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Whitnall's Falcons remain perfect with another blowout

Football team has best start in nine years

Sept. 15, 2009

Greenfield — Whitnall football coach Rob Leboeuf does not find it prudent to look too far into the future. Nor does he find it all that useful to look to the past.

But just three weeks into the 2009 season, he addressed both.

With a convincing 48-13 win over the visiting St. Francis Mariners on Friday, the Falcons improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2000, when Whitnall won its first six games of the season.

"It feels pretty good but we really don't talk about that ever," Leboeuf said. "We put our sights on (the upcoming) week and we're pretty focused on the task at hand. We look at the present, and the present is (Wauwatosa) West.

"We talk about not trying to hit the target but becoming the bull. We're not worried about winning the game, winning the conference or winning a state title. We're worried about becoming the bull. We're trying to become the instrument of excellence."

The Falcons will try to make it 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Woodland Conference when they play against the host Wauwatosa West Trojans at 7 p.m. Friday. The Trojans snapped 12-game league losing streak with a 40-32 win over Cudahy on Friday. The Falcons and Trojans have split the last six meetings, including Whitnall's 35-7 win over Tosa West in 2007. The teams did not play in 2008.

Looking further down the road, the Falcons play at Greenfield on Sept. 25. The Hustlin' Hawks (0-3) have struggled so far and have not beaten the Falcons since 2006. That means the Falcons could be riding the momentum wave of a 5-0 start before taking on conference heavyweights New Berlin Eisenhower (Oct. 2), Greendale (Oct. 9) and Pewaukee (Oct. 21) in the second half of the season.

"When you have a couple of wins under your belt, the kids become confident in their abilities," Leboeuf said. "It's something we talk about every game, having confidence and having trust in their teammates. It gives you a purpose for the difficulties of practice. They're getting a reward for that. In other years, we'd get better in practice but still lost.

"(Winning) is not the motivator. Motivation comes from preparation. If we feel we're prepared, we're going to play fast and play well. But there is that gratification when you win the game, and we use that gratification for motivation for the next week."

In the win over St. Francis, the Falcons relied on a balanced offense once again in compiling nearly 500 yards of total offense. Running back Sean Graham rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries and Joel Stave completed nine of 13 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Bobby Grim, one of which was an 82-yard strike to start the second quarter.

"They were concerned about the running game," Leboeuf said. "Our offensive line played as well as it could have played and the play-action passing game - the long pass to Grimm - was working and that's only set up because our guys are doing the right things in the run game."

- David Cotey

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