into the break.

With 3:10 left in the 3rd quarter, Bay was finally able to put a complete drive together and marched down the field with a 5-play, 65-yard drive that took just 2 minutes and 19 seconds to even the score at 7-7.  Quarterback Luke Wells found Dom Bartolone for a 35-yard screen pass that would set up a 15-yard shovel pass to Jack Nau on the very next play.

The highly-regarded Dukes D did their job and forced a quick punt on the next Port drive, giving the ball back to a Bay offense that was just finding their rhythm.  Facing a 3rd and 4 from the Blue Dukes 26, Nigel Cheeks broke off one of his signature sensational runs and found the endzone to put the Dukes up 14-7.

The Pirates didn’t go down without a fight, however.  Starting on their own 44-yard line with 3 minutes left in the game, the Port offense converted three 4th downs and tied the game at 14-14 with no time left on the clock to send it to overtime.

With the Dukes winning the toss in sudden death, they elected to start on defense.  Except for an incidental facemask penalty, the Duke D stood tough and forced a 30-yard field goal attempt.  An attempt it was, as Mike Strecansky flew around the edge untouched for the block.

The Bay O did what they’ve done all year when it was their turn, playing smashmouth football and running downhill.  On their 5th play of OT, which were all rushes, Bartolone found the endzone from the 4-yard line to end the game and send the Dukes to the next round.

Bartolone finished with 78 yards on 15 carries and Cheeks had his third straight 100-yard game with 124 yards on 17 attempts.  Wells was efficient in the air, completing 5 of 6 passes for 61 yards.

Defensively, Reid Jamerson added another sack to his season total to go along with 3 tackles for loss.  Bartolone and fellow inside linebacker Nick Jorndt each added two more tackles for loss.  Jorndt led the team with 12 total tackles on the night.

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Next Up…

The Blue Dukes stay at Lubar and welcome in the (5) Pewaukee Pirates for a Level III clash.  Kickoff is set for 7pm on Friday, November 5th.