Whitnall Triumphant in First-Ever Football Game at Falcon Field

The Falcons received big plays from seniors Sam Mentkowski and Zach Sutton en route to a 19-6 win over winless Greenfield.

Updated 11:15 p.m.

There were fireworks. There was a video message from former Wisconsin Badgers coach Barry Alvarez. Heck, there was even a rainbow.

But what made an evening when the Whitnall School District celebrated the grand opening of its $6.5 million, state of the art football stadium perfect was that the Falcons walked off the field with a win.

Whitnall (2-1) christened its new athletic facility with a 19-6 victory over crosstown rival Greenfield (0-3) Friday night, rebounding from a lopsided loss to Wauwatosa West one week earlier and accentuating the debut of Falcon Field in style.

"It was a tremendous amount of pressure this week. It’s a monkey off our back," first-year Whitnall coach Jeff Wallack said. "It’s one of the greatest facilities in southeastern Wisconsin. The kids worked so (darn) hard, especially after being demoralized against Wauwatosa West. … This is a special, special night."

Senior quarterback Zach Sutton scored the first-ever touchdown on the new synthetic turf when he sneaked in from 1-yard out with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in the first quarter.

He made history again when he threw the first-ever touchdown pass at Falcon Field, a 14-yard strike to fellow senior Sam Mentkowski with 6:09 left in the second quarter. The extra-point gave the hosts a 13-0 lead.

Mentkowski eventually put the finishing touches on the opening night victory when he intercepted junior quarterback Joey Hannah’s pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown with just 2:47 remaining.

"Sam is one of the top athletes in the conference," Wallack said. "We platoon, but Sam’s the one kid we have a hard time getting off the field. He’s full of heart. He’s a great, great kid. I’m proud to be with him."

Greenfield, which hasn’t scored a touchdown this season, managed only a pair of field goals by Hannah.

Both teams relied on their defense from the start as the offenses struggled, combining for the same amount of punt attempts as first downs (13 each).

Whitnall managed just 154 offensive yards, including only 52 in the second half. Sutton finished 12-for-23 for 135 yards and two interceptions. The Falcons called only about a dozen run plays all night.

"We go five-wide because we’re senior dominated at (wide receiver) and that’s something they know very well," Wallack said. "We’re trying to slowly change it to a more run-oriented team, but at the same time, I know what butters the bread.  These kids are comfortable with it."

Greenfield, which basically runs all the time, tallied only 135 yards, 20 of which came on a completed pass that was tipped and could have been intercepted. Eight different ball carriers handled the ball, including three different quarterbacks, who combined to complete just the tipped pass in 11 passing attempts (with two interceptions).

“You can’t (play three quarterbacks) at the varsity level,” Greenfield coach Scott Otto said. “I have to find one, I have to go with one and we have to ride him. That was the difference in the game tonight.

“I’ll take the blame. I need to make sure we get our quarterback situation remedied, and I think we’ll be just fine. It’s pretty apparent. I don’t think I’m throwing anyone under the bus. As the head coach, I need to do something to kind of jump-start that position.”

