Football at the WIAA Level 2 Playoffs
Regional Champions. The University School football team completed the virus-shortened season by defeating Racine Saint Catherine’s in a Level 2 game of the WIAA Division 3 state tournament playoffs on Thursday, November 19th at Westosha Central High School in Salem. The Wildcats won their season’s final game narrowly, 30-28. As a result, they returned to USM with the Regional’s crown.
The game was an upset. The Angels entered the Regional Final as the number 1 seed in the regional; USM entered as the number 2 seed, but the Wildcats left the field with a victory.
USM took an early lead. The Wildcat defense held on the Angels’ first possession. After the St. Catherine’s punt, USM had good field position. Soon, quarterback C.J. Boyd scored a touchdown on a 52-yard run. The point after attempt was no good, but the Wildcats led 6-0 with 9:32 remaining in the first quarter.
The game went into the second quarter with USM still ahead by 6 points. The Angels scored on a 2 yard run by Damarion Cobb on a fourth down play with 9:55 left on the clock. The extra point attempt failed, leaving the teams tied at 6-6.
The Wildcats went back ahead at 6:23. On a quarterback keeper, Boyd ran into the line, then broke to the side and raced off for a 40-yard touchdown run. Vidal Colon added 2 extra points on a run to put USM back ahead at 14-6.
St. Catherine’s tied the score with a 29-yard passing play from Perugini to Davion Thomas-Kumpula for a touchdown with just 25 seconds left in the second quarter. The Angels added a two-point conversion, thereby sending the game into halftime tied at 14-14.
The Wildcats held the Angels scoreless in the third quarter and went further ahead by scoring two touchdowns of their own in the period.
USM received the kickoff to open the half. After advancing on three running plays by Boyd and Colon, the Wildcats finished their scoring drive successfully when Colon dashed down the sidelines for 32 yards to score at 8:55. Colon tossed a pass to Max Simanonok for two extra points to give the Wildcats a 22-14 lead.
The Wildcats increased their lead with 5:43 left in the third quarter when Boyd ran the ball in from 15 yards out. He scored the two points which would prove to be the margin of victory on a successful 2-yard extra point run.
Down 30-14 entering the 4th quarter, the Angels did their best to come from behind. They scored on a short touchdown quarterback-keeper run by Perugini with 8:45 left in the game. Unfortunately for the Angels, they fumbled on a reverse on the two-point conversion and did not add the extra points.
The fatal flaw would cost them dearly. St. Catherine’s drew even closer with another TD just a few minutes later. With the ball on the Wildcats’ 32-yard line, Perugini rolled out and then threw a scoring strike to James Barker at 6:01. This time the Angels successfully added two points on a pass from Perugini to Sam Haeuser, but they still trailed, albeit by just two points, at 30-28.
There was still time left, but not a whole lot. The Wildcats had the ball and used a series of running plays and two passing plays to burn minutes off the clock as well as force the Angels to use all their time-outs.
Eventually, USM relinquished the ball near mid-field with 1:26 left. The Angels were unable to score. The Wildcats were victors and the Regional’s champions.
The Wildcats ended the season at 4-1 and finished at 2-1 in the Metro Classic Conference.