Amherst will host Springs in battle of reigning State Champions
pair of No. 1-ranked teams and defending State Champions will square off when
the Amherst High School football team (1-0) hosts Fond du Lac St. Mary’s
Springs (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, in Week 2 of the high school football
Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) (1-0) will have a Thursday night game for
the second week in a row when it travels to play at Wausau East (0-1) Thursday,
Aug. 25, while fourth-ranked Almond-Bancroft (1-0) has its home opener against
Rio (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.
(0-1) will be on the road again with a nonconference game at sixth-ranked Iola-Scandinavia
(1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, while Pacelli (1-0) will close out the week when it plays
at La Crosse Aquinas (0-1) at noon Saturday, Aug. 27.
of the top programs in the state will meet Friday night in a nonconference game
when reigning WIAA Division 5 State Champion Amherst, the top-ranked team in
Division 5, hosts last season’s Division 6 State Champion St. Mary’s Springs,
currently the top-ranked team in Division 6.
are a great team, they are loaded at every position,” said Amherst football
head coach Mark Lusic. “They’re going to have more overall talent on the field
than we’re going to have on Friday night, that’s how deep they are.
don’t see too many teams testing them in the D6 Playoffs this year,” he said. “But
we’re excited, it’s a great test for us, and it will kind of give us a nice
measuring stick of kind of where we are and what we need to work on.”
back-to-back Division 6 State Championships and State Titles in five of the
last seven years, Springs opened this season with a 28-0 win over Shiocton last
week, and is led by the return of First Team All-Wisconsin Flyway Conference
(WFC) senior running back Fintan Floyd (1,603 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns
on 213 carries last season), Second Team All-WFC senior quarterback Blake Bauer
(86-of-148 passes for 1,507 yards passing, with 12 touchdowns and five
interceptions, and 349 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 57 carries last year)
and Honorable Mention All-WFC senior wide receiver Josh Moul (20 catches for
337 yards and two touchdowns last year).
goal is of course to stop the run, like we are with every team, and make them
one dimensional,” said Lusic. “But the thing with Springs, they can throw it
and run it, and they can do it very well.
got size up front, they’ve got two stud running backs, and their quarterback’s
special also, and they’ve got talent on the edge,” he said. “So they’re going
to be a handful.
defensively, they want to attack,” he said. “They’ve got three guys up front
who can flat-out play, and then they’ve got a bunch of guys in space who can
run, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
senior quarterback Brandon Piotrowski missed the team’s 27-13 win over Omro
last week due to injury, and his status is uncertain for Friday, after he
rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in the Falcons’ 39-14
victory at Springs last season, when Amherst led 14-7 at halftime and 26-14 in
the fourth quarter before it pulled away for the win.
going to have to score when we get chances, we’re going to have to put some
points up on the board,” said Lusic. “Defensively, don’t give up the big play,
make them grind it out. And we’re going to have to tackle well; if you tackle
well, usually the big play doesn’t happen.
in all three phases of the game, be mentally into the game, no mental
breakdowns, which with an inexperienced team, happens,” he said. “We’ve got to
get rid of those mental mistakes we had last week.”
a 31-13 season-opening win at home over Wausau West last week, SPASH will play
at Valley Football Association (VFA) Northern Division foe Wausau East Thursday
night, in a Northern/Southern Division crossover game that will count in the conference
East finished 0-9 last year and opened this season with a 48-13 loss at
Marshfield last week, when senior wide receiver Thomas Dunbar caught six passes
for 80 yards and two touchdowns, senior running back Chad Simon rushed for 78
yards on 18 carries and senior quarterback Alex Becker completed 6-of-16 passes
for 80 yards, with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
early enough in the year where they’re going to be able to have the ability to
rebound from a Game 1 loss as well as anybody,” said SPASH football head coach
Pete McAdams. “Marshfield’s a very good football club this year, and they were
right with them, it was 14-13 at one point, and then that second half of the
second quarter, Marshfield got a couple of scores there to start pulling away.
I think a team that’s been struggling in the win column the last couple of
years, it’s quick to lose your confidence in the course of a single game, and I
think that’s going to be our key coming into this week,” he said. “If we can
attack them and get points on the scoreboard right away and our defense can get
the ball back to our offense, I think that can be a huge factor in how this
game turns out.
if we get off to a slow start, then that team’s going to remain confident the
whole way through,” he said. “And then you can be in for a tough grudge match
the whole way.”
offensive tackle and reigning VFA Southern Division Offensive Lineman of the
Year Jacob Erdman will miss time after suffering an injury against Wausau West
that is not believed to be season-ending, while X-rays were negative on senior
quarterback Beau Rosenthal after he was injured on a 58-yard touchdown run
early in the fourth quarter that capped the scoring in the 31-13 win last week for
SPASH, which beat East 59-7 last season.
have to focus on SPASH, and I don’t care if it’s Game 9 right now or Game 2,
but we’re not playing the ball that we’re capable of playing,” said McAdams.