Otto said sophomore Jeremy Swider, who played the final series Friday, would be under center when the Hustlin' Hawks host Cudahy at 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Whitnall will try to make it two wins in a row and three of four this season when it hosts St. Francis at 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Greenfeild Fan September 08, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Jeremy Swider is a emerging young star at greenfield, he has a cannon and will make greenfield a force to be reckoned with in the future. If Otto has any sense at all, he will dump this ancient offense and air it out. With the level of talent he has at his disposal at the QB and reciever position, only a complete fool runs the ball all the time like Otto. Starting Swider is an absolute no brainer. I don't think thats the problem, Greenfields coach is the problem. Run the ball and the school and the program into the ground and out of the playoffs. A coaching position will be opening up soon.........
Mac September 08, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Coming from a3year starting varsity player for Greenfield Otto, i know thay Swider is good for the var. Especially cuz im his right tackle. Coach Otto hads a 1300lb offensive line but insists on running it up the middle behind a non experienced left side. Betweeb right guard and tackle, theres at least 650lbs. But lets keep running left or up the middle. Lets pull our head out of our asses and get a freaking td. Get the ball on the defenses 10yrd line but were settling for 3pts. Greenfield football is better than this, even with Otto. Something needs to be done.
KHD September 08, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Hahahahaha, I agree Otto has to go, but look how the teachers of Greenfield let Mac down. The sentence structure, grammar, and spelling from a senior are atrocious. Maybe Mac should be home studying, instead of playing football.
Whitnall Fan September 08, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Last I checked Whitnall High School is located in Greenfield too?? Yet every picture for the "Greenfield" Patch is of the Greenfield team. How biased is that? Wow!! Sorry Patch but on Whitnall's big night of the opening of the new stadium you would think the reporting might even skew in the Falcons' direction. Whitnall even won the game! You just lost my support. On to another topic. Last year the Greenfield/Whitnall rivalry was also played at Whitnall. The Greenfield team had the nerve to get in a large herd at Whitnall's 50 yard line at halftime and put there helmets in the air and break it down. How inconsiderate and DISRESPECTFUL is that?? Kind of like Terrell Owens doing his antics on the Cowboys star when he played for San Francisco. Well guess what.....they tried to do it again but the Whitnall players would not let it happen. A bold headed gesture by Otto and his team. I have no respect for YOU Coach Otto!!
Johnny September 08, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Chill...it's just a game.
hsmsparent September 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I know who Mac is!!! Mac is a very intelligent, hard working student was has an extreme passion for football. He is now very frustrated about what is happening with the team. How do you know his spelling errors were just not typing errors. You don't!! Give the kid a break. He is stating his feelings not looking to be graded on his spelling and grammar.
Mjc1257 September 08, 2012 at 11:06 PM
It all comes down to execution. The coach calls the play. He does not snap the ball, hand it off or block. If you can not execute the play properly or turn the ball over you will loose. It's time for the team captains to step up and take control of this team. Parents if you dont like the play calling get your own team and coach them that way i dont have to hear you whine in the stands. Players If your unhappy quit, Give your spot to the next man up.
Ann September 09, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Every team has a pregame - midgame - postgame ritual. Whitnall has there own, Greendale, etc. No one is being disrepectful. If you don't like what the teams do - stay home and sit in your lazy boy listening to marty robinson
Ann September 09, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Very well said on ALL levels
Ann September 09, 2012 at 12:40 AM
And if you want to see disrepectful - then watch a Greendale game - their head coach runs on the field to chest bump his players when they are beating teams by huge amounts -
Mac September 09, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Theres no way in hell im ever giving ny spot up. I care about the sport of football,my team, my fans and my school way too much. Ive worked to hard to give it up. I squat 600lbs and bench 350. Ive spent every dahday in mymy weightroom trying to lead my team. The greenfield team will execute and we will impress. The season isnt close to being over. For those who are complaining about not enough whitnall pics, we have a coachs wife who is a professional photographer who submits her photos. Try learning your stuff before you talk on the internet big man.
Jean September 09, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Mac-you are not doing yourself, your team or the school district any favors by commenting when you are angry or emotional! If you want to stay on the team I suggest you not tell your fellow players and coaches to "pull their head out of their asses". We all want the team to do well.
Dick September 09, 2012 at 01:45 AM
The story was about Whitnall's win and new field etc. How is one suppose to know who submits the photos Mac? Consider that before you write. Oh and btw, perhaps you should proof read your messages before you post them. dahday???? mymy??? Whitnall should be with a capital W. Just sayin' man.... proof read.
Ann September 09, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Dick - maybe you should take your own advice and read before you post. Mac wasn't the one commenting on the photos - the "Whitnall fan" was - Just sayin' man
