GAME OF THE WEEK
Monona Grove (7-0, 5-0 Badger South) at Stoughton (7-0, 5-0), 7 p.m.
The winner will clinch no worse than a tie for the Badger South title — which Monona Grove missed out on last year, even though the Silver Eagles went on to finish as the WIAA Division 2 state runner-up.
That postseason run, and this year’s regular-season march, has been fueled in large part by senior quarterback Alec Ogden. His statistics are incredible: He has thrown for 1,806 yards and 21 touchdowns with only one interception, averaging 10.2 yards per completion and completing 71.6 percent of his passes. MG has scored at least 42 points per game and has outscored opponents 250-32 in the first half. The Silver Eagles’ defense has forced 14 turnovers and allowed 12.1 points per game.
Stoughton’s list of accomplishments are equally mind-boggling. Coach Dan Prahl’s Vikings have won every game by a margin of at least 15 points, with an attack led by senior Brady Schipper (1,167 yards rushing, 14 TDs) and quarterback Jonathan Malueg (711 yards, seven TD throws). The defense has allowed 11.9 points per game.
GAMES TO WATCH
Sun Prairie (7-0, 7-0 Big Eight) at Verona (5-2, 5-2)
Coach Brian Kaminski’s Cardinals have impressively met every challenge over the first seven weeks of the Big Eight season, and can clinch no worse than a tie for the conference title with a victory. The defense has allowed only five touchdowns, no more than one per game, and the offense has averaged 42.8 ppg behind a balanced rushing attack and the passing connection of Jack Zander (1,034 yards, 17 TDs, two interceptions) and Cooper Nelson (441 yards, 24.5 yards per catch, four TDs).
Coach Dave Richardson’s Verona Wildcats have won two in a row after back-to-back losses to Madison West and Middleton. Verona has clinched a playoff berth and still holds outside hope for a playoff title share. Senior quarterback Aaron Young has thrown for 1,145 yards, junior linebacker Dylan Bourne leads the defense with 69 tackles, and senior defensive back Bui Clements has been a do-it-all contributor.
Lodi (7-0, 3-0 Capitol North) at Watertown Luther Prep (5-2, 2-1)
Coach Dave Puls’ Lodi Blue Devils have torn up the Capitol Conference, averaging 43.7 points per game, allowing 9.4 ppg and winning each game by at least 15 points. Senior Jacob Heyroth has rushed for 1,263 yards and 19 touchdowns, and the defense has produced eight interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. Luther Prep has won three of its last four outings and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.
Marshall (2-5, 0-2 Capitol South) at Cambridge (5-2, 2-0)
It has been an injury-hampered, down year for Coach Matt Kleinheinz’s Marshall Cardinals, who take a four-game losing streak to Cambridge. Coach Mike Klingbeil’s Blue Jays need one more conference victory to clinch a playoff berth and have won three of their last four behind the passing of senior Spencer DeForest (674 yards, five TDs) and the running of junior Riley Olson (602 yards, 11 TDs).
Jefferson (6-1, 6-1 Rock Valley) at McFarland (2-5, 2-5)
Coach Steve Gee’s Eagles looked sharp last week, taking sole possession of second place in the Rock Valley with a 42-27 home victory over Beloit Turner. Senior Evan Anfang has 1,002 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, and junior Nolan Klawitter has 818 yards rushing with 10 scores. McFarland coach Paul Ackley would like nothing more than to stem the tide of a four-game losing streak, but the Spartans close the season against Jefferson and then Turner. Junior quarterback Derek Schwartling has thrown for 1,457 yards and 15 TDs.
Oshkosh Lourdes (5-2, 4-1 Trailways Small) at Johnson Creek (6-1, 4-1)
Both teams stand one game behind Fall River in the conference race. Coach Tim Wagner’s Johnson Creek team rebounded from its 15-6 loss to Fall River in Week Six with a 44-11 win over Randolph. Senior Brent Berger has run for 853 yards and 15 touchdowns. Lourdes has won four straight after a 1-2 start that included a 24-20 loss to Fall River.