Germantown rally against Cedarburg comes up about four inches too long, 32-26
Pass caught just out of bounds
As much of a history as the Germantown and Homestead football teams have in their storied rivalry, the Warhawks are building up that kind of tradition with Cedarburg, too.
It just gets weirder and more intense every year.
After all, how many games does the average fan have awareness of that finished like the Warhawks' 32-26 defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs on Friday?
All it involved was a furious Germantown rally from a 32-13 deficit with 2:01 left in the third, and it only ended when the clock ran out and the Warhawks were on the Bulldog 10 down only 32-26.
On the final play, Warhawks quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn's pass from the 10-yard line to Nick Holcomb in the end zone was on the mark, but Holcomb was ruled to have been out of bounds by about four inches.
It was the third straight gut-busting loss to the Bulldogs for Germantown in as many years as Cedarburg improved to 2-0 in what is becoming an increasingly intense North Shore race (3-1 overall) while Germantown fell from the unbeaten ranks (1-1, 3-1, respectively).
"It was actually a fun game," Warhawks coach Jake Davis said. "I had confidence in our offense to make things happen there at the end."
Germantown will have confidence it can bounce back Friday when it hosts Milwaukee Lutheran (0-4) at 7 p.m. The Warhawks commemorate the 10th and 15th anniversaries, respectively, of the 1998 and 2003 WIAA State Division 2 championship squads with special ceremonies.
And Friday's game had a championship feel to it, too, as the Bulldogs used their bulldog of a running back, senior Hudson Walton (33 carries, 285 yards), to lead them to that 32-13 advantage. Walton had touchdown runs of 36 and three yards as the Bulldogs took a 22-10 first half lead.
"He's finally a senior and everyone (in the conference) is grateful for that," Davis said of Walton.
Germantown actually scored first on a 71-yard Lawhorn to Cole Karcz TD pass and closed the first half margin to its final deficit with a 42-yard field goal by Carter Schmitz at the half-time whistle.
The Bulldogs stretched the margin to its highest point on a 46-yard scoring run by Garrett Sylvester.
The deficit could have actually been worse, as the Bulldogs once fumbled on the Germantown one-yard line and then the Warhawks defense rose up to stop them again on the six.
The rally began in earnest when Carter Schmitz caught a 28-yard TD pass from Lawhorn and then continued when Holcomb snagged a 19-yard scoring strike from Lawhorn.
That second score came with about five-plus minutes remaining and was followed by a failed on-side kick attempt.
Germantown held Cedarburg, however, and eventually got the ball back on its own 36 with 1:42 left with no timeouts left.
Last drive heroics
Lawhorn was at his best on this effort converting a fourth and 11 pass to Connor Schulz for 21 yards and hitting Schulz again for 30 yards on a fourth and 10 play. That latter effort gave the Warhawks a first down at the Bulldog 14 with just seconds remaining.
Another pass to Karcz put them at the five and then Lawhorn spiked the ball to stop the clock. That set up the roll-out pass to Holcomb, who made a good catch but was out of bounds as time ran out.
Davis was impressed with his team's resilience this night even as the Warhawks lost to the Bulldogs for the sixth frustrating year in a row.
"We really learned a lot about them," he said. "The kids proved it right until the very end and Dwayne did a nice job of making things happen. They defended him pretty well (just 12 of 33 on the night passing but for 266 yards)."
Davis said defensive lineman Hunter Higginbotham worked hard to keep Germantown's defense stable.
The Bulldogs finished with 371 total rush yards out of their deadly double-wing set offense and 449 total yards while Germantown had 380 total yards. Schulz (87 yards) and Holcomb (62 yards) each had four catches for Germantown while Karcz had three for 89.
Joe Lemerond had eight carries for 66 yards rushing for the Warhawks.
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