It is here. Time for the game of the year in the Woodland Conference is 7 p.m. The date is Friday, Oct. 10. The matchup is unbeaten Greendale against one-loss New Berlin Eisenhower.
The teams staged a thriller last year, with Greendale winning in triple overtime, 28-27.
“The preliminaries are done,” Greendale coach Rob Stoltz said. “We’ve known about it. Our kids have known about it.”
Stoltz, for the most part, pronounced his team ready after a 37-7 Woodland victory over Cudahy (2-3, 2-4) on Oct. 3.
“We’ve had some attention to detail issues that we still need to shore up,” Stoltz said. “But we have pretty good senior leadership, and I think they’ll come through in a big way this week. They need to. It’s everything they’ve worked for.
“And now we’re talking about their legacy.”
Greendale (5-0, 6-0) will put a 27-game Woodland Conference winning streak on the line. Since a 40-17 victory over New Berlin West on Sept. 5, the Panthers have shut out two opponents and limited two others to a meaningless touchdown each.
Senior wide receiver Ben Ericksen leads the Woodland in scoring with 74 points, followed by four players from Eisenhower (5-0, 5-1): Tyler Faber at 60, Ian McKechnie at 51, Austin Selvick at 50 and Mike Lyles at 48.
Stoltz counted three first quarter drives on which his team stopped itself.
“We were able to move the ball with a lot of success early on,” Stoltz said.
The Panthers just could not get it in the end zone during those first 12 minutes. They fumbled on the Cudahy 5, they had a slip on fourth and 1 that resulted in failing to get the first down inside the 20. They fumbled again on their third possession.
“Cudahy has a young team, and has some talent,” Stoltz said. “But we did everything we could to stop ourselves. We were very successful at stopping ourselves in the first quarter.”
When the Panthers scored, they did so in a hurry. Chris Ridgway scored touchdowns on runs of 2 and 1 yards. Mike Picciolo ran a punt back 54 yards for a touchdown, and Ericksen took one back 51 yards for a score — all during the final five minutes of the fist half. The score was 28-0 at halftime.
This was Ridgway’s first game without at least two TD passes and Ericksen’s first without a receiving touchdown.
Ridgway completed 14 of 23 passes for 148 yards and ran for 67 yards on 14 carries. Ericksen caught five passes for 77 yards. Jordan Biller ran 15 times for 128 yards and a touchdown.
WHO: Greendale (6-0) vs. New Berlin Eisenhower (5-1)
WHAT: Woodland Conference
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10
WHERE: Greendale High School, 6801 Southway
PREVIEW: New Berlin Eisenhower romped to a 61-28 victory at Whitnall on Oct. 4 … The Lions had two punt returns for touchdowns … Eisenhower has scored 20 or more points in a quarter four times.