Zach Smith ran for 201 yards and a pair of long touchdowns and linebacker Eric Seefeldt made a series of crucial defensive plays, including an interception return for a score, as the West Allis Hale football team downed Cedarburg, 33-26, in its season opener on Friday night.
The Huskies never trailed in the non-conference matchup against the traditionally-strong Bulldogs, who were the WIAA Division 2 state runner-up a year ago.
Smith got things started with a 67-yard touchdown run on Hale's second series. Taylor Manz hit the extra point for a quick 7-0 lead.
After Cedarburg tied it at 7-7 on a pass from Joey LePak to Matt Johnson late in the first quarter, Hale answered with two scores in the second period.
Quarterback Dan Sotiros, taking over for the injured Steve Kopet, ran in from seven yards on a draw play, then Seefeldt returned an interception for 51 yards and a score shortly before halftime, making it 20-7.
Cedarburg cut the deficit to 20-13 in the third, but Smith responded with a 71-yard burst down the left sideline for another score.
Early in the fourth, Sotiros found a wide-open Steve Acker for a 47-yard score to put the Huskies ahead 33-13.
They held on from there, as the Bulldogs scored twice and moved down to the Hale eight-yard line on the final series before an end zone pass was broken up by Micho Gruichich.
Seefeldt finished with two interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a sack, leading a defense that created six Cedarburg turnovers.
"Our kids were resilient throughout the game," Hale coach Sean Hegarty said. "It takes four quarters, and it takes every play. The kids sell out for each other, and it takes all of us to get a win."
More coverage of the game will appear in the Aug. 25 edition of the West Allis NOW.
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