Seniors shine in win for Wauwatosa East football
Telderer-Pridgeon connection comes up big two times
With Wauwatosa East trailing 14-10 going into the fourth quarter against Nicolet on Friday night at Hart Park, coach Mike Richards turned to his seniors.
"We look to our seniors for leadership and we talked about that going into the final quarter," Richards said.
With the ball on their own 31 and the Red Raiders facing a fourth-and-3, Richards decided his team was going for a big play with 1 minute, 49 seconds left in the game.
"I called the play, but (wide receiver) Christian Tolbert changed the tag (the way the route was run) and we went along with it," Richards said.
So based on a call from a senior, who was last year's quarterback, senior quarterback Jackson Telderer went back to pass and found senior wide receiver Nick Pridgeon alone in the secondary for a 69-yard touchdown reception. Senior Greg Holley drilled the extra point and the Red Raiders led, 17-14.
"Everyone was celebrating after the touchdown, but I told them we still had to go back out on the field and stop them," Richards said.
When junior linebacker Ryan Sattler picked off a Knights pass, the Red Raiders had their first victory of the year.
"I was happy for the kids," Richards said. "It was huge for the kids. All their hard work definitely paid off."
Richards then broke down the winning play.
"Christian Tolbert made an excellent adjustment to the call," Richards said. "We adjusted the route. We were supposed to run a slant, but ran a sluggo (slant and go) instead."
"Then Jackson threw an awesome pass."
Richards also praised Pridgeon, who finished with eight catches for 139 yards, two touchdowns and had an interception.
"He was all over the place," he said. "He did everything but sing the national anthem."
The Knights scored first when sophomore running back Tyler Wright ran in from 7 yards out, but Nicolet missed the extra point for a 6-0 lead.
The Red Raiders, who lost another running back to injury (junior Marcus Smith), got on the board in the second quarter when Telderer connected with Pridgeon for their first score on a 16-yard pass. Holley's kick made it, 7-6, the Red Raiders' first lead of the season.
Then right before the half, Holley gave Tosa East a lift when he nailed a 34-yard field goal for a 10-6 halftime advantage.
"Greg Holley was 2-for-2 on extra points and that field goal at the end of the half was huge for us," Richards said.
Down at halftime
But the lead didn't last for long as running back Jamalle Williams scored on a 3-yard run and then quarterback Alex Baez tossed a short pass to tight end Justin Wallace for a two-point conversion and a 14-10 lead.
After the game, Richards talked about his backfield situation.
"We were down to bare bones in the backfield," Richards said. "Grant Myse did a good job. He was 5-for-22 running and threw a key block in the backfield on the winning touchdown throw."
Richards is hoping to get Sully Schermerhorn (hip) back for the Greater Metro Conference opener Friday against Brookfield Central (2-0) at Hart Park.
Telderer completed 14-for-23 for 198 yards and two touchdowns on the night and didn't commit a turnover.
Richards also praised his defense.
"They had an athletic line," Richards said. "We put pressure on them all night, but our defensive line was gassed by the end of the night."
Richards and his staff told his team after the demoralizing 54-0 opening loss to Tosa West to get that game out of their minds and focus on Nicolet.
"I told them to learn from their from mistakes," he said. "The kids did that."
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