Bay Port passes test, up next is Kimberly

Bay Port hosts Kimberly in the{ } Level 3 Game Time Game of the Week. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

SUAMICO (WLUK) -- Bay Port enters its Level 3 playoff game Friday against Kimberly feeling pretty good about itself. That's because last week the Pirates were tested for the first time this season and came away with a double-digit victory.

It's been easy for the Pirates this season, having won its first 10 games by an average of 40.8 points per game. Last week, Appleton North pushed the Pirates before losing 31-21.

"That was the first fourth-quarter game I guess we've had, but our kids responded," coach Gary Westerman said. "They had to overcome some adversity early when some kids went down but I thought our kids really responded well, played hard the whole game, obviously had a chance to put another one in at the end and took a knee.

"Just proud of how the kids responded against a real good Appleton North team."

Bay Port's playoff push has been led by backup quarterback Andrew Thomas as starter Jake Plummer was injured at the end of the regular season. It hasn't stopped the PIrates' offense which is averaging 40 points per game in the playoffs.

"He's just really calm and relaxed right now.," Westerman said. "He was probably not that way in camp. Just really impressed with how he's progressed. I think part of it is how we're coaching kids now, getting them ready at multiple positions. Continuing to rep kids even if they maybe aren't the starter or the first-team guy and he's one of the kids that benefited from that.

"When he took over he was ready to pay. There really wasn't a skip."

Thomas, a junior, will face a Kimberly defense that allowed three points last week against Neenah. The defensive test should be a step up from North, but Thomas knows the offense isn't all about him.

"I credit a lot of it to the offensive line and the backs and receivers," he said. "Without them I don't think I'd be here right now. The past couple weeks I feel more confident back there and I'm ready to go."

There's no doubting Thomas right now as the Pirates keep rolling.

What's Next?

The winner of Bay Port-Kimberly will play the winner of No. 1 Fond du Lac-No. 3 Sun Prairie in Level 4, likely at Titan Stadium.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay