MONONA — Alec Ogden’s final play from scrimmage Friday night wasn’t at all representative of the overwhelming success he had enjoyed as a member of the Monona Grove football team.
Unfortunately for the senior quarterback, it was a fitting end to a forgettable finale.
Ogden was hauled down for an 18-yard sack by Waukesha West senior linebacker Neil Bartelt on the last offensive play of what was an ineffective offensive night for the high-powered Silver Eagles.
In the process, the Wolverines avenged last season’s 43-42 overtime loss to Monona Grove with a 28-7 victory, clinching a WIAA Division 2 state semifinal berth.
“They’ve just got some tough guys out there,” Ogden said of Waukesha West. “Big, tough guys that look the part, and they play the part. They’re some smart dudes. Just tough and physical, and it’s hard to match that.”
Ogden led the Silver Eagles (11-1) on the ground (10 carries for 90 yards) and through the air (8 of 18 for 113 yards and a touchdown). But he was also sacked five times and pressured incessantly.
Ogden ended the season with 2,682 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, plus 707 rushing yards with 12 scores. For his career, Ogden threw for 6,439 yards and 76 scores.
“They are a very good football team, and we didn’t help our cause at all at times,” Monona Grove coach Brandon Beckwith said. “But you can’t discredit anything that they did.”
The Wolverines (12-0) relied, as they have all season, on a relentless power-running attack led by senior Peter MacCudden. A candidate for state player of the year, MacCudden finished with 215 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 39 carries. He also caught a 4-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter.
The lone scoring play of the first half was a 5-yard run from MacCudden with 10 minutes, 22 seconds before halftime.
After the halftime break, though, fatigue began to set in. Monona Grove ran just one offensive play in the third quarter — a 66-yard touchdown pass from Ogden to Lucas Gerlach.
And the Wolverines wore the Silver Eagles defense down with a pair of scoring drives, running 24 plays and stretching the lead to 21-7 on the first play of the fourth.
“We were starting the game out with 2-, 3-, 4-yard runs,” MacCudden said. “Toward the second half, those runs started to become 8-, 9-, 10-yard gains, and they started to break down a little bit.”
After last season’s loss, a home-field defeat suffered by way of a Jackson Thomsen 2-point conversion in overtime, the rematch had plenty of meaning for MacCudden and his teammates.
“That (was) a driving motivator throughout the whole offseason,” MacCudden said. “Every rep, every set, every sprint.”
“Being able to get this win tonight was something special. Being able to do it here – because they beat us last year at our place – it’s a great feeling.”
The Wolverines added another touchdown late, and Ogden drove Monona Grove down the field one last time before the offense finally stalled. The quarterback may have ended up with a respectable stat line, but that was secondary as his career drew to a close.
“It has nothing to do with me,” Ogden said. “It’s all about the team. If they tell me to hand the ball (or) they tell me to throw the ball 70 yards behind the line of scrimmage, I’m going to do it. We didn’t come up with the win today, but we were trying our hardest.”
Waukesha West 0 7 7 14 — 28
Monona Grove 0 0 7 0 — 7
WW — MacCudden 5 run (Remmers kick)
WW — MacCudden 10 run (Bartelt kick)
MG —Gerlach 66 pass from Ogden (Horstmeier kick)
WW —MacCudden 4 pass from Regenfelder(Bartelt kick)
WW — Mikulak 18 run (Bartelt kick)
First downs — WW 15, MG 12. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — WW 54-271, MG 29-119. Passing yards — WW 48, MG 113. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — WW 3-8-0, MG 8-18-0. Fumbles-lost — WW 0-0, MG 1-1. Penalties-yards — WW 7-70, MG 8-65.
Rushing: WW, MacCudden 37-168. MG, Ogden 10-90; Thomsen 13-70.
Passing: WW, Regenfelder 3-8-0-48. MG, Ogden 8-18-0-113.
Receiving: WW, Lietner 1-22. MG, Hepp 1-66.