Hawks battle Trojans all the way in conference finale
Greenfield defense holds down Tosa West
Greenfield - A colorful fireworks display capped the Woodland Conference football 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' 3-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds left gave the Trojans a thrilling 28-21 homecoming victory 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."
Hawks fight tooth and nail
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."
Lack of rhythm early
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 when Develyn Ferguson returned the Greenfield kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and a 21-13 lead.
Late turnover stops drive
With Greenfield driving on its 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. After Greenfield tied the game, Ferguson returned the kickoff 56 yards to the Hustlin' Hawks' 24-yard line to set up the game-winning score.
West heads to the WIAA playoffs to host Greendale (5-3), while Greenfield plays a special ninth game at home at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 against West Allis Central (1-7).
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