The Menomonee Falls football team overcame a slow, skittish start Friday night to eventually trounce host West Allis Hale, 49-20, in the Greater Metro opener for both sides.
The Huskies looked sharp early, scoring on their second play just 29 seconds into the first quarter on junior quarterback Joe Jo Breznik's 54-yard keeper.
The Indians (3-0) responded with a 50-yard kickoff return from senior running back Christian Almonte, who also opened the drive from the 35-yard line with a 15-yard run.
"He's a special athlete," Menomonee Falls head coach John Baker said. "He's a dynamic kid who does a lot of things for us."
Hale blocked the extra point, the first of several miscues on special teams that marred the first half for Falls. On two occasions, the Indians forced punts only to have one of their own unknowingly touch the ball and surrender possession. The second was missed by the officials, but on the first, the Indians' defense forced a three-and-out. On a separate drive, the Indians forced another punt from deep inside Hale's territory, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Huskies a fresh set of downs. Baker was blunt about the mistakes.
"We had too many penalties, again," he said. "We have to fix that. That's something we can control and something good football teams don't do as often as we've done it. It's on offense, defense and special teams, and we can't continue to do that."
Especially with what's on the agenda on Friday at 7 p.m. as the Indians host GMC rival Brookfield Central (1-0, 3-0). The Lancers have looked very good in recording three easy wins, averaging a startling 50 points a game. They opened GMC play with a 56-0 rout of Tosa East last Friday. Falls blanked Central, 14-0, last season.
Baker wouldn't mind another offensive explosion similar to what Falls turned in against Hale.
The Indians took their first lead early in the second quarter when sophomore receiver Bryce McMurtry hauled in a 24-yard catch from senior quarterback Adam Vechart. A failed two-point conversion put Falls up 12-7.
"McMurtry had a phenomenal game," Baker said. "He's a great athlete who does a lot of things for us."
After a three-and-out, the Indians scored on an almost identical play, this time a 24-yard strike to senior tight end Daniel Dahlke. Vechart converted for two to put Falls up 20-7.
The Huskies quickly bounced back when Breznik hit senior receiver Ben Daniels for a 69-yard catch-and-run down the right sideline. Two plays later, junior Jeff Schubert scored from three yards out to pull Hale down 20-13 with 4:16 left in the half.
The Indians instantly fumbled on their next possession, but their defense, with its back to the wall yet again, bailed them out.
"It's a team game," Baker said. "Our defense made a lot of mistakes tonight and did give up some big plays, but they also caused some big mistakes. They made errors, but we fought through it. I was proud of the way our defense came through tonight. It's not the start you want to see, but they did finish and I was proud of that."
In the second half, the vastly bigger Indians line took its toll on the Huskies, and Almonte simply ran over a worn-out defense. Just as the scoring happened instantly in the first half, Almonte raced 59 yards 37 seconds into the third quarter, and Falls took a 28-13 lead. Five minutes later, he did the same from 14 yards out. The Indians piled on and built a 49-13 lead before Breznik hit another home run, this time a 51-yard bomb to senior receiver Sam Michalski to make it 49-20.
The Indians kept the ball on the ground for most of the fourth quarter, and the final nine minutes were scoreless.
"You have to give (Menomonee Falls) all the credit," West Allis Hale (0-3) head coach Brandon Ehret said. "They're a very good football team. We have some things to work on and we have to better than that if we want to succeed in this conference."
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