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Whitnall Triumphant in First-Ever Football Game at Falcon Field

The Falcons received big plays from seniors Sam Mentkowski and Zach Sutton en route to a 19-6 win over winless Greenfield.

Updated 11:15 p.m.

There were fireworks. There was a video message from former Wisconsin Badgers coach Barry Alvarez. Heck, there was even a rainbow.

But what made an evening when the Whitnall School District celebrated the grand opening of its $6.5 million, state of the art football stadium perfect was that the Falcons walked off the field with a win.

Whitnall (2-1) christened its new athletic facility with a 19-6 victory over crosstown rival Greenfield (0-3) Friday night, rebounding from a lopsided loss to Wauwatosa West one week earlier and accentuating the debut of Falcon Field in style.

"It was a tremendous amount of pressure this week. It’s a monkey off our back," first-year Whitnall coach Jeff Wallack said. "It’s one of the greatest facilities in southeastern Wisconsin. The kids worked so (darn) hard, especially after being demoralized against Wauwatosa West. … This is a special, special night."

Senior quarterback Zach Sutton scored the first-ever touchdown on the new synthetic turf when he sneaked in from 1-yard out with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in the first quarter.

He made history again when he threw the first-ever touchdown pass at Falcon Field, a 14-yard strike to fellow senior Sam Mentkowski with 6:09 left in the second quarter. The extra-point gave the hosts a 13-0 lead.

Mentkowski eventually put the finishing touches on the opening night victory when he intercepted junior quarterback Joey Hannah’s pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown with just 2:47 remaining.

"Sam is one of the top athletes in the conference," Wallack said. "We platoon, but Sam’s the one kid we have a hard time getting off the field. He’s full of heart. He’s a great, great kid. I’m proud to be with him."

Greenfield, which hasn’t scored a touchdown this season, managed only a pair of field goals by Hannah.

Both teams relied on their defense from the start as the offenses struggled, combining for the same amount of punt attempts as first downs (13 each).

Whitnall managed just 154 offensive yards, including only 52 in the second half. Sutton finished 12-for-23 for 135 yards and two interceptions. The Falcons called only about a dozen run plays all night.

"We go five-wide because we’re senior dominated at (wide receiver) and that’s something they know very well," Wallack said. "We’re trying to slowly change it to a more run-oriented team, but at the same time, I know what butters the bread.  These kids are comfortable with it."

Greenfield, which basically runs all the time, tallied only 135 yards, 20 of which came on a completed pass that was tipped and could have been intercepted. Eight different ball carriers handled the ball, including three different quarterbacks, who combined to complete just the tipped pass in 11 passing attempts (with two interceptions).

“You can’t (play three quarterbacks) at the varsity level,” Greenfield coach Scott Otto said. “I have to find one, I have to go with one and we have to ride him. That was the difference in the game tonight.

“I’ll take the blame. I need to make sure we get our quarterback situation remedied, and I think we’ll be just fine. It’s pretty apparent. I don’t think I’m throwing anyone under the bus. As the head coach, I need to do something to kind of jump-start that position.”

Otto said sophomore Jeremy Swider, who played the final series Friday, would be under center when the Hustlin' Hawks host Cudahy at 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Whitnall will try to make it two wins in a row and three of four this season when it hosts St. Francis at 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Mac September 09, 2012 at 11:59 AM
To everyone on here, im sorry for everything i said that was taken disrespectfully. I meant nothing like that. Whitnall played a very good, hard hitting game on a awesome field. They won simply put. Its over. Now me fighting with everyone about is stupid. I never meant to start beef, but just looking to express my opinion. To the players and fans of whitnall, sorry and good game. To my ghs fans, i am sorry to embarrass the hustlin hawk name. It was the furthest from my intentions.Both Coach Ottos are like fathers to me and though i may not always agree with the plays, what player does? Both Chris and Scott are the most caring guys in the world and are like fathers to me. The games over, Whitnall should be worrying about their next team they play and so is Greenfield. I am sorry for all stupid things said. Have a nice day everyone. Go GBP
Dick September 09, 2012 at 03:38 PM
To Mac. Thank you for your response. Yes, I agree, lets move on. Both teams fought hard and played a great game. Kudos to you for your post. I am sure that the first response was in the heat of the moment. Perhaps we should all take a lesson from this. Me too. I should not be so picky, when clearly I have made my own mistakes on my posts. Signing off, lets move on. Oh, I will ask the school news editor to put something in the newsletter about submitting some photos from Whitnall games and events to The Patch in the future.
GreenfieldAlum October 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What is more disrespectful than a halftime ritual of being on the field is that at the Greenfield/Whitnall game due to all the "hype" about the new field... (twirls finger in air)... is that I found it very unappealing and appalling that neither team was on the field for the national anthem... Very, Very DISRESPECTFUL!! I was tempted to call the school district the next day and complain. Who cares about your new field.... let's just give that all the attention and not honor our country by having those young boys on the field for the anthem. HORRIBLE!! WHITNALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!
Whitnall Fan November 01, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Hey GreenfieldAlum.. If that happened I am sure it was a mistake. We hold the utmost respect for our country and our military. I will talk to our athletic director and make sure it doesn't happen again. As for our new football field, all I have heard from fans is how nice it is. I think it is awesome myself !!
Kurtis Scardino November 27, 2012 at 05:36 PM
This was my favorite high school game I ever played in. #99

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