Bay Port quarterback Alec Ingold wore Jordan Stelzer’s No. 18 jersey to honor the injured senior linebacker on Friday.
The Pirates’ defense, meanwhile, made Stelzer proud by leaving a different number on the scoreboard against the Fox River Classic Conference’s top offense.
Bay Port posted a 21-0 shutout in its regular-season finale against Green Bay Southwest, which came into the contest averaging 398.1 yards per game to lead the conference.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of our defense,” said Stelzer, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in a victory at Sheboygan North last week.
“I think playing as a collective whole is just moving us forward. … I told them to play every single down like it’s your last, and they took that to heart.”
The Pirates’ defense took it to Southwest the entire night, forcing five three-and-outs, two interceptions and two stops on downs, which came in the fourth quarter when the Trojans started back-to-back drives in Bay Port territory.
Southwest had minus-3 yards rushing at halftime and finished the game with only 5 rushing yards. Overall, the Trojans were limited to 168 yards of offense in being shut out for the first time since a 2010 playoff loss to Menasha.
In addition to having senior Zach Smith step in for Stelzer, the defense also got an interception from senior defensive back Chad Osmanski, who was making his first start.
“I can’t say enough about our ‘D’,” Bay Port coach Gary Westerman said. “They played their tails off. They were just awesome.”
Despite its inability to move the football, Southwest (7-2, 6-2) had the opportunity to cut into a 14-0 deficit late in the third quarter when senior Khan Balushi came up with an interception, giving the Trojans their best field position to that point at their 46.
Junior Joe Baier, however, came up with Bay Port’s second interception of Southwest quarterback Chad Leaman to end the drive.
Five plays later, Ingold dashed down the left sideline for a 65-yard scoring scamper to take a 21-0 lead.
Ingold finished with 161 rushing yards on 17 carries in addition to completing 8-of-13 passes for 108 yards with a touchdown to Joey Maier in the second quarter.
The Pirates (8-1, 7-1) totaled 305 rushing yards, including 99 from senior Max Biebel and a 4-yard scoring scamper from Kolton Huff to take a 14-0 lead into the half.
“We just weren’t getting good push up front,” Southwest co-coach Pat Wallace said. “They physically took it to us early on.
“We’re a momentum offense. They took some of our momentum away. I think they were playing with a lot of emotion.”
Some of that emotion stemmed from falling at Southwest in the regular-season finale last year with FRCC title on the line.
Ashwaubenon’s victory on Friday leaves Bay Port in second place for a second straight season.
But it left a positive memory for players like Stelzer on senior night.
“Stelzer always talks about shutting teams out,” Ingold said. “It doesn’t matter if it is 56-0, he wants that goose egg. It was great to give it to him.”
BP: Joey Maier 14 pass from Alec Ingold (Jennerjohn kick)
BP: Kolton Huff 4 run (Jennerjohn kick)
BP: Ingold 65 run (Jennerjohn kick)
Rushing — GB Southwest, Jake Gorzek 11-21. Bay Port, Alec Ingold 17-161.
Passing — GB Southwest, Chad Leaman 12-31-2-163. Bay Port, Alec Ingold 8-13-1-108.
Receiving — GB Southwest, Nick Czyz 4-50. Bay Port, Joey Maier 3-46.