Wilmot senior Robert Brent (13), shown here against Burlington, rushed for more than 200 yards in Friday’s win against Westosha Central. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

Panthers’ Brent amasses 379 all-purpose yards

By Jason Arndt
Editor

With postseason ramifications on the line, the Kenosha County clash between Wilmot Union and Westosha Central brought in an amped up crowd from both sides Friday at Wilmot’s Frank Bucci Field, but Panthers’ running back Robert Brent quickly silenced the Westosha Central section.

Brent, who amassed 379 all-purpose yards and had five touchdowns, scored the Panthers first two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the contest to help Wilmot come away with a 47-13 Southern Lakes Conference victory.

Although Falcons’ coach Tyson Mengel acknowledged the Wilmot running back had a stellar game, he is relieved Westosha Central does not have to deal with the departing senior next year.

“Brent had a great game, you got to hand it to him, he is a heck of a running back,” said Mengel, whose team finished its season 5-4 (3-4 SLC). “I am glad he is healthy for them…but I am glad he is leaving too. It would be nice not to have to deal with him anymore.”

Brent, who missed several games due to injury, had 12 carries for 203 yards.

Additionally, Brent accumulated 127 yards on three punt returns, which is what the Panthers needed Friday, according to Wilmot coach Keiya Square.

“He is back to where he was before, he had really good balance, he wasn’t going down on the first hit,” Square said. “He was just making plays all over the field and that is something we needed out of our senior leader today.”

Brent admits he entered Friday’s contest with a mission to make an immediate statement.

“I was very determined, I knew going in, it was a game we needed to win,” he said. “We just wanted to keep pushing on them, and they just wouldn’t bounce back.”

Brent, Jesse spark first quarter
After the Panthers forced Westosha Central to punt in its opening possession, Wilmot responded immediately, courtesy of a Brent 85-yard touchdown run with 8:20 in the first quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Wilmot’s quick defense pushed the Falcons to their own 7-yard line, where Westosha Central punted.

Then, Brent returned the punt 42 yards to the Westosha Central 4-yard line, and eventually scored on a 1-yard push to put the Falcons in a 14-0 deficit with 5:18 left in the opening quarter.

About a minute later, for the third time, Westosha Central punted, but was blocked by Jordan Jesse, who returned it for a 7-yard score.

“They had a gap wide open, so I just decided to take it,” Jesse said.

“We have up 14 points on special teams, a punt, a punt return,” Mengel said. “You are not going to be able to do much with that.”

Falcons trim deficit
Led by quarterback Jaden Jackson, who completed 21 of 35 passes for 242 yards, Westosha Central manufactured a 99-yard scoring drive in the second quarter.

Nic Frederick, the Falcons’ leading receiver with 10 catches for 103 yards, amassed 66 of the Falcons 99 yards.

Jackson capped off the scoring drive with a 15-yard strike to Cam Kreuger with 8:37 left in the first half.

To Jackson’s credit, the quarterback maintained composure, despite enduring a heavy Panthers pass rush.

“Their quarterback is fantastic, he made every throw, he stood in the pocket, even though we had pressure coming,” Square said. “There was a 3rd and 17 and he just stood in the pocket and took a huge hit from Gunnar Peterson, but he stood in their and delivered his shot.”

Wilmot wears Falcons down
In the third quarter, the Falcons trimmed the Wilmot lead to 21-13, courtesy of an Adam Simmons’ 4-yard run at 6:56.

Wilmot, however, answered 36 seconds later, when Panthers quarterback Zach Lamberson pitched the football to Brent, who rolled to his right and aired it to Kade Carlson for a 49-yard touchdown.

“In the third quarter, we came out and did alright, then their pitch pass got us,” Mengel said.

Brent then added a 30-yard touchdown with 2:23 left in the third quarter to extend the Panthers’ lead to 34-13.

In the fourth quarter, Wilmot scored on a Brent 33-yard run followed by a 2-yard run by Tanner Peterson.

With the contest out of reach, Panthers’ injured quarterback A.J. Frisby put on the shoulder pads to take one last kneel as a senior.

“It was planned, we were just trying to get the lead, and get the ball back to get him in,” Brent said.

Frisby, who injured his ACL against Lake Geneva Badger two weeks earlier, stood on the sidelines in plainclothes the last two games.

One season continues, another ends
Entering Friday’s contest, Square was not fazed by playoff ramifications, noting his previous experience as the Wilmot head girls basketball coach.

“It is one of those things, it is my first one in football, but I have been in these games in basketball, sectional finals, all of those type of games,” he said. “We just had to get the job done, I thought our game was solid on both sides of the ball.”

Meanwhile, as the Panthers improved to 4-3 in the SLC (4-5 overall) to qualify for the playoffs, the Falcons are left to reflect on their best season since 2010.

“As for what this season means, it is unbelievable, we were not expected to do anything,” Mengel said.

“We paved the last year, we were competitive, and this year, we are starting to win games we should be winning,” Mengel said. “Next year it is taking that next step.”

 
 

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