All-state WR runs, catches for over 100 yards apiece.
WAUKESHA — Chimere Dike, star running back? Maybe just for a day. But the all-state wide receiver showed another way he can be a game-changer. The senior posted over 100 yards both receiving and rushing, racking up 241 total yards in all to help the Northstars pull away from crosstown rival Waukesha South for a 35-13 Classic 8 Conference victory Friday night.
It was his electrifying 76- yard touchdown run that gave North (2-1 overall and conference) a three-touchdown lead in the third quarter, and with the Blackshirts (0-3, 0-3) hanging around, he once again put the moves on for a 17-yard score to all but put the game away. “Any way I can impact the game in a positive way I try to do it,” Dike said.
“It’s a little different from what I’m used to, but if I get the ball I’m going to do what I can to make an impact.” The University of Wisconsin recruit made six catches for 114 yards, while carrying the ball seven times for 127 yards and those two secondhalf touchdowns.
“We’ve been working it,” Harris said of putting Dike in the backfield. “We’ve just been kind of waiting and we felt like tonight was the opportunity, especially with (senior running back Javi Diaz) going down early in the game. We just had to make a change. We know how special he is and we’ve got to take advantage of it.
They did a good job covering him tonight so we had to mix it up a little bit.” South didn’t do a good enough job of keeping Dike from making a spectacular 43-yard diving catch after beating one-onone coverage on North’s first play from scrimmage. That set up a 5-yard strike from senior quarterback Johnny Kelliher to junior Jack Klussendorf to make it 7-0 with 7 minutes, 36 seconds left in the first quarter.
“When we called the play I saw the coverage and I knew I had to win,” Dike said. “I focused on running my route, got open and saw the ball in the air and made the catch. I was happy to open the game up and get some momentum.” Kelliher completed his first seven passes of the game despite favoring his knee.
South also had to deal with some bumps and bruises as junior starting running back Joseph Kulas left after the second play of the game and senior defensive end Geramiah Drew was also dinged up early. North dodged a bullet when Dike muffed a punt but fell on it, and that led to a 85-yard scoring drive that took only 3:31, resulting in a 4-yard TD run by Diaz.
The Blackshirt defense buckled down from there to keep the score at 14-0 going into the half, although the offense let some opportunities slip by the wayside. Junior quarterback Jordan McNello coughed the ball up late in the second quarter in North territory and saw it recovered by senior defensive end Daniel Korth.
South would get the ball back with 1:21 on the clock and drive to the Northstar 18, but time ran out after a bad snap on the ensuing field goal attempt. It was a bend but don’t break effort at times for North’s No. 1 unit on defense, only conceding a touchdown when South had a short field to work with in the third quarter. “It was a great effort,” Harris said. “A couple little blips here and there, just fundamental stuff, finishing tackles and those kinds of things.
But you know what? Credit South. They did a great job. Their gameplan was right on. They made some plays when they needed to and they kept in the game for awhile and our superstar kind of took over.” The Blackshirts recovered an onside kick to begin the second half but could do nothing with it.
Then they were stuffed on 4th and 1 after driving inside the red zone on their next drive. Dike fed off that momentum, cutting back across the field after making a man miss before bolting down the sideline for his 76-yard touchdown.
South had an answer this time, with a big kick return by junior Eli Hoyt setting up his 5-yard TD reception from McNello to make it 21-7 with 2:48 left in the third. But Dike later added his second rushing touchdown, and after an interception by senior Ben Spiers, senior Zach Miller scored from 8 yards out to push the lead to 35-7.
Next up for Waukesha North? Defending state – champion Muskego. “I mean, shoot, I’ve learned to really appreciate a win in this conference more than anything,” Harris said. “But now I just told the kids we’ve got a great opportunity.
You don’t get many opportunities to go against the No. 1 team in the state, let alone a Division 1 school.” Dike also relishes the challenge. “I know it’s going to be a battle every week in the Classic 8,” Dike said. “We’re going to have to prepare the best we ever have because Muskego is a great opponent.”