The New Berlin Eisenhower Lions took advantage of fumbles, careless penalties, and mysterious officiating – and defeated the Tosa West Trojans 35-28. Momentum swings were huge, as the Trojans were down 14-0, then up 28-14, then back down again. Here’s a game report:
On a beautiful Lion’s homecoming Friday night, Tosa West received the opening kickoff, but a penalty helped stall a run-only series and they punted. In no time the Lions were on the board as Nick Taylor ran through tackles on the right side for a 35 yard score.
On the Trojan’s next offensive series, junior running back Demaris Purifoy lost a fumble – after the whistle stopped play. Ouch. Ike recovered, returned to their run game and scored with a sweep around the left edge with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter. It was now 14-0.
As the first quarter came to a close the Trojan ground game got on track. From their own 20, Purifoy and senior Greg Lewis took turns pounding the interior and edges of Eisenhower’s line and marched the ball downfield. Truman Tyson found pay-dirt from two yards out and the Lion’s lead was cut in half 14-7.
Still in the second quarter, the Trojans got a lift from an unlikely source. First, senior QB Jared Morzinski found Develyn Ferguson on a sideline pass pattern for a 14 yard gain. Morzinski’s throwing hand was taped due to a thumb injury from last week’s game – and he was replaced after the play by freshman Rayvon Bartelt, Jr. On his first play, Bartelt dropped back three steps and launched a perfect strike to Ferguson on a post pattern and he sprinted untouched 60 yards to the end zone. With 8:30 left in the quarter the score was tied 14-14. The play ignited the Tosa West defense, as they authored another stop of Ike’s run game and forced a punt.
The Trojan’s next offensive series was a one-play flash. Purifoy took the handoff and followed great interior blocking by senior center Elliot Rogahn and juniors Christian Morzinski and Isaiah Randolph, as he sprinted through the line, juked a linebacker and outran the Ike secondary down the left sideline to score from 80 yards out. Following Zach Veit’s extra point kick – he was 4 for 4 on the night – the Trojans were up 21-14 with 5:30 left before half-time.
A nice defensive series by the Trojans stopped Ike from scoring just before the half. After a first down run took them to the Trojan’s 12 yard line, Christian Morzinski worked through a block to record a solo tackle near the line of scrimmage. On third down, C Morzinski charged through the Lion’s right side and forced a throw-away pass by the Lion’s QB. Their 4th down field goal attempt sailed wide left and half-time came with Tosa West up 21-14.
At the start of the second half the Trojan’s defense continued to role. Roberthenry Davis made a drive stopping tackle and knocked down two long pass attempts. Zach Veit was outstanding from the safety position – as he recorded several textbook solo tackles. Unfortunately, when your safety is making too many plays – it’s usually a bad sign.
As the third quarter clock ticked away, the Trojan offense kept the ball on the ground, with Lewis and Purifoy splitting duties on a sustained drive. Sophomore Truman Tyson again finished the drive with a 10 yard scoring run off left tackle and the Trojans were up 28-14.
The fourth quarter and overtime period were all about the officiating and the Lions. First some whining about fourth quarter calls: the Trojan defense was called for “hitting below the waist” during a tackle. That’s bizarre. In another situation the Trojans were called for delay of game when it was the referees who were holding the ball as they deliberated a 4th down play near the Trojan end zone. That seemed senseless. A final 4th quarter issue came after a Lion kickoff. Develyn Ferguson first fumbled it, and then fell on it cleanly at the Trojan 15 yard-line. After the whistle blew, a Lion player pounced on Ferguson. No call. More mystery. Enough whining.
Hand it to the Lions: they took advantage of the breaks. At the start of the fourth quarter they had success running through the Trojan line and linebackers, and eventually scored from 1 yard out, to pull within 28-21.
After a stalled series, the Trojans punted the ball back to the Lions who took over near mid-field. Now the Trojan defense had another chance to contain the Lions’ off-tackle runners. This time they had success. Junior linebacker Devin Tucker made two heads-up form tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and the Lions had to punt.
When the Trojans got the ball back with under 4 minutes to play, their task was to run time off the clock and hang on to the ball. On their first play of the series, our Trojan running back had the ball stripped while fighting for more yardage, and lost the fumble. The Lions had a short field, and a few plays later – with under two minutes to play – they ran the ball in from a yard out and the score was tied 28-28.
The story of overtime was a depressing one for the Trojan faithful. Tosa West won the toss and elected to play defense first. The Lions scored on a run series, and went up 35-28. On offense, the Trojans picked up a first down to the nine yard line. But they couldn’t score on four run-plays from there, and that’s how the game ended. The Trojans are now 3- 3 and 1-3 in the conference. New Berlin Eisenhower is 2-4, and also 1-3 in conference.
What were Trojan highlights? The Bartelt to Ferguson pass comes to mind. Were there any others? The run game had impressive moments, mostly erased by fumbles. Defense was good in the second and third quarters, but not the first or fourth. If I missed something, comments welcome!
This week the Trojans host Greendale for Homecoming. Let’s be there to cheer on the seniors as they work hard to get the team back on track.