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West De Pere hopes to run past Menasha again

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West De Pere beat Menasha 56-42 in Week 6 and Friday they meet again in Level 3. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

DE PERE (WLUK) -- The last time West De Pere hosted Menasha it was a shootout with the Phantoms winning 56-42 in Week 6.

The teams meet again Friday in Level 3 of the playoffs game and West De Pere knows its offense can score, but hopes its defense plays better in a game that will send the winner to Level 4.

"We were actually very surprised," West De Pere's Cody Cavil said about Menasha's ability to score in the first game. "Previous years or actually the year before we were able to hold them to very few points and it kind of shocked us when they came out and scored on the first drive and were just able to keep scoring."

No. 1-seeded West De Pere (11-0), however, was unstoppable in the first meeting as QB Josh Blount scored six rushing TDs, had 327 rushing yards and also threw a TD pass. Good thing he dominated because West De Pere needed it and the Phantoms are not assuming it will happen again en route to another victory.

"Brookfield Central won 28-14 against Brookfield East (during the regular season) and Brookfield East beat them 20-0 the second time around," West De Pere coach Jack Batten said. "There are other teams, there are other examples so you go to approach it like you haven't played one another that you're going in fresh. You have to be ready from the first whistle."

Batten said the running game will once again be a factor, or he hopes it will be. The deeper you get into the postseason, the tougher the weather gets -- temperatures Friday are expected to be in the 20s. It will be cold and likely tough to pass a lot.

However, with Blount (1,309 rushing yards), David Vanderlogt (1,184) and Sam Mommaerts (918), the Phantoms have plenty of running options.

"Think you're crazy in the state of Wisconsin; If your goal is to get down to Camp Randall that you don't have a real good running game," Batten said. "You're going to run into nights where its 30, 40 mile-per-hour winds or you got snow on the field. Last year we played at Rice Lake (in Level 4) and there was no zero chance of throwing the football, zero.

"So if you couldn't run the football you were done. So especially here in Wisconsin in November you better be able to run the football."

And the Phantoms can certainly do that.

PHANTOMS NOTES

  • Blount and Mommaerts each have 19 rushing TDs, while Vanderlogt has 15.
  • Blount also has 11 TD passes and one interception.
  • West De Pe has outscored its opponents in the first half 363-50.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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