Falls still has a shot at share of Greater Metro football championship
Victory over BC, BE loss would do trick
Menomonee Falls - At the beginning of the year, Menomonee Falls football coach John Baker could not have imagined the position in which he now finds himself.
One game left in the regular season, with a chance at a share of a Greater Metro Conference title.
But to make that happen, he's got to hope his Indians (5-1 in the GMC, 5-2 overall) remember the lessons from the headache that was the bad season-ending loss to Brookfield Central in 2011 and turn around and beat the Lancers (4-2, 5-2) when they host them Friday in the regular season closer at 7 p.m.
And, oh yes, he has to do something that is completely at odds with his basic nature: He has to cheer for archrival Sussex Hamilton (5-1, 6-1). Because if the Chargers beat unbeaten Brookfield East (6-0, 7-0) on Friday and the Indians win, there will be a three-way tie for the GMC crown.
"A lot of things have to happen," Baker said. "Brookfield Central is a very good team. Big and physical with good skill kids. We've got to fight through things if we want this, but here we are. The goal is the (WIAA) playoffs but it would be some real icing on the cake if could win (a share of) the conference title.
"But to do that, we have to play a great game (against Central)."
Offensive struggle vs. Hale
Falls moved one step closer to its first league title since 2004 on Oct. 5 with a 21-7 victory over West Allis Hale.
Falls took control of the game early when Cole Hernikl ran in a 38-yard touchdown. From that point forward, however, neither team could do much offensively. On the second Indians possession of the night, Falls opted to go for it on a fourth and two situation from the Hale 25 yard line, but the Huskies defense held the line and forced a turnover on downs. It was the first of four failed fourth down conversions by the Indians.
"Defensively I thought we played great, I really did," Hale head coach Brandon Ehret said. "There were some critical situations where our kids stepped up and made some big plays, and we had some crucial fourth down stops. Our kids definitely stepped up on the defensive side of the ball."
The Huskies didn't fare much better offensively, as the farthest they reached in the first half was the Falls 25-yard line on their final possession of the half. Like the Indians, the Huskies also had issues converting on fourth down, and an incomplete pass from Hale quarterback Nick Sotiros forced a turnover on downs just before halftime.
"At times we were out of sync offensively," Ehret said. "We had opportunities to move the ball. Give a lot of credit to Menomonee Falls. They're a very good football team. They've got a very, very good defense. I think one of the top defenses in this conference."
The Indians finally found themselves on the scoreboard again midway through the third quarter on a 20-yard touchdown run from Hernikl, which put Falls up 14-0.
After seven plays, four runs from Marcel Mundt, and a pass to Mundt from Sotiros, the Huskies found themselves on the Falls 29 yard line with a fourth-and-nine situation on their hands. They opted to go for it, but DeShawn Pullen sacked Sotiros for an eight-yard loss and yet another turnover on downs.
Hernikl gets trifecta
The Indians iced the game midway through the fourth quarter on yet another touchdown run from Hernikl to give the Indians a 21-0 lead. Hale finally found the scoreboard on a 14-yard pass from Sotiros to Mundt, but with a little more that a minute to play, the points came too little, too late. The subsequent onside kick attempt was recovered by Falls, and quarterback Adam Vechart was able to take a knee.
"The O-line did a great job, the running backs did a lot of great things," Vechart said. "We're playing for a conference championship next week, and that's what we've always wanted."
"West Allis Hale played a great game," said Baker. "They were physical all night. It was a close game. We've got to fix some things, but I was proud of our kids and how they stuck with it."
- With additional reporting by Steven L. Tietz
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