Brookfield Central football coach Jamie Meulemans talks all the time about how tough a league the Greater Metro Conference is. But there are some games you just have to win.
Friday night was one of those games, as the Lancers blasted last-place West Allis Central, 55-21, on the road and got set to meet first-place Marquette (4-0, 5-1) at 7 p.m. Oct. 4. The Bulldogs (0-4, 0-6) are in last place in the GMC.
It could have been a trap game as the Lancers were coming off a big 35-10 win over Brookfield East and facing Marquette this week.
"I was happy to see us — coming off a high emotional conference game like Brookfield East — go into West Allis and play a good West Allis Central team," Meulemans said. "Our kids handled that maturely and I feel our senior leadership was important. They have been there before. I'm proud of that focus."
Running up early
The Lancers led 21-0 after one quarter on runs of 17 yards and 2 yards by DeMario Harris and a 58-yard TD pass from Riley Richarz to Jack Knetter.
Richarz wrapped two touchdowns (67, 4) around a Bulldogs touchdown pass to make it 34-7 at halftime.
"Riley Richarz is having a great senior year," Meulemans said. "Leading our team, he's throwing better and running tremendously."
Tevin Melton, a 6-foot-2, 202-pound outside linebacker, also drew praise from Meulemans.
"He has been playing very well lately and keying our defense," he said.
Gunner Malensek scored on a short run and Steve Knopp returned a TD on a fumble for a 49-7 lead going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Terry Wallen had a 40-yard kickoff return for a score, but the Bulldogs wrapped two scores around it.
Richarz ran for 142 yards in 12 carries (11.8 average) with two scores. He only needed to pass twice and he completed one for a 58-yard score.
With the regulars in the game the Lancers pretty much held the Bulldogs to one touchdown.
"Defensively we handled them on the perimeter with the athletes they had," Meulemans said. "We have had fast offensive starts and we are moving the ball early in the game."
The Lancers now face Marquette at home and Sussex Hamilton at home in the next two games and then close out the season at West Allis Hale. One win and they clinch a playoff berth.
The Lancers and Menomonee Falls are each 5-1, 3-1 in conference, as the Indians beat Central in overtime and Sussex Hamilton crushed Falls. The Chargers and Brookfield East are each 2-2.
"We will need to beat them in the trenches," Meulemans said of the Hilltoppers, the biggest team in the conference. "We have to be sharp in all facets of game, especially on defense.
"We have to take advantage of our team speed on defense and make sure we wrap up on tackling. Our special teams also have to play well."
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