Whitnall Fan September 09, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Sorry, didn't know those were uploaded pictures. That is my mistake. I thought the Patch took them. I should have figured that a person from Greenfield High took them. My mistake. The story was very well done! As far as writing goes, sorry I didn't proof read. I didn't realize I was writing a college paper. Would I like my writing to perfect when I quickly use my freedom of speech to get my thoughts out about something? You bet! But it's not that important that I didn't capitalize a "W." See the big picture. Let me guess....you are an English teacher and correcting spelling , grammar, and sentence structure is your life. I laugh when I read posts about someone ripping on a spelling or a grammatical error. You really offended me and made me feel like I am not educated. Just sayin' man. As far as Greenfield's halftime ritual goes....I would seriously come up with a new one because it disrespects the home team.
Ann September 09, 2012 at 02:28 AM
@Whitnall Fan - The Patch does post some pictures but anyone can upload pictures of an even in addition to the ones already posted. I to laugh at the posts regarding spelling, etc. We are all human and no one is perfect. As far is the rituals - no one is going to change - it is not about disrepecting the home team.
Dick September 09, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Yes, it was Whitnall Fan who was upset about there not being many photos of Whitnall players, and rightly so. One would assume that The Patch would post there own photos- which they did sumit some but that is hard to tell, especially if you are not that familiar with The Patch and are not aware that others can submit there photos also. You cannot tell, if you don't know the names of The Patch photographers who had submitted what photos. It was Mac who stated that Whitnall Fan should "try learning your stuff before... " That's what I was commenting about. So Whitnall Fan, I was actually on your side and meant no disrespect to you. It was Mac, yes, Mac, that I was sending my comment to. I am sorry if I wasn't more clear.
hsmsparent September 09, 2012 at 04:35 AM
If you would look underneath any photos on the Patch in bold green it says Upload Videos and Photos. Also if you look under Greenfields photos is either states photo credits to Amy Otto or photos uploaded by Amy Otto. Any other pictures credit is given to Dave Cotey which in blue print on the home page is the editor of the patch. So it might be worth your while to read a little more closely.
Whitnall Fan September 09, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Yes.....I will read below every photo from now on to see who took it....thank you hsmsparent. Silly me.
David Cotey September 09, 2012 at 06:50 AM
Just to clarify ... Amy Otto has been kind enough to offer to shoot Greenfield varsity (and even varsity reserve) football games and upload them to Patch on an entirely voluntary basis. I greatly appreciate her efforts, as do many of the players and parents of the Greenfield program. If there's a Whitnall fan/parent/etc. out there who'd like to upload action shots of Whitnall players from Friday's game or any game moving forward, I'd love to see them (and sounds like many other people would too). I covered the game with an iPhone, and wasn't going to try to take/post any action shots with that. But there is a photo gallery of the stadium opening on the home page too, in case you missed it. - DC
Mac September 09, 2012 at 11:59 AM
To everyone on here, im sorry for everything i said that was taken disrespectfully. I meant nothing like that. Whitnall played a very good, hard hitting game on a awesome field. They won simply put. Its over. Now me fighting with everyone about is stupid. I never meant to start beef, but just looking to express my opinion. To the players and fans of whitnall, sorry and good game. To my ghs fans, i am sorry to embarrass the hustlin hawk name. It was the furthest from my intentions.Both Coach Ottos are like fathers to me and though i may not always agree with the plays, what player does? Both Chris and Scott are the most caring guys in the world and are like fathers to me. The games over, Whitnall should be worrying about their next team they play and so is Greenfield. I am sorry for all stupid things said. Have a nice day everyone. Go GBP
Dick September 09, 2012 at 03:38 PM
To Mac. Thank you for your response. Yes, I agree, lets move on. Both teams fought hard and played a great game. Kudos to you for your post. I am sure that the first response was in the heat of the moment. Perhaps we should all take a lesson from this. Me too. I should not be so picky, when clearly I have made my own mistakes on my posts. Signing off, lets move on. Oh, I will ask the school news editor to put something in the newsletter about submitting some photos from Whitnall games and events to The Patch in the future.
GreenfieldAlum October 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What is more disrespectful than a halftime ritual of being on the field is that at the Greenfield/Whitnall game due to all the "hype" about the new field... (twirls finger in air)... is that I found it very unappealing and appalling that neither team was on the field for the national anthem... Very, Very DISRESPECTFUL!! I was tempted to call the school district the next day and complain. Who cares about your new field.... let's just give that all the attention and not honor our country by having those young boys on the field for the anthem. HORRIBLE!! WHITNALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!
Whitnall Fan November 01, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Hey GreenfieldAlum.. If that happened I am sure it was a mistake. We hold the utmost respect for our country and our military. I will talk to our athletic director and make sure it doesn't happen again. As for our new football field, all I have heard from fans is how nice it is. I think it is awesome myself !!
Kurtis Scardino November 27, 2012 at 05:36 PM
This was my favorite high school game I ever played in. #99


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