By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

On its face, it would appear the Westosha Central football team’s 2013 opener Friday night was a tough one.

The final score, a 38-0 non-conference loss to Big Foot, would seem to indicate that.

But there were some positives moving forward that first-year head coach Tyson Mengel hopes to build from.

“The best thing that came out of this game was seeing the guys not quit,” he said. “They fought every play. Seeing them compete and leaving it on the field, I thought that was the biggest positive.”

Big Foot, last year’s state runner-up in Division 4 and a perennial powerhouse, put up 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back.

But unlike recent years, it wasn’t always on the ground where the Chiefs made hay – but instead threw the air on the strength of junior quarterback Brett Morris, who threw for 242 yards and one touchdown.

“I thought our defense played the run really well,” Mengel said. “They struggled running the ball in between the tackles, which is kind of what they’re known for.

“We put them in second and long and third and long (situations). They pretty much ran the same route every time. We just had a hard time using our technique to stop that.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the Falcons struggled to get much of anything going all night. Central finished with just 124 total yards, 77 in the air and 47 on the ground.

While a much smaller school in terms of enrollment, it was the Chiefs’ physical size up front that gave Central plenty of trouble, Mengel said.

“Their front seven was very good,” he said. “They gave us a lot of pressure. They brought linebackers quite often. Our guys are still learning the system and that confused them.

“We had guys open. Our receivers were running good routes. We just had a hard time communicating and picking up the blitz. … (But) I think the guys learned a lot and are starting to buy into what we’re trying to do.”

Mengel used the game to show his new team what it takes to get to the next level –which is where Big Foot has consistently been under head coach Rodney Wedig.

The Chiefs have competed in the state finals three times in Wedig’s tenure, including a state title in 2009.

“Here’s a team that’s been running the same system for years,” Mengel said. “They are committed to excellence, whether it’s on the field, in the classroom or in the weight room.

“They’re just a team that knows how to work. In order to get there, we have to have that same commitment.”

 

Road contest up next

Central returns to action Friday night, when it travels to South Milwaukee for a 7 p.m. non-conference contest. The Rockets won their opener last week with a 28-7 decision over Shorewood-Messmer.

“They’re very fundamentally sound,” Mengel said. “They get off the ball well offensively and defensively. It seems like they’re well coached and well disciplined.

“I think we matchup with them pretty well. I think it’s going to be a good high school football game.”

 

 

 
 

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