Brookfield Central football team runs into conference season unbeaten
Opens GMC play with matchup against Tosa East
Brookfield Central rolled over Kenosha Bradford, 56-27, on Friday night at home and improved to 2-0 in non-conference action.
The Lancers travel to Wauwatosa East (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday to open up the Greater Metro Conference season.
The Red Raiders got crushed in their opener at Tosa West, 54-0, losing their top two running backs in the first few plays. They bounced back to nip Nicolet, 17-14, on Friday at home.
"We're all excited (about getting conference started)," senior running back Mario Harris said. "It's going to be tough; a lot of good games."
BC had defeated Racine Park, 38-6, in its season opener.
Central had its running game Friday going behind Harris, senior quarterback Riley Richarz and sophomore running back Malik Turner, leading 14-6 after one quarter and 21-6 at intermission.
Richarz rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns, Harris had 153 yards and two scores and Turner had 94 and a touchdown.
Harris was quick to praise the big guys up front.
"They are really good; they are all up-and-coming," he said. "James Wartman, Connor Koscielniak, Henry Ritchie, Mattias Hoehnen, Joey Baker. They're all going to be really good."
The Lancers got on the board first, when Harris topped off a 74-yard, seven-play drive with 6 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter with a 3-yard run and Steven Knopp hit the first of eight straight extra points for a 7-0 lead.
Bradford workhorse running back Jay Mangum then scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 1-yard run with 2:17 left in the quarter, but the PAT was blocked. He finished with 330 yards rushing on 47 attempts.
Central then bounced back and scored on a five-play, 46-yard drive when Richarz rolled around left end and scored from 15 yards out for a 14-6 lead with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
Richarz then led Central on an eight-play, 73-yard drive, finishing it off with a 31-yard scoring run and a 21-6 lead with 4:07 left before intermission.
But Bradford took the second half kick-off and went on a 10-play, 67 yard drive, with Mangum scoring from six yards out at the 8:21 mark, cutting the lead to 21-12.
Richarz leads way
It only took Central four plays to get back on the board, though, as the Lancers went 65 yards, topped off by a six-yard touchdown run by Harris, making the score 28-12. Richarz had the key play in the drive — a 39-yard run.
Bradford went 67 yards in five plays, as quarterback Mitchell Huff tossed a 49-yard TD pass to Luke Zuehlsdorf to cut the lead to 28-20 and it appeared the Lancers let them back in the game.
But Richarz stepped up and took Central 69 yards in nine plays, as Turner ran 29 yards and set up a score by Richarz from 10 yards out at 11:54 to open the fourth period with a 35-20 lead.
Defense does its part
The Lancers defense — led by senior defensive lineman Peter Fox who recovered a fumble to set up the first score and had a sack setting up the third score — then got the ball back.
Central scored in four plays over 45 yards on Turner's 26-yard scoring run for a 42-20 advantage with 7:50 left to play.
Central senior linebacker Tevin Melton had a big sack with about 3 minutes left in the game, giving Central the ball on the Bradford 17. Back-up sophomore quarterback Dominic Labellarte scored on a 1-yard sneak for a 49-20 advantage with 2:49 to play.
Mangum scored on a 69-yard run against BC reserves, but not to be outdone, returner Gunnar Malensek took the kickoff back 85 yards for the final score.
"I'm very happy with the way we played," Harris said. "We all came through today. We all had a very good game."
Richarz is now ready for the GMC season.
"We've got to keep it going," he said. "We can't get too high."
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