For whatever reason, Bay View football has never started well against Milwaukee Washington. Thank goodness the game is mostly about how you finish.
"In four years I've been playing Washington, we've never been up at halftime, ever," Redcats coach Gary Griffin said. "They absolutely dominated us in the first half.
"I can't put it together why that happens other than the fact that our kids don't play hard at the start or their kids play well and wear down. I don't know which one it is."
It barely matters. The Redcats put the clamps down on Washington in the second half and notched their first win of 2007 Sept. 14 at South Stadium, 28-14.
Lenier Johnson ran for 231 yards and scored twice, including once on a 56-yard pass from Montrell Davidson that helped the senior standout finish with more than 300 all-purpose yards.
Griffin said he could have piled up even more.
"Honestly, he didn't hit the holes like he was supposed to, and I feel like he's still not comfortable," Griffin said. "I don't know what we're going to have to do to get him to that point.
"He's a Division-I (college) kid, and he's got to get there pretty soon."
Griffin said Washington running back Joe Davis presented one of the toughest challenges to his defense all season.
Senior Tim Lieser played a big part in keeping Davis and friends in check during the second half.
"Lieser is a Division-I kid, too, and I finally realized it in this game," Griffin said. "He's 6-5, 260 pounds, but he could be 290 and just a beast. Tim had the best game I've seen him play.
"He totally dominated the guys up front."
Montrell Davidson completed half of his 10 passes, including the touchdown strike to Johnson and another to Kwame Bailey from 5 yards away in the fourth quarter.
"Montrell kind of stood up a little bit," Griffin said. "We're going to roll or falter because of him. He's our catalyst right now. If he's doing well and making plays, everybody else does well and makes plays.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he should be playing receiver, but we don't have another quarterback. He's fast, reads coverages well, sets kids up ... I think he's one of the top receivers in the state, and he has to play quarterback."
Bay View (1-3) will now take aim at Milwaukee South, a team that defeated the Redcats last season for the first time in 27 years.
"We scored a touchdown at the end where the ball came loose after we crossed the goal line, and they spotted it at the 1-yard line," Griffin said. "We felt like we had that one taken from us, and we don't want to let that happen again."
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