Germantown - Germantown football coach Jake Davis is a prideful man.
After all, he won a WIAA state title as a hard-nosed center for the Homestead football team, and in college was there when UW-Whitewater was beginning its rise to the top of the NCAA Division III grid ziggeraut.
So it took a lot for him to say: "They were just at another level" after the Warhawks' 47-7 season-ending beat down suffered at the hands of top-ranked and unbeaten Arrowhead on Friday, in a WIAA Division 1, Level 2 state playoff game.
"And I don't say that easily," he added. "It was as very tough one. That speed they have. It's a different kind of speed and with their intensity, I'd like to see the team that can beat them."
With the loss, the Warhawks ended their season at 7-3, while Arrowhead will face a major challenge when it hosts Kimberly (9-1) this weekend in a Level 3 game. The game between the two former Scenic Moraine Conference rivals was the first since 1984, when Germantown won that battle by a 9-7 score.
But this wasn't fractionally as close.
Turning in perhaps the best first half of football in school history, Arrowhead scored on all seven of its first-half possessions, rolled to a 47-0 lead at the intermission and won the game easily. The lone Germantown touchdown came on a Tyler Baran 14-yard run in the closing minutes.
"It's a good group of kids this year," Arrowhead coach Greg Malling said. "I don't know what to say. They're good. They always come out ready to play. The kids on offense are very explosive, and I'm not surprised how well the defense is playing either. You just can't divide any of the three phases of the game. When one's cooking, it makes it a lot easier on the other two. The offense plays so well because the defense makes it easy for us. When we play defense we can take more shots. All the kids are working together right now."
That just might be the understatement of the year. At least, that's how it looked Friday.
Those first seven drives consisted of three plays, six plays, one play, three plays, seven plays, four plays and nine plays. Those seven touchdowns came in a total elapsed time of just 8:54. Arrowhead had 357 total yards in the first half.
On the other side of the ball, Germantown, which came into the game averaging 27 points per contest, came away with nothing. In the first half, the visitors netted just 16 total yards on 23 plays. They didn't get a first down until the final series of the half.
Oddly enough, on offense, the game got off to a good start for the Warhawks.
"We gained eight yards on first down and I thought, 'Here we go,' " Davis said. "Obviously that didn't happen."
And in an incident eerily reminiscent of last year's first-round playoff loss to Hamilton when all-state end and defensive back Ben Holcomb was hurt early in the game, the Warhawks lost top-flight defensive back Cody Slaasted early against Arrowhead.
"The way they (Arrowhead) pass the ball, that didn't help," Davis said.
Big plays pile up
After forcing Germantown to punt on the game's first series, Arrowhead needed just three plays to find the end zone as senior running back Dom Todarello scored on a 22-yard run, avoiding three tackles along the way. Alec May added the kicking extra point and Arrowhead was off and rolling at 7-0.
Todarello scored on a 33-yard run, Ricky Finco caught a 36-yard TD pass from Todarello and senior quarterback Brady Kelliher tossed a perfect 57-yard scoring strike to Finco, who caught six passes for the night for a 185 yards.
All this in the first quarter. After that, the game was essentially over.
Just before the start of the game, the entire Germantown team came to midfield and gathered on the Big "A" in the middle of the field, faced the Arrowhead players and performed a chant, directed at the Arrowhead sideline.
"I don't know if that was a great idea," Malling said. "The kids were a little bit excited about that. I don't know why they did that, but it happens. Kids are kids."
"I was happy with our kids, (they) never gave up," Davis said. "It was 47-0 and our offense stayed in and though they didn't have a lot of their starters in at that point, we went down and tried to score. That was the biggest victory for us on the night."
- with additional reporting by Steven L. Tietz
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