Brown Deer QB runs for six, passes for three TDs
Junior accounts for 601 total yards in Level 1 playoff game
There was a point late in the Brown Deer football team's wild, 61-42, WIAA Division 3 Level 1 playoff win over host Two Rivers on Friday, where Falcons quarterback Zack Baun was running free toward another touchdown.
He did that a lot.
The Falcons were already ahead and co-coach Rob Green turned to his brother and fellow co-coach Andy Green and asked him if he should call out to Baun and ask him to slide to a stop before reaching the end zone so Brown Deer could kill more clock.
"And we both basically said, 'No, just let him run,'" Rob Green said.
It was a good strategy as Baun continued his insanely successful junior season by shattering all Brown Deer records for total yardage in a game as he rushed for 354 yards on 29 carries with an absurd six TDs and also had a career day passing, hitting 11-of-18 throws for 247 yards and three more scores.
The ever humble Baun had no idea his numbers were so off the charts until well after the game.
"I didn't even realize it until some friends came up to and said 'You had over 500 total yards in the game,'" Baun said. "I really couldn't believe it. I sort of knew that this would be a shootout and after they started scoring (in the second quarter) I knew we had to keep scoring."
Aside from the video-game style numbers, the effort had a bigger meaning. It ended a bad two-game losing streak for the Falcons (7-3) in which they had been outscored 103-24 by Greendale and Pewaukee and advanced them to a Level 2 playoff game and a rematch at home against Greendale (10-0) at 7 p.m.
"We know the (Woodland) East takes a bad rap as the poor step-sister of the Woodland," Rob Green said, "and we knew that Pewaukee and Greendale are top five teams (statewide). All I know is that we can play with anybody if we do what we're supposed to.
"We didn't do that last time (a 47-14 loss)....So this time around, we're looking to put our best foot forward and show that we can compete."
Area's leading rusher
Green will happily do that behind the fleet feet and strong arm of Baun who leads all area rushers with 1,988 yards on 211 tries and has scored 28 TDs. He's also passed for seven TDs.
"He's such a better person than he is a player," Green said. "He has good leadership skills and pays such good attention to everything that's going on. We had a quick need at defensive end at one point (earlier in the season) and he comes in there and gets a sack. He's a happy kid who's always ready to go."
Good for the Falcons in that regard, because Friday, the term "shootout" didn't even begin to cover what was going on at Two Rivers, because after a benign first quarter (7-0 Brown Deer lead on a short Baun run), the second quarter took on a life of its own.
By the half, it was all Brown Deer could do to stay within striking range of the Purple Raiders, who rolled up 35 points in the second quarter and took a 35-27 lead into the break.
"They had a really good quarterback/running back combination and they put a lot of pressure on our defense," Defensive Coordinator Rob Green said. "In the second half we did a little better at keeping our personal responsibilities (on defense)."
Baun and the offense kept it close in the second as Baun hit Nyles Williams for a 65-yard TD pass, Baun raced in from 28 yards out and Baun found Devante Jackson on a 34-yard TD connection.
"He's getting much better coordinated with his receivers," Green said. "He and Nyles (Williams) are really connecting and he got Devante (Jackson) involved in the game, too." Jackson finished with six catches for 86 yards while Williams had three for 130.
The defense did step up in the second half as Brown Deer outscored the Purple Raiders 13-0 in the third quarter to take a 40-35 lead. Baun had scoring runs of one-yard and four yards.
Fourth quarter fireworks
Two Rivers took its last lead at 42-40 early in the fourth, but then Baun hit Williams for a 35-yard TD pass at the 7:09 mark and Brown Deer was ahead for good. Baun then dazzled everyone in attendance down the stretch by breaking off additional scoring runs of 53 and 52 yards, respectively.
All told, Brown Deer finished with 652 total yards while Two Rivers gained 538 in the defeat.
Baun didn't want to talk about the numbers afterward, only the big picture.
"This is a very nice feeling," he said. "We're only the fifth Brown Deer team to get past the first round of the playoffs. It was a huge game for us, a huge relief (after the two losses). We also had a Coach bus and had a lot of fun on the ride home."
The coaches did, too. Rob Green laughed and said that he "fired himself" after the tough night the defense had, while "giving his brother a raise" for the fantastic job he did as offensive coordinator.
"No one leaves a kid in there to get 600 yards unless he has to and we had to this night," Rob Green said, "and we had to. He (Zack) and I are walking off the field afterward and he has some of his friends from West Bend (where he transferred from last year) and they're telling him what an astounding game he had.
"And he tells me, 'Coach, I had no idea!'"
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