Falls football team in position to claim first GMC title since 2004
Wins in final two games would do it
As far as a potential first Greater Metro Conference title since 2004 is concerned, the Menomonee Falls football team controls its own destiny.
That's all coach John Baker and his team could ask for.
Behind a terrific 267-yard, four TD rushing effort from senior back Christian Almonte, the Indians overpowered West Allis Central, 35-19, in a less-than-clean road win on Friday night.
But style points weren't on the locals' minds. What they did have at the forefront were the wild doings out at Brookfield Central that same evening, as the Lancers blew a big lead but rallied to beat Marquette, 42-38.
What that outcome did was create a logjam at the top of the GMC so tight that even the most creative athletic director couldn't slip a piece of paper through it, as now Falls (6-1 overall), Marquette and Central all enter the last two weeks of the season with 4-1 league marks.
Falls will have the advantage in that its final two games are at home, but in that opportunity lies challenge, as 2012 GMC champ Brookfield East (3-2, 4-3) will come calling at 7 p.m. Friday in what will be the Indians' Athletic Hall of Fame night (see separate column) and then Marquette (4-1, 5-2) visits in what should be a classic on the last day of the regular season on Oct. 18.
East presents challenge
"Everything is up for grabs right now," Baker said. "We had a good film session already (the day after the win over West Allis Central) and we know we'll be seeing a good team in East. We'll try to get a good week of practice in and act like its a (WIAA) playoff game."
The Spartans are still dangerous behind all-everything quarterback Zach Damico who can beat a team with his feet or his arm. Falls' only conference loss last season was to East, so the Indians will have that motivation, too.
"You can't ask for anything more than this," Baker said. "Everyone is now fighting for a conference championship. I'm very proud of where we are right now."
He was OK with the effort against winless WAC (0-7) on Friday, but Baker wishes he could have been a little more proud of the effort as the Indians had fumbles and dropped passes that made the game closer than it should have been.
Falls was never seriously threatened taking a 14-0 first-quarter lead on one-yard and two-yard TD runs by Almonte, but the game Bulldogs had the gap at 14-7 for much of the second quarter before Almonte raced 18 yards for another touchdown to make it 21-7 at the half.
Almonte, who worked behind a hard-pushing, lane-clearing effort by the offensive line this night, then made it 28-7 with a 51-yard TD run midway through the third quarter.
Then as ESPN's Game Day broadcasters like to say, the Indians threw a little "trickeration" into the mix, as sophomore back Bryce McMurtry took a handoff and then threw a 34-yard option pass for a TD to junior wide receiver Brady Schneider to make it 35-13 going into the fourth quarter.
Indians amp up rushing
All told, the Indians rushed for 412 yards on 60 tries as quarterback Adam Vechart added 105 yards on 20 tries himself and McMurtry gained 40 yards on six tries. Central put the ball up 43 times, completing 20 for 267 yards. The Indians picked off two passes and held the Bulldogs to just 59 yards rushing.
Almonte went over 1,000-yards rushing for the season for the Indians, the first back to do that since UW-Oshkosh All-American Cole Myhra did it for the Falls state finalist group of 2009. Baker said that Brett and Zach Marohl along with Zach Kornburger have done a good job filling in for the injured receiver/defensive back Jason Precia.
Baker, whose team had to replace much of its defense last season, as well as a host of other talent, is impressed with where the team is at this point.
"I didn't know if we could get this far," he said. "We're taking it one game at a time and now here we are, three teams tied at 4-1 and we're one of them. It's just a real compliment to the coaches and the kids."
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