The Milwaukee Penguins

The Milwaukee Penguins is the Division 1A collegiate football team for Milwaukee College. We're a school "known for its academics." This is a record of our accomplishments, on the field and off.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Game 4: @ University of Alabama - Birmingham

Milwaukee College Penguins (0-3) vs. U of A-Birmingham Blaze (1-1)

I scheduled the game because I always wanted to go to Birmingham, the city where teenager Claudette Colvin inadvertently inspired Rosa Parks and the Montgomery County Bus Boycott. Buoyed by just being in the place of an unsung Civil Rights hero, and by the way Ross (QB #1) has been throwing the ball and Wetzel (HB #47) has been running it, AND by the fact that the UAB Blaze were ranked #85 to our #115, I felt confident going into the game.

Confident enough to go for it on 4th-and-goal TWICE in the first half. We were rewarded with touchdown runs. First by Ross herself from 1 year out, and then, predictably, by Wetzel from 4 yards away.

The triple option worked out well. I called it numerous times with Ciraldo (FB #25) busting through the middle to get important yardage.

For the first time this season, we took a lead into the locker room. 14-7, when it should've been 17-7. Bennett (CB #10) intercepted a pass and ran it back to the 23 yard line. With 2 seconds left to go in the half, I sent Goodman out for the makable 41-yard field-goal attempt. But with the wind swirling predominantly to the right, he overcompensates and kicks it wide.

Still, the lead held throughout the 2nd half, despite numerous attempts to give it away. Our first two drives of the second half resulted in turnovers: a Ross INT and a - gasp - Wetzel fumble. But because the Blazer's kicker missed two field-goals (what is up with that Birmingham wind?), so our miscues didn't cost us any. You gotta be lucky sometimes.

Then, the lead now at 17-7, the Blaze stop trying to throw the ball. They have two good halfbacks and both were used to great effect. All of a sudden, we were giving up 4-6 yards per run play, and then, on 4-and-2 no less and expecting a run, they throw a quick pass to their slot receiver and soon it's a 17-14 game, my lead down to 3.

It's a basic tenet in football: the run sets up the pass. I do that all the time in all aspects of life.

We don't score on our next possession. On theirs, they methodically drive down the field, converting two third downs and eating up three minutes of clock. 3-and-9 on the 13 yard line. Shotgun Trips versus Cover 2 Man. Their QB, under pressure from the left side, lofts it into the endzone. And my Free Safety Ziegeweid (FS #34) gets his third interception of the season. I couldn't believe it. We were all jumping up and down the sidelines as "Z" was huffing and puffing towards us on the sidelines. He returned it some 29 yards.

The game was ours. I couldn't control myself. 1:27 left to play. Our first win. All we had to do was control the clock. Ciraldo for a few yards, they expend a time-out, and then I call a play for Wetzel. He gets past the first-down marker and then ... he runs out of bounds, stopping the clock

I like to think that that bonehead maneuver - which basically gave UAB an extra time-out - was what gave them that tiny bit of spark that would see them eventually get the ball back, connect on 4th-and-10, and then beat our susceptible secondary to score a TD with 12 seconds left. Game-set-match.


score: 17 - 21
first downs: 14 - 14
total offense: 248 - 334
rushes - yards: 28-98 --- 32-134
comp-att-TD: 11-23-0 --- 9-27-2
passing yards: 150-200
sacked: 1 - 0
turnovers: 3 - 2
fumbles - lost: 2 - 1 --- 0 - 0
intercepted: 2 - 2
t.o.p: 14:48 - 17:12


Ross (QB #1) 85.2 rating 11-23 for 150 yards, 2 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 13-70 rush, 1 TD; 3-41 yards rec, 1 TD
Barber (HB #11) 3-15 rush; 2-19 yard rec
Ciraldo (FB #25) 7-31 rush
Buccheri (RG #59) 3 pancakes


S. Umali (MLB #43) 9 tackles
Miller (RE #62) 5 tackles
K. Anderson (SS #26) 4 tackles
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 3 tackles, 1 INT
Bennett (CB #10) 3 tackles, 1 pass deflect, 1 INT

Notes: Our home-coming game is next. It's against in-state rival, Wisconsin. I'm too disconsolate to look at tape, to examine our mistakes, to even make more out of my mom's 9-tackle performance. All that preparation, that pesto, that alternate-nostril breathing, to lose with less than a minute left.


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