Ethan Safar (15) and Kyle Hackbarth (22) celebrate after Hackbarth’s fourth-quarter rushing touchdown. Everyone got into the act in the second half Friday night, as the lopsided victory allowed backup quarterback Peyton O’Laughlin to get some reps under center (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press)

Demons’ Wallace dominates the ground

By Mike Ramczyk
Correspondent

The Burlington High School football team is 3-0 for the second straight season following its victory against visiting Westosha Central Friday at Don Dalton Stadium.

The Demons, who opened their season with back-to-back non-conference wins, faced an eager Falcons squad in search of their first win of the season.

Burlington, however, outlasted the Falcons, defeating them 56-29 to start its Southern Lakes Conference slate 1-0.

While the Demons outscored Westosha Central by nearly 30 points, the Falcons gave Burlington all it could handle, and an upset seemed possible.

Thanks to some trickery and the spirited running of Myles Kazumura, the Falcons played mighty Burlington evenly for one half for the second straight season.

The Falcons dug deep into the playbook late in the second quarter, as Jakob Simmons hit Kazumura for an 80-yard score to tie the Demons, 21-21.

But the Falcon momentum was erased with two Burlington touchdowns in 2 minutes, and the Demons later buried Westosha with 35 unanswered points and cruised to victory.

Zach Wallace ran all over Westosha for four touchdowns, two of which were 69 yards.

Burlington’s high-powered offense, which is putting up 45 points per game (3-0, 1-0 SLC) spoiled a season-high in points from Central (0-3, 0-1 SLC).

“Tyson’s doing a good job over there, and they came ready to play,” Burlington coach Steve Tenhagen said about Central head coach Tyson Mengel.

“We started slow, but once we got going and got some stops, the offense got on track and we got in some situations where we weren’t putting ourselves in 1st and 2nd and long. We were fine, we obviously put some points on the board tonight.”

Tenhagen credited the offensive line, led by Luke Walesa and Charles Terry, along with strong play from first-year starter Dawson Weis, for the huge running performance.

Tenhagen added the young defense is still a work in progress, and he is hoping for a more complete game next week against Union Grove.

As for Mengel, the defeat was chalked up to inexperience and a dominant Burlington offense.

“We’re a young team, a lot of sophomores playing,” Mengel said. “Wallace is a tough runner. He ran the ball really well on us tonight.”

Wallace, a junior, finished with 274 rushing yards on 16 carries.

The punishing back credited the offensive line for his breakout game.

“Everyone is moving their hands well and getting movement up front, which is a big key to everything.”

Senior quarterback Dalton Damon completed 9-of-15 for 156 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Dylan Runkel and Otto Traxinger.

“I knew we had potential to have a great start to the season,” Damon said. “We’re just working on getting better day by day, game by game.”

Burlington piled up 524 total yards, compared to 314 for the Falcons, a season high.

Kazumura racked up 172 total yards and three touchdowns, two via the land.

Gavin Carlson hit Michael Mulhollon for a 46-yard bomb touchdown.

“Tough loss,” Kazumura said. “The offense played well, but we struggled tackling a little bit.”

Ethan Safar led the Demons with 63 receiving yards.

Jack Shenkenberg paced the defense with six tackles.

See the full story of the Burlington-Westosha Central game in the September 13 edition of the Standard Press.