Fort Atkinson (0-7, 0-5 Badger South) at Monona Grove (3-4, 3-2)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Monona Grove High School
RADIO: AM 940 WFAW
It took exactly 24 hours for the Fort Atkinson Blackhawks to overcome their 28-27 loss in double overtime to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders; or at least that’s how head coach Brady Grayvold hopes the players recovered.
The Blackhawks blew a 21-point first-half lead on Homecoming last Friday and now they’ll travel to Monona Grove looking for their first win in 17 games dating back to a victory against Milton in October of 2017.
“We had a great week of practice,” said Grayvold, who is in his second year as head coach at Fort Atkinson. “The kids attitudes and energy were up. We weren’t dwelling on the past. We told the kids they had 24 hours to think about the loss and I think they did a great job with that.”
Monona Grove has held one team to fewer than 20 points, that came last week in a 21-7 victory against Oregon (3-4, 2-3 Badger South). After taking their first lead in two seasons under Grayvold, the Blackhawks should be rejuvenated this week.
“They’re big and physical,” Grayvold said. “They have some good athletes, but they’ve given up points to everyone else they’ve played so we’re looking forward to the matchup.”
Jefferson (4-3, 4-3 RVC) at East Troy (4-3, 4-3)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: East Troy High School
The Jefferson Eagles were down in the dumps after losing three consecutive games. Now, they’re on the verge of advancing into the playoffs with a win against East Troy.
“It’s going to be exciting, we’re both 4-3 and trying to get that playoff berth,” Jefferson coach Steve Gee said.
This Friday’s game is a classic Jefferson matchup: East Troy brings the spread passing attack while Jefferson lines up and bludgeons an opponent until it gives in. The Eagles have out-rushed opponents by an average of 187.6 yards per game.
They’ll continue to try to widen that margin against the Trojans.
“The last two weeks, the biggest improvements we’ve see is in the trap game,” Gee said. “Being able to do that opens things up on the outside where we want to go. The communication the guys have shown, you could tell guys were pointing and talking about different alignments and that’s where you can tell they’re comfortable in the scheme at this point in the season.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the spread isn’t anything new: Edgerton runs a version of it, McFarland has its version of it and the Beloit Turner did, too. But one the differences with East Troy is a willingness to commit to finding soft spots in the middle of the zone instead of hanging out around the edges of the zone.
“That was the big difference when we game planned this week,” Gee said. “For Turner it was a lot of slip screens and passes to the flat. East Troy is definitely a team that will throw over the middle and try to find the soft spot in between.”
Lake Mills (6-1, 3-0 Capitol North) vs. Lodi (6-1, 2-1)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Campus Field
RADIO: AM 940 WFAW
In the last regular-season game at Campus Field, Lake Mills is set to host Lodi in a clash of the Capitol North’s top two teams.
Lodi lost 14-10 to Columbus last week. The Blue Devils still average 30 points a game behind the strength of a power run game.
“We’re going to have to attack. They attack you by getting hats on hats and running hard,” Lake Mills football coach Dan Ferkovich said. “We are going to have to attack the fullback and attack the guards when they pull. Disrupt things in backfield. We want to get them going east to west. If they get you going north to south, with guys that can break one and are hard to bring down, it’s not the easiest thing to do.”
Lodi relies primarily on 5-foot-8, 170-pound senior Colton Nicolay (136 attempts for 831 yards and nine touchdowns) and 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomore Lucas Heyroth (53-407-6) in the ground game.
The Blue Devils have held all their opponents under 15 points this season. Through seven games, only Columbus has scored more than seven points against Lodi’s matchup zone.
“You go to throw and it gets closed quickly and you don’t see one defender,” Ferkovich said of what makes the zone effective. “If we run flood routes and attack more guys to their zone then they are ready for, that will help. When we get 1-on-1 plays, hopefully it will be in our favor. We will also need to run the ball and get guys on linebackers in the second level. If we can do that it opens up the pass game. If you are worried about the pass game as a linebacker, you can’t get out on the flat and guard a receiver.”
Lake Mills has scored 52, 44 and 49 points through three league games and the team has won six straight overall. The L-Cat wide receiver quartet of seniors Hunter Buechel and Matt Johnson along with juniors Charlie Bender and Jaxson Retrum are ready for the challenge of the Blue Devil defense.
“Offensively we want to attack the ball when it’s in the air,” Ferkovich said. “We have guys who make plays on the ball. Our receivers want to step up and accept that challenge. Our linemen want to keep Adam Moen upright and create running lanes for our backs. If we win the war in the trenches we’re in good shape, if we lose it’s going to be a long night.”
Junior quarterback Adam Moen has 1,906 passing yards and 20 touchdowns through seven games. He has a completion percentage of 63 percent and has also scored 11 rushing touchdowns, compiling 628 rushing yards on 99 totes.In this week’s Associated Press poll, Lake Mills is ranked 10th in the medium-sized division. Lodi holds the ninth spot.
