DE PERE (WLUK) -- When West De Pere left the field after its season-opening loss to Hortonville it likely didn't think it would have to wait four weeks until its next game, but that's exactly what happened.
The following week the school went to from in-person to virtual learning due to COVID-19 concerns, thus suspending the football season.
The Phantoms have now been cleared to return and face Xavier (4-0), the No. 3-ranked team in the FOX 11 Top 11, on Friday and they are appreciative of the opportunity.
"It's so exciting just to be back," coach Chris Greisen said. "It's been a battle, you know, just to come out and practice. We expect battles every Friday night but not but not to practice.
"We're just so blessed for the opportunity to come back out here. We thank our administration, our superintendent, our school board. They stepped out on a limb, looked at the data and we're just glad we can come out for these boys, not for us as coaches."
Friday's game is at Xavier, arguably the hottest team in Northeastern Wisconsin. The Hawks have scored at least 41 points in each game and won each game by at least 28 points.
Last week, Xavier won at Hortonville, 41-13, while West De Pere fell to Hortonville in Week 1, 43-39.
"Xavier is really playing well, they've got a brand-new offense this year," Greisen said. "Instead of spreading it out, they're doing the triple-option and it's very difficult, because people aren't running it; it's hard to defend and then they obviously have some real good players, too."
West De Pere has little game footage to scout itself, but it has dissected the Week 1 loss.
"We looked back quite a bit to see what we could've done differently here and there," senior David Vanderlogt said. "That's in the past. We just have to move on and face the next very good opponent."
And Vanderlogt, who rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns against Hortonville, can't wait to get back on the field. It might feel a little like a second season opener.
"It's going to feel great, it's going to be emotional because you never know if it's going to be your last game, especially being a senior," he said. "It's going to be a good time."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay