After seeing one opportunity to seize the lead late in the game disappear, the Cedarburg football team was right back in position minutes later.
The second time was the charm, with quarterback Jack Meyer scoring from 1 yard out and passing to Alex Kluck for a two-point conversion with 1 minute, 19 seconds left to give the Bulldogs a thrilling 36-35 triumph over Milwaukee Lutheran on Sept. 9.
The victory ended a disappointing three-game losing streak to begin the season and put Cedarburg in the winners' column at 1-3, 1-1 in the North Shore Conference.
"We have played some close games," coach Brian Leair said, "but we found a way to win this one."
Get second chance
Cedarburg was trailing 35-28 in the fourth quarter and had the ball on the Lutheran 15-yard line when Meyer fumbled. Lutheran could not move, and the resulting punt put the Bulldogs on their own 25-yard line in the final minutes.
They responded with a 75-yard march that resulted in Meyer's touchdown and conversion for the lead.
"We just moved consistently downfield, no big plays," Leair said. "Much of it was running, and we had a couple of passes thrown in there."
Leair said the hard-fought victory was satisfying.
"We lost the lead (21-7 early in the game and later 28-21), but the kids rallied," he said.
Cedarburg jumped on top with a 5-yard scoring run by running back Patrick Hoffman, who was on his way to a 184-yard night.
After a Lutheran touchdown, Clayton Van Tassel ran in from 20 yards and Hoffman tallied from 25 yards to help put the Bulldogs ahead, 21-7, early in the second quarter.
The Red Knights tied the game at 21-21, but Cedarburg scored before the half on a 19-yard run by Hoffman to go up 28-21.
Lutheran went ahead on a pair of touchdown runs by Anthony Jackson (114 yards rushing), setting up Cedarburg's final two possessions, one ending in frustration and the other in victory.
Van Tassel versatile
Leair praised Hoffman and Kluck for their efforts, as well as Van Tassel, who played a solid all-around game. He had several big receptions and a key punt return, as well as his scoring run, and he covered Lutheran's top wide receiver throughout the contest.
Cedarburg meets Port Washington (2-2, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at home. The Pirates are coming off a 27-7 loss to Whitefish Bay but have a strong running back in Matt Ruppel behind a line led by University of Wisconsin recruit Tyler Beach.
"We are expecting a challenge," Leair said.