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Failed conversion helps Mukwonago to huge win

Sept. 15, 2012

After two heart-breaking losses earlier this season for the Mukwonago football team, the Indians looked destined for a third.

Waukesha Catholic Memorial drove down the field to score to pull within one point late in the fourth quarter. But Memorial’s fake extra-point attempt fell short as the Indians prevailed, 14-13, on Friday night at Carroll University.

“I told the guys we've got to break the glass,” said Mukwonago coach Clay Iverson. “We finally were able to break though tonight and get that win.”

After struggling to find any consistency on offense for close to 55 minutes, Memorial strung together a nine-play drive that packed as much excitement in one drive that many experience in a whole game. On fourth down needing four yards, quarterback Pat White dumped off a short pass to Matt Hubley that needed a measurement and required multiple officials to confirm the first down.

Two plays later, Hubley slipped his way up the middle for 16 yards and a much needed first down but fumbled. Luckily for the Crusaders, it bounced right to wide receiver Andre Bodden. On the next play, Bodden sprung loose for a 10-yard touchdown grab from White to pull one point away from tying the game. Memorial decided to go for the lead with 2:38 remaining with a fake extra-point attempt. White rolled out and couldn’t find an open target and scrambled, coming up one yard short of the end zone.

“We for sure thought they were just going to kick the extra point,” said Mukwonago senior linebacker Nathan Tanguay. “I saw him break away and was like, 'No, this can’t happen.' It was such a relief heading back to the sideline.”

Memorial decided to kick away with 2:38 remaining instead of going for an onside kick, and the Crusaders would never get a chance again on offense. The Indians were able to drain out the clock to end a six-year losing streak to Memorial.

Indians quarterback Aaron Nixon sealed the game with a 20-yard run for a first down.

“Our offensive line is young but they are doing a great job getting better week after week,” said Tanguay.

Nixon only attempted four passes in the game, completing two of them. His second completion, however, may have been the biggest all season. The only pass in the second half came when Nixon dropped back and found a streaking Robbie Maas over the middle for a 44-yard touchdown that Maas juggled but hauled in to give the Indians a 14-7 lead in the third quarter.

“We realized their free safety would shift every time we went in motion,” said Nixon. “So we called a max protection play with only one guy on the route, and Robbie made a great grab.”

Added Iverson: “If I was coaching against us, I would stack the box, too. We worked on that in practice this week and it really paid off well.”

Hubley scored the game’s first touchdown on a 28-yard run, giving Memorial the lead early on, but the Crusaders offense was held much in check after that finishing with 216 yards of total offense, 110 coming from Hubley, and a turnover.

“After that score we really settled down as a team,” said Iverson. “I would like to say I made a bunch of adjustments but really it was just that we played with a lot of heart and focus.”

Nixon helped control the pace of a strong Indians rushing attack that racked up 188 total yards on a 3.8 yards per carry average. Speedster Matt McCartan led the way with 58 yards on 18 carries, while fellow senior Daniel Timmers added 27 yards and a touchdown. Nixon added 78 yards on the ground as well.

“Our team is really coming together, especially on defense,” said Timmers. “We've got a lot of work to do yet, but I am excited in the direction we are heading.

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