For those Panther fans that made the trip to New Berlin to watch the football game, the one conclusion that you probably made is that you won't win a game when you can't block, tackle, pass, catch, cover, hold onto the ball, snap, and have 100-yards worth of penalties. That in a nut shell is what happened to the heavily favored Panthers Friday night as those mistakes would cost them as they fell to the New Berlin West Vikings 24-10. This by far was the poorest performance that the Panthers have made and it could cost them in the playoff picture. To guarantee a playoff spot, Greendale will now need to win one of the last two games, which won't be all that easy especially if they continue to play the way they have been. The good thing is that those games will be at home and the problems that they are dealing with can all be corrected. Needless to say, this loss left a very sour taste in everyone's mouth because at this point in the season, teams need to be peeking not regressing.
The game would begin with Greendale kicking first. The specialty teams who have been somewhat shaky as of late had another close call as the Viking return man almost got loose for a return up the right sideline. He was eventually tackled near midfield. Seven plays later, Viking running back Travis McKeon would take a handoff and sprinted up field untouched from 23-yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick would be blocked-making the score 6-0 with 8:39 left in the opening quarter of play.
Now it was time for Greendale's high powered offense to take the field. They would begin from their 26 following the kick. They ended up having to punt going 3 and out as they failed to get a yard on the drive.
After a nice punt and roll by Peter Pekar, West would begin from their 21. They put 6-plays together before being forced to punt from their 40.
After a poor kick, Greendale would take over on their 46. They ran 6-plays taking the ball to the Viking 20 before the first set of wheels fell off. On the 7th play of the drive, the ball would be snapped to high over the quarterback's head, which forced him to track it down but lost 10-yards in the process. Then Greendale got hit with a holding penalty that pushed them back to New Berlin's 37. Then the Panthers got hit with a false start, which pushed them back to the 42. Another flag would fly on the next play as they were hit again with a false start and just like that, Greendale was at West's 47 looking at a 2nd and 40. On the next play, quarterback Josh Ringelberg had Mitchell Brees wide open down the right side line, but he would over throw him making it 3rd and 40. The Panthers would run one more play before having to punt back to the Vikings.
After a great kick, New Berlin would have to start from their 5. This time the defense forced West to punt from their 20.
On the kick, Greendale would get a piece of the ball and ended up taking over on the Viking's 32. It took just 2-plays for Greendale to get to the 10 on a nice pass and catch by Brees. Two plays later, the flags flew again on a block in the back penalty pushing the Panthers back 10-yards from the spot of the foul. That was followed by a sack and another incomplete pass and Greendale would now have to settle for a field goal attempt. Kicker Frankie Rutkowski took to the field and was looking at a 34-yard try. He would have plenty of leg as he split the uprights putting the first points on the board for Greendale. The score would now be New Berlin West 9 - Greendale 3 with 6:25 left in the first half.
After the ensuing kick, New Berlin would start from their 34. The Panther defense would stumble a bit as they let McKeon get away for a 50-yard run before being brought down at Greendale's 20. The defense then stiffened up and forced the Vikings to turn the ball over on downs at the Panther 25.
Greendale now had a little something going on the ground. On the 4th play, Ringelberg would throw a pass to Cody Kmetz who made a nice catch, but he was called on for a very suspect offense interference call so the ball would be coming back minus 10-yards and a loss of down. Ringelberg would get off one more play before the punting unit would be needed once again. With the ball on West's 35, Greendale would fake the punt, but Pekar's pass would be to long for a wide open Nate Miller. New Berlin now had the ball back looking at a short field with 2:02 left in the half.
Six plays later, the Vikings were looking at a 4th down with only a few seconds left on the clock. They would call time out and bring their field goal unit out. After a perfect snap and hold, Viking kicker Nathan Henrichs would make the 34-yard kick as the clock would expire. New Berlin would head into the locker room with the lead as the scoreboard read 9-3.
Greendale would get the ball first to start the 2nd half. They would begin on their 30. They failed to move the sticks and were forced to punt going 3 and out.
After a huge kick and roll, the Vikings would be starting from their 19. They ripped off 6-plays before being forced to punt from their 31.
On the punt play, Brees would get the ball and managed a nice return all the way to the Viking's 30, but of course there had to be a penalty so the ball would come back to their 45 instead. This time the Panthers put a drive together and scored as running back Jake Zywicki took it in from 8-yards out-capping off a 9-play 55-yard drive. Rutkowski made his kick and Greendale now found themselves leading for the first time in the game by a score of 10-9 with 4:08 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Cat's defense seemed inspired as they forced the Vikings to punt going 3 and out.
After the kick Greendale would be starting from West's 43. They ran one play before another flag flew on a suspect call as apparently someone was blocking a tad too long. This would back the Panthers up 15-yards and now the offense was looking at 2nd and 24. On the very next play, Ringelberg would be intercepted by the Vikings on the 19-yard line.
With 2:00 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, New Berlin would take possession. They ran 5-plays taking the game into the 4th quarter before Panther cornerback David Michaels came up with the ball on an amazing effort for an interception.
Greendale now had the ball on West's 27. Two plays later, Ringelberg would run a play up the middle and fumbled of which the Vikings would recover on Greendale's 40.
After the Cats were penalized for jumping off-sides, West would throw a pass over the middle of which Brees looked to have timed his hit perfectly to break up the catch, but the back judge saw it differently and threw a flag for pass interference. Five plays later, the Vikings crossed the goal line as Bryan Watson took it in from 2-yards out. West would go for 2 and make it as quarterback James Fortier stretched the ball over the goal line for the score. The Vikings were now back on top by a score of 17-10 with 9:06 left in the game.
After the ensuing kick, Greendale would begin on their 27. On the very first play, Ringelberg dropped back and threw a perfect pass to Gaelan Seibold down the right side line, but he would drop it resulting in another incomplete pass. That drive would still continue with the help of a pass interference penalty by West. The Panthers would eventually get all the way to New Berlin's 15. It was here that the new set of wheels fell off as they were flagged for a block in the back that backed them up the other way. Then two plays later, another snap would sail over the head of Ringelberg and when he tried to run it down, he would be hit and fumbled of which New Berlin would recover on their 34.
Six plays later, Watson would take a handoff and bounced off two would-be tacklers before crossing the goal line completing a 24-yard touchdown run. Henrichs' kick was true giving New Berlin West a little cushion by a score of 24-10 with 2:58 left in the game.
Greendale who was now in trouble would begin from their 36. They ran 7-plays before Ringelberg was intercepted again.
West would return that all the way to the Panther's 28. They ran 4 vanilla plays taking the clock down before they would have to punt from the Cat's 33.
With just :24 seconds left, Greendale would make one last ditch effort-starting from their 17. They ran 4-plays before being intercepted once again. West just took a knee to end the game.
The New Berlin West Vikings have finally beat the Panthers after 8 years by a score of 24-10. This game was not the prettiest one to watch-especially if you were a Greendale fan. They finished the game with 5 turnovers, 100-yards in penalties, passed 9 for 32 and only managed 248-yards of total offense, which is half of what they have been averaging for the year.
New Berlin on the other hand under a relatively new coaching regime and a new offense looked good as they avoided costly mistakes to win the game. Their record will now go to 3-3 while Greendale drops to 4-2.
Greendale will head home next week to take on the Wauwatosa West Trojans. The Trojans (5-1) seem to have something going this year as they will be coming in after a huge win over New Berlin Eisenhower 42-0. That game is scheduled to start at 7:00pm.