Whitefish Bay football team earns share of NSC title with Grafton win

Will host playoff game Friday

Whitefish Bay’s Bailey Wieland outruns a pair of Homestead defenders on a 58-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the host Blue Dukes’ 35-13 loss Friday, October 9, 2015. Bay recently beat Grafton to secure a share of the North Shore Conference title.

Whitefish Bay’s Bailey Wieland outruns a pair of Homestead defenders on a 58-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the host Blue Dukes’ 35-13 loss Friday, October 9, 2015. Bay recently beat Grafton to secure a share of the North Shore Conference title. Photo By Dave Haberkorn

Oct. 21, 2015

There was going to be no letdown, because sharing a conference title was infinitely preferable for the Whitefish Bay football team than none at all.

The Blue Dukes bounced back from their disappointing defeat at the hands of Homestead on Oct. 9 and routed Grafton, 42-21, in their regular season closer to clinch a share of the North Shore crown with Homestead.

It represents the second league title in four years for Bay, the other being won in 2012.

Interim coach Jake Wolter was pleased with the character and heart his team displayed.

"They really wanted this," he said. "It was all they talked about. 'Win the game, win a conference title.' And they got it done."

The Blue Dukes finished at 6-1 in North Shore play and 7-2 overall as Homestead finished with the same mark.

The two are in the WIAA D2 playoffs "Bracket from Heck" as the four North Shore Conference powers (including Homestead, Cedarburg and Germantown) will take on the best of the Greater Metro (Brookfield Central and East) and an excellent Slinger team, which beat Bay in the second week of the season.

Bay earned the fourth seed and will host 8-1 Brookfield East in a 7 p.m. WIAA level I playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. The winner of that game will take on the winner of top-seeded Brookfield Central and Oshkosh North in a Level 2 game on Oct. 30.

The Blue Duke defense will be sternly challenged by Spartan running back Sam Santiago-Lloyd (1,520 yards and 22 TDs). He is both strong and quick.

"He's a beast," said Wolter.

But so is the Bay offense right now. It gained a total of 448 total yards against Grafton as quarterback Jake Fisher continues to improve at an exponential rate. He completed 16-of-21 passes for 279 yards and three TDs against Grafton including an amazing 12-of-15 for 210 yards at the half. He also rushed for a score, too.

At the half, the Blue Dukes had a 28-6 lead.

"Jake is in complete control," said Wolter. "We're averaging over 200 yards (a game) through the air about 180 on the ground. We're just very balanced at this point. We're really keeping people off-balance with the way the offense is clicking."

The Blue Dukes were so efficient that they used almost the entirety of the clock at the end of the first half, scoring their last TD of the session with only 10 seconds left on the clock.

Zach Casey caught six of Fisher's passes for 125 yards while Michael Kirkendoll snagged five for 115. Kirkendoll had two scores and Casey one. Macklin Kortebein carried the ball only five times but he rushed for 75 yards while Van Bassindale had 64 yards on 17 carries. Each scored a TD.

The defense did its job, too, as the Black Hawks' final score came with only seconds to go against the Bay reserves. Despite an injured wrist and a heavy brace, returning Now All-Suburban safety Matt Bernstein still managed to grab an interception.

Wolter was very happy with the leadership-heavy senior class, including co-captains Fisher, Bassindale, Bernstein, Teddy Weber and Kortebein.

"This speaks volumes of their character and heart," said Wolter. "I met with with the group on the Sunday before practice (after the loss to Homestead). The first thing I told them was that we could still win conference. Win this game and win conference. They knew what they had to do.

"They've been just unbelievable. They know what they want."

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