GERMANTOWN – The first two weeks of the season, Brookfield Central’s defense dominated from start to finish.
Friday, the Lancers’ talented unit had to shake off a couple of haymakers from Germantown before bouncing back to secure a 24-21 victory Friday night.
Central, which is ranked third in the area by the Journal Sentinel, led, 17-0, midway through the third quarter, but a series of big plays from the Warhawks allowed them to pull within three points. Central’s unit, however, returned to form in the final 6 minutes, when it twice stuffed Warhawks possessions without giving up a first down.
The victory raised Central’s record to 3-0. Previously undefeated Germantown dropped to 2-1 overall and in the league.
"I was told a long time ago that the sign of a good team is when you win and you play well and you win when you don't play well," Central coach Jed Kennedy said. "Our D played good except for four plays."
BOX SCORE: Brookfield Central 24, Germantown 21
RELATED: Friday's box scores
Here are five takeaways from the game:
SIGN OF WEAKNESS? Teams that can pass the ball are going to note how Germantown was able to get to Central’s defense. The Warhawks went over the top of the unit twice for touchdowns in the second half.
Senior Jacob Potvin hit senior Blake Kunz for a 50-yard score for the team’s first point with 43 seconds left in the third quarter. Two possessions later Potvin went deep to sophomore Connor Leffler for a 45-yard scoring play that made it 24-21 with 7½ minutes to play. Between those drives, Potvin hit Kunz for a 12-yard touchdown with that made it 24-14. That scoring drive was set up by a 34-yard pass play.
So far Central’s defense has allowed five touchdowns. Three have been on plays of 40 yards or longer.
STRONG FINISH: We got another reminder of the importance of special teams late in the first half.
With Central’s offense struggling to gain steam in the first half, a big hit by Central on a punt return led to the only first touchdown of the half. The ball was jarred loose and then recovered by senior Luke Blamer. The turnover led to a 10-yard touchdown pass from junior Drew Leszczynski to senior Michael Vandenberg.
The play shifted momentum. Until that point Germantown was hanging tough with the Lancers. That turnover, however, was part of a tough final 8½ minutes of the half for the Warhawks. Three times Brookfield Central reached the Germantown 20 during that stretch. Twice they scored to take a 9-0 lead at the half.
FLEET FEET: A quarterback doesn’t has to rack up big rushing numbers to be dangerous. Lesczynski had minus-15 yards rushing, but his ability to move around the pocket was a big benefit. He completed 10 of 20 passes for 130 yards and often made his throws after either buying time in the pocket or rolling out and then throwing.
NEXT MAN UP: Central’s offense lacked its typical explosiveness without senior Zach Heckman, who roamed the sideline on crutches with his left foot in a walking boot. In his absence, the Lancers called on a number of players to shoulder the load.
Six backs ran the ball. Sophomore Rashard Lampkin and senior Nick Leszczynski received the most touches. Leszczynski, who also made a number of plays at linebacker, had 105 yards in 11 carries and scored on a 45-yard run with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter. Lampkin had a team-high 14 carries, finished with 77 yards and showed nice vision and cutting ability on 24-yard scoring run midway through the third quarter.
NICE SHOWING: As a new team in the league, Germantown is somewhat of an unknown, but Friday it showed the potential to be one of the tops teams in the Greater Metro. The offense didn’t move the ball much during the first three quarters, but the defense was feisty and the passing game showed potential. A test looms next week in a non-conference crossover game at Waukesha West.