Greendale - The offensive unit of Greendale's football team is well-known for its explosiveness, but the Panther's defense stepped to the forefront in a crucial 14-7 triumph over South Milwaukee on Friday night at Stephen J. Gavinski Field.
The defense came up with at least three crucial stops during the game, including at the Greendale 8-yard line in the second quarter after a long kickoff return by Alex Cramer. A penalty, coupled with strong run defense, moved the Rockets back to the 15, and they did not score.
The Panthers also halted South Milwaukee on downs on two other occasions in the second half, with one stop coming at Greendale's 18.
All that defense, along with some early offense, boosted the Panthers to 4-0 in the Woodland Conference Black Division, one game ahead of Greenfield and Whitnall.
Those two teams just happen to be the Panthers' next two foes. Greendale is at Greenfield at 7 p.m. Friday in what promises to be an intriguing matchup.
The Hustlin' Hawks improved to 3-1 in the Woodland and 3-2 overall with a tough 39-34 victory over Whitnall on Friday. In that game, Greenfield ran for 359 yards, led by Andy Lucas with 111 and Bathong Pham with 107.
Quarterback Tyler Laverdure also chipped in with 88 yards on the ground and only attempted one pass on the night, on which interference was called.
Greenfield also stopped the Falcons inside the 10-yard line on three occasions.
The Hawks, whose only Woodland loss was a 35-34 overtime decision to Brown Deer, are hungry to stay in the Woodland chase. They are also playing only their second game before home fans this season. They won their previous contest, 24-7, over South Milwaukee.
In Greendale's game against the Rockets last week, quarterback Sam Brick ran for first-half scores of five yards and one yard to establish a 14-0 halftime margin. Both defenses pretty much took over from there.
Brick hit six of 14 passes for 76 yards, with tight end Kennedy Ringelberg his main target (three catches for 47 yards). Peter Pekar, who had a big game in Greendale's victory over New Berlin Eisenhower the previous week, had two receptions for 22 yards.
Mike Scheidt led all rushers with 80 yards, while Brick added 67 yards on the ground. South Milwaukee's leading rusher was Mat Tagye with 52 yards, and two quarterbacks, Chris Krakau and Pat Berg, combined for 77 yards passing.
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