MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The West De Pere Phantoms came so close to a Division II championship but ultimately bowed out to Kettle Moraine, who caps off their own Cinderella run through the state tournament.
The Phantoms came just short of a title run, losing 27 to 10 against the Lasers, who claimed their first Division II title since 1988.
Heading into the game with a 12-1 record, West De Pere started off strong with a first-quarter touchdown pass to Langdon Nordgaard to tie the score at 7-7.
A field goal would put the Phantoms up 10-7 late in the first quarter, but it was all Kettle Moraine after that, putting up 20 unanswered.
Kettle Moraine came into the game with three losses, the most out of any of the teams at state.
West De Pere’s Duke Shovald finished the game 14 for 26 with 213 yards and one touchdown. Running back Nolan Mitchell had a tough time finding ground against the Lasers, only mustering 63 yards on 15 carries.
The eye-opening statistic of the game would have to be total rushing yards, as Kettle Moraine outrushed West De Pere 195 to 38.
Regardless of the loss, West De Pere capped off a very successful season after finishing runner-up in the North Division of the Fox River Classic Conference behind Bay Port.
The Phantoms outscored their four playoff opponents by an average of 35.3-6.5 points per game to march their way to the championship game before falling just short.
Made up primarily of juniors, West De Pere expects to have a lot of talent returning to the field next season and might just make a revenge run to the state title in 2023.