ASHWAUBENON — When you look at it, Ashwaubenon just might have all the pieces in place to win the Fox River Classic Conference title.
Offensively, the Jaguars have the best quarterback in the conference in junior James Morgan (17 TD passes), defensively the Jaguars have held four of six opponents to under 10 points and on special teams Ashwaubenon has a kicker who routinely kicks the ball into the zone on kickoffs and can make field goals from 50 yards.
So that is why the Jaguars enter Friday’s GameTime Game of the Week with a 6-0 record as they host fellow undefeated FRCC foe Bay Port.
However, when asked why his team is perfect coach Mark Jonas doesn’t talk about what his players have done on the field. Ashwaubenon is playing well because, “Team chemistry, no doubt. The kids get along well. Even though we’ve gone to a platoon system the kids support each other on all other sides of the ball very, very well. They just enjoy playing the game.”
Well, yeah, when you never lose who doesn’t like playing?
"It's great,” senior linebacker Kyle Mrozinski said. “Our team's happier and happier each game as we win. If we keep on winning I think we'll be there."
While Morgan has established himself this season, and is a big reason for the team’s success, he’s had help. Emmit Carpenter has helped the offense and the defense with his strong leg as a punter and kicker.
He has been able to pin teams back on offense, forcing them to drive 80 yards or so for touchdowns, and the longer a team has to travel, the more likely it won’t score. It also helps the defense, which doesn’t have to play on a “short field.”
"Our starting field position is our 45-, 46-yard line, so the defense is doing the job of getting some three-and-outs early, the kicking game with Emmit is keeping people deep,” Jonas said. “When you can start with a ‘short field,’ it makes a big difference on the game."
Ashwaubenon will need everything working Friday when Bay Port, ranked No. 5 in the FOX 11 Top 11 poll, visits the No. 7 Jaguars. The Pirates have been labeled all along as a team to beat in the conference and so far nobody has beaten them.
Bay Port’s offense, which is averaging 40.5 points per game, is what has Jonas’ attention.
“We’ve got to tackle real well, focus on their running back with (Max) Biebel, who’s really, really fast, and you can’t discount the running quarterback in (Alec) Ingold, because he’s very, very tough,” Jonas said. “They have a great receiver with (Blair) Van Ess, so really defensively you got three prongs you got to try to take care of.”
But this isn’t the first tough game Ashweaubenon has faced. It opened the season with Green Bay Preble, Manitowoc and Green Bay Southwest and Jonas feels that has his team ready.
"Did we expect to be 6-0, right now? No, probably not,” Jonas said. “Our first three games, especially were very tough, as tough as anybody I think in the state and to come out of that 3-0 was really special for our kids."
What would be more special is an FRCC title. The Jaguars can take a big step Friday in that direction with a win over Bay Port.
“You play all year long to win that conference championship and to have a little bragging rights in your area,” Jonas said. “It’s certainly something we’d like to go get.”
Ashwaubenon By Game
Green Bay Preble, W 40-7
Manitowoc, W 27-24
at Green Bay Southwest, W 20-17
Green Bay West, W 49-8
Green Bay East, W 37-0
at Pulaski, W 48-7
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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