Goslings host Whitefish Bay to open playoffs
Watertown’s football team opens the postseason with a Level 1 home game against the Whitefish Bay Blue Dukes on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Goslings enter the Division 2 playoffs as the fourth seed in their bracket after finishing the regular season 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the Badger South. Whitefish Bay is the fifth seed after finishing 5-4 in the North Shore.
“I was pleased with the grouping,” Watertown football coach Benji Kamrath said. “It’s competitive, but we feel like we can compete with any of the teams in there. I thought we would be a three or four seed. There were four teams from the North Shore in there. They stuck together on the voting. They gave (the three seed) to West Bend East over us. I still feel good about getting a four seed.”
The Blue Dukes feature junior running back Drew Garcia, who has rushed 212 times for 1,106 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“They run a wing-t offense,” Kamrath said. “We’ve seen them against Slinger and some nonconference match-ups. We can match up with them. One guy (Garcia) gets the majority of the carries. They look to get him the ball. We definitely have to slow him down. They are a run first team. We’ve seen that style of offense from Monroe and Oregon. I feel like we’ve got a plan, and we can hopefully slow the run game down. They don’t throw a ton. They have rotated a couple different quarterbacks. We’ll see if they continue to do that, or if they stick with one guy. They have switched up the last couple games. It’s tough to tell if one got hurt or they made a switch. For us, we need to try to find a way to take away their strengths on offense and force them to do something else.”
Watertown junior quarterback Ethan Pauly led the Badger South in passing with 1,914 yards with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Junior receiver Daniel Denault has 553 yards and finished second in the conference in receiving. Senior running back Brian Katzenberger (482 rushing yards) and Pauly (444) split time in a complementary rushing attack. Junior Kory Stas has 419 receiving yards.
Whitefish Bay runs a 34 defensive scheme.
“It’s the same defense we run,” Kamrath said.
“They’ve got good edge players. Their outside linebackers are similar to Katzenberger and (Evan) Pauly. They are definitely the strength of their
defense. Their front three are very solid. Their linebackers play well in the middle. They have good athletes on the perimeter. In a lot of ways, they are similar to us. They play their best athletes both ways. They rotate on the offensive and defensive lines. They try to put guys in as many places as possible to compete.
“This should be a good game. It’s a very winnable for us. We’ve got to learn from mistakes and try to get better each week. Our guys are definitely excited. We haven’t had a home game since we played Burlington the year we made it to level 3 (back in 2012).
“To get a home game, it’s great for our kids, for school and community. I hope we can get a stretch of three or four days without rain, and let the field recover. It was in bad shape the last couple games. I know our maintenance and grounds crew will do the best job to get our field in the best possible shape.”