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Some long passes from Kewaskum and some crucial penalties combined to oust Port Washington from the WIAA football playoffs on Oct. 21.

The Pirates fell to Kewaskum, 39-22, in a Division 3 playoff game on the road to end their season at 5-5. They actually alternated victories and losses all season.

Still, Port had a good year, posting a 4-3 record in the always-tough North Shore Conference and earning its first playoff berth since 2008.

"I told the seniors (after the game) that I was proud of the year we had," coach John Bunyan said. "I congratulated them on what they have done for us in helping us take the next step. I want our younger players to get comfortable with this (making the playoffs)."

Port hung with Kewaskum for much of the game, trailing only 10-7 at the half after Sam Lerche caught a 48-yard scoring pass from quarterback Tanner Orten in the second quarter.

Kewaskum took control with two third-period scores, passes of 11 and 44 yards from quarterback Dalton Poole to Anthony Steger, for a 24-7 advantage.

"We had trouble with long passes, especially in the second half," the coach said.

Port answered with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Orten to Lerche and a two-point conversion pass from Orten to Cameron Karnitz to come within 24-15 in the fourth period.

Kewaskum opened the gap with two more touchdowns before Port closed the scoring on a 36-yard run by Matt Ruppel, who collected 148 yards on just 13 carries in his final high-school game.

"We were able to run the ball well and get things going on offense," Bunyan said, "but we had some issues with penalties again (10 for 83 yards)."

Orten passed for 120 yards for the Pirates, who only trailed Kewaskum in net yardage by 379 to 351.

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