Bulldogs notch first victory on late TD over Marquette
Konecny hits Walker with big scoring pass
West Allis - The relief in the voice of West Allis Central head football coach Dax Rodriguez was evident.
"This was a long time coming," Rodriguez said after his Bulldogs tipped Marquette, 24-22, on Friday night to notch their first victory of the 2012 season.
Central had to overcome some early miscues but hung tough and won the game on a 52-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Will Konecny to Darren Walker with just 18 seconds remaining.
"It was about a 12-yard in route, and Walker made the catch, then made some guys miss," Rodriguez said.
The victory brought the Bulldogs to 1-6 in the Greater Metro Conference and 1-7 overall. They are not quite done, though, as they opted to play a special ninth game at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at Greenfield (2-6).
"It was important for our seniors to get a win," the coach said. "It will help the younger kids as well. This is only the second time in our history that we have beaten Marquette."
The Bulldogs scored first on a 1-yard run by Waige Fischer in the first quarter, but then lost some other golden opportunities when they fumbled on the Hilltoppers' 1-yard line and threw an interception on the Marquette 3.
They also had a 1-yard punt that helped set up a Marquette scoring drive.
As a result of those miscues, Marquette enjoyed the lead at halftime, 16-6.
The Bulldogs had seen some other games slip away from them this season, but Rodriguez said at halftime, no one in the lockerroom had the feeling of "here we go again."
"No one was dejected," he said. "Everyone stayed positive."
After a scoreless third quarter, Fischer caught a 17-yard pass from Konecny to cut the deficit to 16-12.
Walker later hauled in another scoring pass from 25 yards on a fourth-and-15 play as the Bulldogs regained the lead at 18-16 with about 4 minutes, 30 seconds left.
Marquette started its next drive at midfield after a good kickoff return and tallied with 1:55 remaining for a 22-18 advantage, forcing the Bulldogs to play catchup one more time.
They responded with Konecny's 52-yard pass to Walker in the final seconds to win.
Konecny finished 15 of 24 for 178 yards and the three touchdowns.
"He struggled a bit in the first half," Rodriguez said, "but he made some nice throws in the fourth quarter."
Fischer ran 25 times for 183 yards to lead the Central ground game.
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