WEST ALLIS — A different kind of Friday football frenzy during week two of high school football, after teams were left scrambling after their opponents were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 protocols.
The bright lights and the big plays all happened thanks to people thinking on their feet. Two teams without opponents this week came together on week two.
Greendale vs. Nathan Hale, the game no one expected to see this week, happened Friday.
The result of a domino effect following positive COVID-19 cases elsewhere opened the door for the two teams to face off.
Steve and Mary Johnson drove from Madison to see their grandson, Jacob, play.
"We're getting the chance to see him now and we are quite elated,” Steve Johnson said.
After time trying to avoid COVID-19, the couple said they are feeling more comfortable in the outdoor setting, with fewer fans.
"Both of us are vaccinated now and we're grateful to be able to get out and see those grandchildren,” Mary Johnson said.
Seventeen miles away from Friday's game in West Allis sits an empty field in Cudahy, where a game was originally scheduled to happen.
Cudahy was Greendale's original opponent for Friday's game, but they had to drop out after some personnel tested positive for the virus.
Greenfield played Cudahy March 26 and is now quarantining, meaning they too had to cancel their game against Hale.
Both Hale and Greendale were briefly without opponents. They came together, working out the week two matchup.
"We had the home field. We had the referees already. Let's just see if we can fit together Greendale,” said Hale Athletic Director Greg Lucas.
Greendale, for the second consecutive week, was forced to switch opponents due to the COVID-19
"It was not unexpected that this could possibly happen. And I think our kids were in the mindset that this could possibly happen,” said Greendale coach Rob Stoltz.
Mary said despite last week's cases, she trusts her grandson and others will be safe as the league’s season progresses.
"The fact that they can switch a game on a dime, because they tested positive, I believe they had our kids' interests in heart,” she said.
TMJ4 News also reached out to WIAA to see they are tracking the number of games forced to cancel or reschedule. We will follow up when we receive a response.