The Milwaukee County Chargers semiprofessional football team won their first two exhibition games, defeating the Brew City Bulldogs, 20-6, on May 14, in a game that was strangely shortened when the visiting Bulldogs kept fighting each other.
Then on May 21, the Chargers beat the Waukesha Raiders, 21-14.
'It was good to get the rust off the pads,' coach Scott Bolin said. '(I) wish we could have played the whole game, but we're coming around as a team.'
Shag Russel returned a punt for a touchdown in the first quarter to get the Chargers on the board for a 6-0 lead.
Chargers quarterback Shannon King rolled out of the pocket to his right, and with the defender about to lower a hit, he threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Russell for another score to make it 12-0 only 4:30 into the game.
After a nine-play drive — aided by a pass interference call at the 19 — Bulldogs quarterback Jose Malave ran in a score to to make it 12-6.
On the first play after the kickoff, a Bulldog defender was injured trying to make the tackle, and the game was stopped as he was evaluated. After about a 15-minute delay, an ambulance was called, and both teams' coaches and refs decided to take the halftime with 11:42 left in the second quarter.
The defense played well and didn't allow any additional points in the third quarter, and allowed less than 100 yards for the entire game. The Chargers scored on a 2-yard run by Eddie Bailey capping a 15-play drive mired by penalties.
The game was called after the third quarter because players on the Bulldogs team were fighting each other. All in all, MC played only a little over two quarters of football.
This week the Chargers brought home a 21-14 win over the Waukesha Raiders.
Bailey scored a 42-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead, and that's the way the first half ended. Joe Brooks ran an interception back for a score, but it was called back because of a penalty.
After runs of 24 and 49 yards by Bailey early in the second half, two consecutive 5-yard runs from fullback Montel Taylor punched the ball into the end zone to make the score 13-0 in the middle of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Waukesha quarterback Mikey Bernal threw a TD pass and a 2-point conversion made it 13-8.
But then the Raiders got the ball back when they pressured the punter and got the ball on the Chargers 27. When Bernal ran it in, Waukesha led 14-13 with 1:40 left to play.
The Chargers got down to the 20 in two plays, returning the kickoff to the 45 and then having King hit Russell with a 35-yard pass. They eventually get down to the 3-yard line, but couldn't get in the end zone, so they brought out the field goal team.
It was a clean snap but holder Chase Zablocki, an 18-year-old high schooler, bobbled the snap; he ran to the left and was able to go in for the go-ahead score with 9.4 seconds left on the clock, thanks to a great block by fullback Garcia Sullivan. King then ran the ball for the win with 9.4 seconds left to play.
'It was a game that tested us all,' Boldin said.
Added running backs coach Travis McGill, 'I think we acted poised and confidently on the last drive. I honestly feel that we were going to prevail by the look in the offense's eyes.'
On May 20, the Chargers were involved in the Boys Night Out event at Lane Intermediate School in West Allis, where they were able to interact with the boys and give life lessons while playing games.
They donated 30 season passes to nonprofit Jacarri's Kicks4Kids, an agency that takes gently used shoes and gets them refurbished to hand out to needy families. There will be a barrel at each game for fans to bring shoes to donate to this organization.