L-C beats Phantoms, moves on to third round
The streak finally is over. Twenty-eight years is long enough.
The Luxemburg-Casco football team beat West De Pere 28-7 in a WIAA Division 3 second-round playoff game on Friday night, ending a 13-game losing streak to the Phantoms and advancing to the quarterfinals for the second time in the last three years.
The Spartans (11-0) haven’t beaten West De Pere since a first-round playoff win in 1988, which also had been their only victory in the series until this one.
“We knew it’s always been a while, but they didn’t really address it until yesterday,” L-C senior linebacker Dalton Smerchek said. “It’s just a lot of motivation. We were playing for all the past generations of Spartans who went out there and couldn’t end up beating West De Pere. We had them on our side and we just took it to them and had a good time doing it.”
The second-seeded Spartans will play at No. 1 seed Green Bay Notre Dame next week.
Other than the first few moments of the game, when West De Pere junior running back Austin Beaumier took a carry 74 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, this night belonged to L-C.
“I tell you what, it’s pretty special for us,” Spartans coach Dillon Maney said. “This group of kids is unbelievable to work with. Every single day they bring so much to the game, and I feel super blessed to get to work with them.
“They are just a special group and they strive every day to get better. They came out tonight, a little adversity struck at first, but they responded in great ways. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Indeed, L-C responded quickly to the early momentum by the Phantoms, with senior quarterback Jon Deprey scoring on a 67-yard run to tie the score with 6 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Spartans had one TD in all four quarters in scoring 28 unanswered points.
They took the lead for good on a 20-yard pass from Deprey to Mitchell Ronsman on a third-and-16 that made it 14-7 with 6:38 left in the first half.
Deprey added a 13-yard TD run in the third quarter before senior running back Kyle Routhieaux capped the scoring with a 3-yard run in the opening seconds of the fourth.
Deprey rushed 23 times for 212 yards for a Spartans team that had 284 on the ground and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.
It was the seventh time this season Deprey has rushed for 100 or more yards and the fifth time he has surpassed 200.
“There were a lot of plays where he didn’t actually run in the hole, but we saw that all week,” West De Pere coach Jack Batten said. “We actually brought (former Phantoms standout running back) Dom Conway in and had him play quarterback for us and he gave us a good look.
“Jon is a very special football player. Obviously, we struggled to tackle him and keep him contained.”
The Phantoms (9-2) also struggled to get much going against a Spartans defense that has been dominant for most of the season. This was the eighth time L-C allowed nine or fewer points and the second straight game in the playoffs after holding Seymour to eight in the first round.
West De Pere only had 87 rushing yards and 131 total after the run by Beaumier, who finished with 151 yards on 21 carries.
Standout quarterback Matt McNabb was held to a season-low 20 yards on 19 carries as West De Pere had a hard time penetrating L-C’s interior line.
Smerchek had 12 total tackles and a sack to lead a Spartans defense that had four players finish with 10 or more total tackles.
“We struggled staying on blocks, they did a good job,” Batten said. “Our kids, we had a great week of practice. We prepared. I thought we had a good game plan, but they have got some really good football players and we had a hard time staying engaged.
“Give them the credit. They are a good team.”
The Spartans now prepare for their biggest test of the season against a Tritons squad that is hoping to defend their D3 state title.
“We are very confident,” Smerchek said. “We believe that we can go through anybody, but Notre Dame is a tough team. We have got to stay focused, get better every day and see what comes around on Friday night.”
West De Pere 7 0 0 0–0
Luxemburg-Casco 7 7 7 7–28
WDP: Austin Beaumier 74 run (Joao Catao kick).
L-C: Jon Deprey 67 run (Sam Larson kick).
L-C: Mitchell Ronsman 20 pass from Deprey (Larson kick).
L-C: Deprey 13 run (Larson kick).
L-C: Kyle Routhieaux 3 run (Larson kick).
Rushing: WDP: Beaumier 21-151 ; L-C: Deprey 23-212.
Passing: WDP: Kyle Kosbucki 4-10-44 ; L-C: Deprey 1-3-20.
Receiving: WDP: Garrett Kempen 1-25; L-C: Ronsman 1-20.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: L-C beats Phantoms, moves on to third round