Although it was hardly easy, the Cedarburg football team slipped past Grafton, 20-17, on Oct. 7 and captured another WIAA playoff berth.
The victory lifted the Bulldogs to 4-2 in the North Shore Conference, clinching a winning league record, which is enough for another spot in the playoffs when they start Friday, Oct. 21.
Cedarburg (4-4 overall) has made a nice recovery this season. The Bulldogs began the campaign at 0-3 overall and started North Shore play with a 35-3 loss to Whitefish Bay.
They turned around the season with a 36-35 triumph over Milwaukee Lutheran and have gone on to win four of their past five games, with the lone loss coming to Port Washington.
The Bulldogs finish the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at home against North Shore champion Homestead (6-0 in the league).
Grafton slipped to 1-5 in the North Shore and 1-7 overall with the tough loss. The Hawks close out the season at 7 p.m. Friday at Whitefish Bay (4-2 in the NSC).
Caden Knauer kept the Hawks close against Cedarburg with 144 yards rushing on 15 carries, averaging 9.6 per attempt, and 117 more yards on five receptions, an average of 23.4 yards per catch.
Knauer got the Hawks started with a 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and Grafton was still up, 6-0, at the end of the period.
Cedarburg quarterback Jack Meyer put the Bulldogs ahead with scoring runs of 1 and 8 yards in the second period. Taylor Kuck hit both extra points for a 14-6 edge.
Grafton's Jack Orlowski hit a 31-yard field goal later in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-9 at the half.
Meyer struck again in the third period with his third touchdown, this time from 3 yards, and Cedarburg went up, 20-9.
Knauer scored from 45 yards in the fourth, and Grafton added a safety to come within three points, but the Bulldogs held on to win.
Meyer collected 53 yards and all three touchdowns on the ground, and Clayton Van Tassel ran 24 times for 114 yards for the Bulldogs.
Grafton quarterback Hayden Proefrock hit 13 of 32 passes for 135 yards, with Jack Birch catching four passes and Jack Senczyszyn three tosses.