Green Bay Notre Dame put together a bounce-back performance Friday.
The Tritons upended Green Bay Preble 24-10 with a dominating defensive effort in a Fox River Classic Conference game at Gauthier Family Stadium between a pair of playoff-bound teams.
It was the type of outing Notre Dame (6-1) was hoping for after being outscored 21-0 in the second half of a loss to Bay Port last week.
“I think this was good for confidence,” Notre Dame coach Mike Rader said. “Coming off last week’s loss, you try to figure out how are they going to react. I think they stepped up big time.
“I think our defense did phenomenal. I don’t know how many yards they had, but there was nothing big. That’s what we were hoping for. If we could contain them, and bring eight or nine tacklers every time, we have a great chance, and I think we were able to do that.”
The Tritons held Preble (5-2) to a season-low point total by bottling up Henry Geil and limiting the University of Iowa recruit to a season-low 60 yards on 16 carries.
The Hornets, which came into the game averaging 38.8 points per game, had a 266-239 advantage in offensive yards, but three second-half turnovers and being unable to get off a punt early in the third quarter were difficult mistakes to overcome.
“They have a lot of guys with a lot of desire, a lot of quick guys,” Preble coach Tim Larsen said about Notre Dame. “I thought overall our offense was able to move the ball at times. We just had some miscues that resulted in turnovers a few times, but that’s the name of the game. We just got to get better week to week and try to come out and fix those mistakes the best we can.”
The Hornets’ miscue on a punt attempt on their first possession of the second half resulted in a turnover on downs, which gave Notre Dame the football at the Preble 11-yard line.
Four plays later, senior Michael Gregoire recorded his 13th rushing touchdown of the season to extend the Tritons’ lead to 17-7.
Notre Dame junior Josh Cribben forced a fumble that senior Matthew Rader recovered on the first play of the ensuing Hornets’ possession. However, no damage was done on the scoreboard from the turnover since Preble senior Jacob Rodriguez came up with an interception in the end zone off a deflected pass.
Green Bay Notre Dame held Henry Geil to a season-low 60 rushing yards.
The Hornets followed with a long drive but had to settle for a 40-yard field goal by senior Wyatt Stenson 12 seconds into the fourth quarter after a Gavin Buergi 6-yard touchdown run was wiped up due to a holding penalty.
Notre Dame answered with a 70-yard scoring drive, which culminated with junior Wes Glime finding senior Jack Allen for his second touchdown pass of the game.
The Hornets moved deep into Tritons’ territory with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game, but had their comeback hopes end when Gregoire came up with an interception in the end zone. Cribben, who was on the receiving end of Glime’s first TD pass, collected another interception for Notre Dame late to seal the game.
Preble’s defense also had a strong showing, allowing only 72 rushing yards in the contest. The Hornets got sacks from junior Devin Hartjes, senior Nic Dahlke and senior Colin Dougherty, who had a team-high 8.5 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.
“This one certainly stings a little bit,” Larsen said. “We have another great team with Pulaski coming up, so we have to move on in a hurry mentally and just get ready for next week.”
Following their game against Pulaski, the Hornets will close out the season against Bay Port, which took sole possession of the FRCC on Friday with a 21-14 victory over Green Bay Southwest.
Notre Dame closes out the regular season with Southwest and De Pere. It can still secure a share of the FRCC title by winning those games and if Bay Port loses.
The Tritons’ defensive performance against Geil and Preble’s big offensive line should give them plenty of confidence for the WIAA playoffs as they attempt to make a run at state for a third straight year in Division 3.
“I have nothing but respect for Preble,” Notre Dame senior Max Pallini said. “They are a heck of a program. Their offensive linemen work their butts off. Geil is definitely a DI running back, a phenomenal player. All their guys worked really hard, but at the end of the day it really does come down to chemistry and desire. Our team wanted it so bad.”
G.B. Notre Dame 3 7 7 7 – 24
G.B. Preble 0 7 0 3 – 10
ND – Andrew Gruesen 35 field goal
ND – Josh Cribben 15 pass from Wes Glime (Gruesen kick)
GBP – Gavin Buergi 11 run (Wyatt Stenson kick)
ND – Michael Gregoire 1 run (Gruesen kick)
GBP – Stenson 40 field goal
ND – Jack Allen 20 pass from Glime
Rushing – ND: Michael Gregoire 16-68, Brandon Limoni 11-17, Max Pallini 1-5, Wes Glime 6- 18; GBP: Gavin Buergi 11-101, Henry Geil 16-60, Nic Dahlke 2-6, Matt Carwardine 1- -9, Casey Roeser 4- -15, Wyatt Stenson 1- -17.
Passing – ND: Wes Glime 11-16-1-167; GBP: Casey Roeser 11-21-2-147.
Receiving – ND: Michael Gregoire 1-46, Avery Lyons 2-32, Connor Bell 3-29, Jack Allen 2-28, Josh Cribben 1-15, Matt Rader 1-11, Brandon Limoni 1-6; GBP: Anthony Veriha 5-87, Gavin Buergi 3-37, David Perret 2-21, Dalton Lardinois 1-2.
This article originally appeared on Prepsagenda.com