By Dan Truttschel~Sports Correspondent

The end to the 2012 season seemed to be a fitting one Friday night for the Westosha Central football squad.

Once again, the Falcons competed at times – but it wasn’t enough to come out on top.

Central led host Elkhorn 21-14 at halftime, but the Elks rallied with 35 second-half points in a 49-35 Southern Lakes Conference win. The Falcons closed out the season at 2-5 in the SLC and 2-6 overall.

Coach Scott Mirkes said his team needs to take the next step if it hopes for future success.

And that begins with expecting excellence – and not mediocrity.

“The idea of competing and being great at everything you do is something that we need to improve upon,” he said. “In our school environment right now, it’s an uphill battle for our kids.

“It’s easier and more acceptable to be mediocre and not strive for competitive greatness. There were definite strides made by this team, and hopefully, the returning kids will strive for Coach (John) Wooden’s definition of the phrase.”

The game was a back-and-forth affair early, as both teams scored twice in the first two quarters. Central took a 21-14 lead at halftime on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Stoxen to Luke Millhouse.

Elkhorn erased that deficit in the third quarter, however, on a pair of rushing touchdowns to take a 28-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Elks extended that lead to 14 points early in the fourth quarter before Central responded. Stoxen and Millhouse again combined, this time on a 51-yard scoring strike, to cut the deficit to just seven points.

But that was as close as Central would get, as Elkhorn quarterback Arik Anderson scored on touchdown runs of 22 and 25 yards.

“(Elkhorn) did a nice job of getting conversions on third down and controlling the ball,” Mirkes said. “They had the ball for something like 14 minutes in the second half, their defense brought pressure and got stops when they had to.”

Central junior running back Austin Feeney, who had 192 yards on 27 carries, put the Falcons in front with a 30-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Feeney is set up for a big senior year, Mirkes said.

“He’s a really special back and a special kid with a great work ethic,” he said. “He really strives for competitive greatness, something that’s really lacking in our school culture as a whole.”

Elkhorn answered with a 2-yard run by Kyle Mountford, but Central came right back with a 1-yard touchdown run by Stoxen.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage and time of possession battle on offense (in the first half),” Mirkes said. “We got a couple of stops on defense to really cap a solid half of football.”

Mountford tied the game with his second touchdown, this time a 13-yard run in the second quarter.

For the game, Stoxen completed eight of 21 passing attempts for 169 yards. Millhouse led the receiving corps with six catches for 147 yards.

The loss ended the Central playing careers of several seniors, including two of the Falcons’ main offensive weapons in Stoxen and Millhouse.

Both brought plenty to the table, both on and off the football field, Mirkes said.

“And that’s really what football and extracurriculars in high school are supposed to be about, teaching kids about striving for competitive greatness,” he said.

“(Also), about finding joy in the hard work that it takes to be successful, about understanding that hard work doesn’t always give instant gratification or success, about working together and about sacrificing what’s good for the individual for the good of the team.”

Results of All-SLC voting and a statistical wrap up from the season will run in a future edition.

 
 

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