Hales Corners — One year after the Whitnall Falcons football team snapped a seven-year playoff drought, that same squad was hoping to pick up its first postseason win since 1998.
The Lake Geneva Badger Badgers had different ideas.
The fourth-seeded Badgers (8-2) ended the visiting Falcons' season with a 47-35 win in a first-round WIAA Division 2 playoff game Tuesday. Whitnall, which has lost six straight playoff games, fell to 7-3.
Badger jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and scored first in the second half to move ahead, 28-0.
"The conditions were God-awful," Whitnall coach Rob Leboeuf said. "The field was in bad, bad shape. (The Badgers) did a good job. They played physical.
"They're a very good running football team. I hate to compare them to Pewaukee, but they're physical. Defensively, they have some holes in the secondary, but with the conditions (Tuesday) the way they were, it wasn't to our advantage."
The Falcons scored 35 points in the final 15 minutes of the game, including four touchdown passes from junior quarterback Joel Stave, who threw for nearly 300 yards.
Whitnall contended for the Woodland Conference title up until the final week of the regular season and its win over Greendale earlier this month was the program's first over the Panthers since 1999.
"I like this group of kids," Leboeuf said. "I really love this team; I wish it wasn't over. We'd like to get these kids back next year, but that's the nature of the beast. These guys have helped bring football back to this community. I hope we gave our community a team to be proud of."
Badger will play host to South Milwaukee (6-4) on Saturday, time to be determined. The Rockets were 28-21 upset winners over top-seeded Bradley Tech on Tuesday. It was South Milwaukee's first playoff victory since 1998, the last time they were in the playoffs.
Whitnall beat South Milwaukee, 32-0, Oct. 16.
- David Cotey
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