For the first time in 12 years, Whitefish Bay finally got the better of its North Shore rival.
In an energized Lubar Stadium, the Blue Dukes toppled the undefeated Homestead Highlanders 14-7, bringing the team one win away from its first conference title since 1993.
After the game, the Blue Dukes players doused coach Jim Tietjen with Gatorade for the first time in his 36 years as coach, which says something about the charged atmosphere for the big homecoming game. An all-blue student section was allowed to come down to the field and celebrate with players after the game.
The Blue Dukes took it to Homestead right off the bat, scoring a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Homestead later countered with a touchdown with 3:52 remaining in the second quarter. Three minutes later, the Blue Dukes scored again, bringing the score to 14-7.
The second half was a defensive struggle, punctuated by a late-fourth-quarter interception by Rashadeem Gray, who played both offense and defense last night.
Tietjen said he couldn't be proud of his players' performance.
"Our kids rose to the occasion: those first downs they needed, those passes from Menard to Weber, keeping the sticks going down the stretch, the defense sucking it up, Ra Ra's big interception over there, pulling that ball out," he said. "We talked all week about winning the battles. We won those batles, and that won us the war."
Tietjen said the team's goals are to win next week's game against Nicolet, qualify for the North Shore Conference playoffs, become the conference champs and continue to win in the playoffs.
"Those are our goals and these kids keep checking them off," he said.
Quarterback Grant Menard passed for 101 yards and rushed 66 yards, according to WisSports. Jackson Weber and Gray both received four passes. Weber picked up 36 yards, and Gray picked up 65 yards.
It was an emotional moment for Gray, who said the game embodied all of the hard work he and his team have put in throughout the season.
"I've been working so hard for this. The whole team has been working so hard for this," he said. "We're a band of brothers, and we pulled it off."
With Friday night's win, the Blue Dukes and Homestead are in equal standing at 5-1 in the North Shore Conference and 6-1 overall.