“We had a lot of mistakes on penalties, and there weren’t a lot of mental
mistakes, they were just physical mistakes. We had a lot of holding calls, and
that’s one area that we’ve got to shore up.
we played smart football, we just have to be ready for that big test and
eliminate the big play,” he said. “We gave up two big plays that hurt us in
that game, both of them were touchdowns, so that’s the big thing that we’ve got
to shore up on the defensive side.”
landed as the fourth-ranked team in Division 7 in the WisSports.net Coaches Poll
for Week 1 following a 35-16 win at Fall River last week, and will have its
home opener Friday night with a nonconference game against Rio.
excited to play at home and show what this new team has,” said Almond-Bancroft
football head coach Andrew Bradley. “We have three in a row at home coming up,
and Rio’s a team that will just try to run it right at us.”
lost to Southwestern 31-12 last week, and is led by the return of a pair of
Second Team All-Trailways Conference Small Division running backs from a year
ago in senior Mekhi Haugen and junior Trajan Prochnow.
don’t think they even threw the ball last week,” said Bradley. “We’re a little
smaller up front than we have been the last couple of years, so it will be a
little bit of a challenge for us on Friday.
had a little bit of a tough time stopping Fall River when they came right at us
early on,” he said. “But then we made some adjustments, and the kids did a nice
job after that.”
beat Rio 48-0 last season, while Bradley said his team’s offensive line that
features five new starters this season will need to do what they did last week
against Fall River and continue to get better against Rio.
running back) Derek (Baumgartner) obviously ran the ball well for us (170
yards, four touchdowns last week), and that will be the key for us early, as we
get our other running backs going,” said Bradley. “Our pass protection
struggled a little bit at times, and we had a hard time throwing the ball a
little bit, and that needs to get better.
for our offensive line, if we’re able to control the line early on in run
blocking, that’ll help us be successful,” he said.
lost 44-0 in its season opener last week at Oconto and will have another tough
nonconference challenge Friday night when it travels to play Iola-Scandinavia,
the sixth-ranked team in Division 6.
definitely going to be tough, there’s no doubt about it,” said Rosholt football
head coach Carl Rosenberg. “We took a hard loss in Week 1, and then we turn
around, and we have to go back on the road again for Week 2, and it’s
definitely not going to get easier as we go into Iola with that group there,
they’re solid all the way around.
going to be a huge challenge for us, but we’ve got to come together as a team,”
won 42-8 over Manawa last week, as sophomore running back Bryce Huettner rushed
for 117 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, senior running back Gio Fredheim
had 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 10 carries, and senior quarterback
Jayden Siverston rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and completed
7-of-12 passes for 93 yards.
a good, controlled leader, and the way they run their offense, you can tell
that there’s a system over there,” said Rosenberg. “But it goes nowhere without
their boys up front, and it’s led by their center, Karol Wroblewski.
the leader, and from just watching what I’ve seen on film, he makes things
work, and it seems like everybody’s usually on the same page,” he said. “And in
this last game here, I want to say they only played like 15 kids total, I know
Iola’s got a few other people, but they were going out to make a statement. And
I think they made that statement.”
Hornets fell 65-0 to Iola last year, while Rosenberg said as his team continues
to work he can see junior quarterback Dylan Richter starting to learn and pick
up the new system, the running backs are starting to see how things develop as
they hit the holes, and he has been very impressed with the linebacker play.
one of those things that we have a young team, and we’re coming through, and
we’re just going to keep fighting,” said Rosenberg. “And that’s basically all
we’re going to do all season long, is just keep fighting at this, and we’re
going to get there, and things are going to turn around.
just got to get through some of the headaches right now, and I have a feeling
we’re going to play a good, hard game this week, and then turn around and go to
the next week,” he said. “And it’s going to start coming around for us.”
off a 21-20 victory over Menasha St. Mary Central at home last week, Pacelli
will travel to play former Central Wisconsin Catholic Conference (CWCC) rival
La Crosse Aquinas at noon Saturday.
lost 33-27 in overtime to Prairie du Chien last week, as senior running back
Sam Gunderson had 93 yards rushing and one touchdown on nine carries, sophomore
wide receiver Brandon Merfeld caught nine passes for 102 yards and one
touchdown, and senior quarterback C.J. Nolte completed 15-of-29 passes for 192
yards, with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, and rushed for 63 yards and
one touchdown on 17 carries in the loss.
that old CWCC rivalry that we like to keep going,” said Pacelli football head coach
Drew Nelson. “Watching them on film, they’ve got some pretty big kids, and they’re
pretty talented in the backfield.
they’ve got a wide receiver that’s pretty speedy and a quarterback that can
throw the ball,” he said. “So we’re going to have our hands full defensively on
Saturday, that’s for sure.”
lost to Aquinas 20-13 last season, while the Cardinals will look to build
momentum off of their hard-fought win last week.
preach to the kids, ‘this is the minimum level of effort that we need going
forward on game days, week in and week out,’” said Nelson. “(After the game
against St. Mary) I said, ‘next week when we go to Aquinas, we know what level
of effort we need.’
the bar’s been set, let’s break that bar next week and set a new level,’” he
said. “‘And challenge ourselves every week to get better, every play, every