A colorful fireworks display capped the season finale between Wauwatosa West and Greenfield on Friday night, but it was the explosive play on the field that proved to be the real spectacle.
Running back Greg Lewis’ three-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds left gave the Trojans a thrilling 28-21 Homecoming win and put an exclamation point on the team’s first playoff berth since 2006.
“We were able to find something at the end,” Tosa West head coach Matt Good said. “We were trying to get in for a field goal, but Greg’s a beast and was able to get into the end zone for us.”
While Tosa West (7-1) never trailed in the game, the Trojans had their hands full with an inspired Greenfield team. Despite their 2-6 record, the Hustlin’ Hawks played well on both sides of the ball and nearly came away with an upset.
The Trojans entered the night averaging more than 300 rushing yards per game, but Greenfield held Tosa West to 101 yards on the ground and forced three turnovers.
The biggest of those turnovers came with less than four minutes to play. Greenfield defensive back Jordan Koutnik intercepted his second pass of the night and returned it to the Trojans 3-yard line.
On fourth down, quarterback Alec Piekarski rolled right and hit a sliding Reggie Blakely in the end zone to pull within 21-19. Blakely then converted the two-point attempt to tie the game with 2:10 left.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Greenfield head coach Scott Otto of the comeback. “Tosa West is a great football team and I’m sad for our kids, but also proud of them and we made it exciting.”
That excitement slowly built during the first three quarters, as neither team could establish an offensive rhythm. After Greenfield fumbled the ball away on the third offensive play of the game, Tosa West took advantage. A 15-yard touchdown run by Lewis put the Trojans up 7-0, but Greenfield answered with a 13-play drive capped by a 29-yard touchdown run by Piekarski.
Tosa West reclaimed the lead on the ensuing possession when Demaris Purifoy scored on a 26-yard touchdown run.
The score remained 14-7 until the fourth quarter when Koutnik’s first interception set Greenfield up at the Trojans 33-yard line. Six plays later, running back Xavier Copeland scored on a 10-yard option play.
A missed extra point left the score 14-13, but the Trojans cushioned their lead moments later.
Develyn Ferguson returned the Greenfield kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and a 21-13 lead.
Then with Greenfield driving on their next possession, Ferguson made a leaping interception in the end zone on fourth down with six minutes to play.
“He’s a heck of a football player,” Good said of Ferguson. “I’m glad he’s on our team.”
The junior had one more big play left that set up the Trojans’ game-winning score. After Greenfield tied the game, Ferguson returned the kickoff 56 yards to the Hustlin’ Hawks 24 yard line.
“I needed to make the play for my team and that’s what I tried to do,” Ferguson said. “I cramped up at the end of the run and I’m kind of disappointed I couldn’t finish it.”
Now that Tosa West has finished a dominant regular season in the Woodland West, Good is hoping his team can keep it going in the playoffs.
“We’ve been on a one-game playoff run the last eight weeks,” he said. “Our kids have battled and I’m proud of them and we’ve shown a lot of resilience all season.”
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Whitnall girls basketball team rolls past Milwaukee Hamilton in opener
- Greenfield boys team needs to overcome lack of experience, height
- Whitnall boys basketball team will rely heavily on younger players
- Greenfield's Kevin Meyers claims second national tandem bicycle title
- Whitnall underclassmen shine at WIAA Division 2 state swimming, diving meet
- Whitnall girls basketball team gears for transition season in 2014-15
- Greenfield swimmers see season end in WIAA Division 1 sectional meet
- Divers lead the way for Whitnall in WIAA Division 2 sectional meet
- Whitnall girls swimming, diving team grabs seconds at Woodland
- Greenfield girls volleyball team's season ended by nemesis Greendale