Before the season kicked off if you polled people with knowledge of the Fox River Classic Conference and asked each who their pick would be to win the league title no doubt there would be multiple responses of Bay Port.
The Pirates are an annual contender for the league title, last winning it in 2009, and six weeks into the season Bay Port is in position.
The Pirates can take a huge leap towards that title Friday when it travels to Ashwaubenon in the GameTime Game of the Week in a battle of unbeatens. While Bay Port might know what people thought of its chances, it just has paid attention to itself.
“I was told plenty of times don’t sell your team up to something they can’t achieve and I always thought we were going to be here,” quarterback Alec Ingold said. “It’s really great to know we lived up to expectations and we haven’t accomplished our goals yet so we have to keep on working hard.”
Bay Port has won each game by at least 14 points and four games by 21 points or more, so the Pirates have been in control each week. Bay Port coach Gary Westerman isn’t sure he expected to be 6-0, but the team’s aspirations were to contend in the FRCC.
"I don't know if we expected (to be 6-0), but we set high expectations for our kids, set the bar high, so we're happy to be here," Westerman said.
Friday’s game might be the Pirates' toughest test to date. These are the remaining teams without a loss in the FRCC and with only two games to play after this week, the winner is almost assured of a share of the league title.
“FRCC, it’s a battle every week,” Westerman said. “There are good football teams out there and certainly we have two of them playing this week. Obviously, everybody knows whoever wins this is going to have a head up to win the conference championship, so we’re looking forward to it, our kids are ready and we’re looking for a great football game Friday.”
Ashwaubenon was under the radar before the season started but after pasting Green Bay Preble, 40-7, in the season opener the Jaguars have steadily gained attention.
No question they have Ingold’s attention, as when asked about Ashwaubenon he said, “Pretty scary. They’re really good on both sides of the ball. They’re just a solid team.”
Bay Port has five home games this season, but right now it is in a stretch where it is playing four of five on the road. The Pirates’ biggest road test was in Week 4, a 21-7 win, at Notre Dame and Westerman knows the road is always different, even if the travel isn’t that far.
"Playing on the road is tough just because it's different,” Westerman said. “We're lucky enough this year to have five home games. The four that we have on the road are in difficult situations, so we really got to try to guard against any type of a letdown and be ready to play at 7 o'clock on Friday."
With Ashwaubenon’s offense averaging 36.8 points per game and having a quality quarterback in James Morgan, Bay Port’s defense will be challenged.
While keeping Morgan off the field is the best way to stop the Jaguars, Westerman knows his potent offense, which averages 40.5 ppg., needs to score to win.
"People talk ball control but you still have to score points,” he said. “I think that's the key to it. We have to limit big-play opportunities on defense. Being able to run the football, I think, is really important."
Bay Port By Game
De Pere, W 40-0
Green Bay East, W 56-7
Pulaski, W 42-21
at Notre Dame, W 21-7
Manitowoc, W 35-21
at Green Bay West, W 49-13
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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