Menomonee Falls picked up its fifth win of the season during its visit to West Allis Hale on Friday evening with a 21-7 victory over the Huskies. Falls improved to 5-2 overall, and 5-1 in the Greater Metro Conference, where it still has a chance to share the league crown.
Falls took control of the game early on 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 4th and 2 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,” said Hale head coach Brandon Ehret. “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,” said Ehret. “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 4th and 9 situation on their hands. They opted to go for it, but DeShawn Pullen sacked Sotiros for an 8-yard loss and yet another turnover on downs.
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 just over 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,” said Vechart. “We’re playing for a conference championship next week, and that’s what we’ve always wanted.”
Menomonee Falls will host Brookfield Central next Friday, and a win would ensure at least a share in the conference title.
“West Allis Hale played a great game," coach John Baker said. "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.”
If Falls can knock off Brookfield Central next week, the Indians would finish no worse than second place in the Greater Metro. Should Sussex Hamilton knock off Brookfield East, the three teams would share the league crown.
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