Coming off four consecutive wins to begin the season, the Waukesha North football team (4-1, 2-1) rode a wave of momentum heading into Friday night’s crosstown showdown with Waukesha West (3-2, 2-1). But the Wolverines, who were blanked 24-0 by Arrowhead last week, were hungry for a win themselves and used great offensive line play to pound out 388 yards on the ground, which led to a decisive 49-17 win at Northstar Stadium.
West senior running back Peter MacCudden finished the night with 210 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.
“We knew we could get at them by running the ball because they hadn’t been tested that well on the ground,” MacCudden said. “The line and the fullbacks couldn’t have put us in a better position. When we got into the second level, we knew it was going to be a good game.”
On the other side of the ball, the Wolverines managed to keep the Northstars to 320 yards of total offense on the night – a season-low for North. West coach Steve Rux was proud of his defense’s effort, noting that it’s always difficult to scheme against a spread team like North.
“I thought our defense played exceptionally well, knowing we needed to bounce back this week,” he said.
The Wolverines scored first on a methodical 12-play, 72-yard drive that ended on a MacCudden 3-yard touchdown run at the 2:11 mark in the first quarter. North would knock on the door the following drive, making it as far as the 6-yard line before settling for a field goal.
The two teams traded explosive plays in the second quarter, as MacCudden tacked on six with a 10-yard scamper at the 4:26 mark which was followed by a 64-yard touchdown pass from Northstars quarterback Brennan Demark to wide receiver Kendall Gould to pull North to a 14-10 deficit. But MacCudden would answer immediately on West’s next play from scrimmage on a 64-yard highlight-laden run of his own, pushing it to 21-10.
North would trail 28-10 going into the locker rooms at halftime. The Wolverines picked up where they left off in the third quarter, squashing any hopes of a comeback by the Northstars, They capitalized on good field position first on North’s 40, then on North’s 39, to score two more touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter, firmly putting the game away.
Northstars head coach Matt Harris said that his team’s first loss of the season will not change their outlook moving forward.
“The outlook is to stay the same,” Harris said. “We’re taking it one game at a time because despite records — and despite who’s beat who — every game is going to be a battle in the Classic Eight.”
Rux echoed Harris’ sentiments, saying every team in the conference has its challenges to prepare for.
“It’s such a crazy conference right now,” he said. “You take it one week at a time and hope you can end with four wins so you can extend your season.”