Greendale's comeback bid against Tosa West falls short in wild game
Turnovers, penalties hurt Panthers
Greendale - The football game on Friday night between Wauwatosa West and Greendale was like a championship fight.
Going back and forth, the Trojans and Panthers delivered blow after blow to one another, but in the end it was Tosa West which provided the knockout punch and was left standing in a classic high school game.
Robert Davis' interception in overtime sealed Tosa West's 37-30 victory, moving the Trojans to 6-1 and leaving the Panthers (4-3) still one game shy of officially clinching a WIAA playoff berth.
"I'm so proud of our guys, the way they competed," Tosa West coach Matt Good said. "They had a couple of chances to fold up, and they stuck to their guns and they played hard. I'm so proud of our guys right now."
It was an ending you almost had to see to believe.
It appeared as if Tosa West was going to cruise to an easy victory after going up 30-14 with just 8:24 to play, but Greendale didn't quit.
The Panthers cut the lead to 30-20 on quarterback Josh Ringelberg's third touchdown run of the game. Ringelberg hit tight end Peter Pekar for the two-point conversion to make it 30-22.
That left Greendale coach Rob Stoltz with a decision to make. At the start of the game, he had called an onside kick that his team recovered, but this time he chose to kick it deep and trust his defense.
The defensive unit didn't let him down, forcing a Tosa West punt. The kick bounced all the way down to the Panthers' 5-yard line, leaving 95 yards and a two-point conversion for a tie.
Greendale converted a fourth down along the way and used a 38-yard pass to wide receiver Gaelan Seibold to set up Ringelberg's fourth touchdown of the game, this time from one yard out with 26 seconds to play.
Ringelberg then tossed a bubble screen to wide receiver Nate Miller who plowed his way just over the goal line on the two-point conversion, tying the game at 30-30.
The game seemed headed for overtime, but the drama wasn't over.
Mickey Morgan returned the kickoff all the way to the Greendale 12-yard line with just 15 seconds to play, almost breaking the return for a touchdown.
After an incomplete pass, Tosa West botched the snap on a 29-yard field goal attempt, causing Zach Veit's kick to be way off.
The Trojans got the ball first in overtime and didn't waste any time, as quarterback Jared Morzinski hit running back Jameson Brock for a 25-yard touchdown on the very first play of overtime.
The Trojans' defense had one more chance to stop Greendale and didn't fail.
After a penalty, linebacker Jon Doolen sacked Ringelberg for a loss of eight. On second and 23, Ringelberg was intercepted by Davis to end the game.
It was Greendale's fifth turnover, and the Panthers also committed 11 penalties for 65 yards.
"The last month that's what it has been, turnovers and penalties," Stoltz said. "The excuses are over. You have to put up or shut up at this point. Period, that's it."
It was a turnover that also changed the momentum early. Driving and already up 7-0, Greendale fumbled deep in Tosa West territory, preventing the Panthers from pulling out to a comfortable early lead.
Greendale is now in an unfamiliar position, sitting at 4-3. A 4-4 record could get the Panthers into the playoffs, but to lock up a berth, Greendale must beat Brown Deer at 7 p.m. Friday in the regular-season finale.
The Falcons come in at 5-2, tied for the Woodland East Division lead with Whitnall, after routing Greenfield, 33-0, last week.
"Finally for the first time in a month we showed some resiliency and a competitive spirit," Stoltz said. "That's encouraging to see because we were like wet fish for the past couple weeks.
"It showed us as coaches that this team has some fight left in them and the bottom line is, if you have some fight, you have a chance."
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