A win this week secures Lake Mills’ first conference title since 1988.
Lake Mills held Lakeside Lutheran to 14 points a week ago, although they did allow touchdowns of 70 and 64 yards. Those big plays are a big point of emphasis this week.
“We’re going to keep harping on that, not giving up the big play, and we should be ok,” Ferkovich said.
Johnson Creek (7-0, 4-0 Trailways Small) at Oshkosh Lourdes (7-0, 3-0)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Campus Field
Last year, Johnson Creek shared the Small Trailways title with Lourdes Academy and Fall River after the three schools finished 1-1 against each other.
This year, sharing won’t be necessary. Lourdes comes to Glover Field to face Johnson Creek in a matchup up unbeatens on Friday.
It’s the final conference game for Johnson Creek, while Lourdes finishes up against winless Deerfield in Week 9.
“It should be a good one,” Johnson Creek football coach Tim Wagner said.
It has been the past two seasons. Lourdes won both encounters, grinding out a 10-6 win in Johnson Creek in 2017, then pulling out a 42-41 shootout victory in Oshkosh a season ago.
The Knights feature senior quarterback Josh Bauer, whose 1,150 yards passing leads the conference and 775 yards rushing is second best in the conference. Running back Tim Kaull (476 yards rushing) and receivers Preston Ruedinger (league-best 388 yards) and Caden Chier (270) have helped the Bauer-led offense outscore opponents 324-75 this season.
“They do some read option with (Bauer),” Wagner said.
“From what we’ve seen on film, he throws the ball well and runs the ball well. We’ve got to obviously contain him so he doesn’t get out of the pocket, and read him.”
Johnson Creek counters with senior quarterback Justin Swanson’s league-best 810 yards rushing and second-best 793 yards passing. The Bluejays have outscored opponents 286-46.
“They’ll run a three-man front and at times move up the outside linebackers on us and go to a five or six man front depending on (what we do),” Wagner said.
“If we are in a wing formation, they load up box. If we go spread, they’ll spread out. They are sound defensively. They haven’t given up a lot of points and have scored a lot of points.
“This will be a good test for our defense, which has played well. They have a stingy defense, so it will be a good test for our offense as well.
“We reminded the kids that they have beaten us by a total of five points in the last two games. I am hoping it’s going to be a good game. They are talking rain on Friday. We can’t control that. It is what is.”
Milton (6-1, 4-1 Badger South) at Madison Edgewood (1-7, 1-4), Breese Stevens Field
Lakeside Lutheran (3-4, 1-2 Capitol North) at Poynette (2-5, 0-3)
Lakeside Lutheran’s football team needs two victories to become playoff eligible ahead of a week 8 game at Poynette.
The Pumas (2-5, 0-3) rely heavily on senior running back Brayden O’Connor (5-foot-8, 150 pounds).
“He’s the main weapon, they like to run the ball and he’s one of the better backs in the league,” Lakeside Lutheran football coach Paul Bauer said. “It all starts with stopping him.”
O’Connor has 114 attempts for 526 yards, averaging 75 yards a contest.
Poynette lost its senior starter at quarterback in Jackson Elsing earlier this year. Senior Noah Stark (6-1, 160) has been the primary signal caller since and is 21 of 45 passing for 340 yards with five touchdowns against three picks over four games.
On defense, the Pumas utilize a 44.
“We’re expecting a 44. They’ve showed us a 5-man front as recently as last year,” Bauer said. “We’ll plan for the 44 but be ready to adapt.”
Lakeside will need to reestablish its run game after scoring 21 total points the last two weeks in losses to Luther Prep and Lake Mills.
“We have to get back to running the veer,” Bauer said. “We’ve been dysfunctional at it the last few weeks. We need to get back to the basics on veer of line execution, good reads and fakes. We have to get better at it.”
The Warriors’ leading rusher in senior Logan Pampel (51 carries for 341 and five touchdowns) is nursing an ankle injury. If Pampel can’t go, junior tailbacks Micah Cody (35 rushes for 238 yards) and Nathan Chesterman (33-143) as well as senior quarterback Matt Davis will see heavier workloads on the ground.
“(Poynette) has a big line with a couple of big boys,” Bauer said. “It will come down to execution on our part.”
After touchdown scores of 70 and 64 yards in week 7, don’t be surprised to see the Warriors find new ways to get the ball in the hands of junior play-making receiver Tersony Vater as the team looks to rally for its third playoff appearance in as many years.
Whitewater (1-6, 1-6 RVC) vs. Edgerton (6-1, 6-1)
Cambridge (5-1, 2-0 Capitol South) vs. Marshall (2-5, 2-1)
Palmyra-Eagle (5-2, 3-1 Trailways Large) at Orfordville Parkview (0-5, 0-7)
Deerfield (2-5, 0-4 Trailways Small) vs. Randolph (5-2, 2-2)
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