(All games 7 p.m. Friday)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Madison West (8-2) at Middleton (9-1)
The host Cardinals finished second behind unbeaten Sun Prairie in the Big Eight race, thanks to a 34-6 loss at Sun Prairie in Week 2. Coach Tim Simon’s team hasn’t lost since, allowing only six touchdowns and 45 points in their nine victories. The defense allows averages of 75 yards passing and 90 yards rushing per game, while the offense delivers more than 32 points and 300 yards per game. Senior Davis Roquet has thrown for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns with seven interceptions. In the backfield, senior James Pabst has racked up 934 yards and 15 TDs and senior Dion Huff has added 869 yards and 14 scores. The two combined for three scores in the team’s first meeting with West.
West finished third in the Big Eight, after a 36-0 loss at Middleton in Week 3 and a 37-7 loss to Sun Prairie in Week 7. Coach Brad Murphy’s Regents have won three straight since then, including an impressive 21-9 home victory over Sussex Hamilton in a playoff opener last week. West has averaged 21 points and given up 15 per game, with about half their opponents’ points coming in their two losses. Senior Keishawn Shanklin has thrown for 735 yards and nine TDs and rushed for 455 yards and five scores. He had 200 yards of total yardage against Hamilton. In its earlier loss to Middleton, West was held to 146 yards of offense.
GAMES TO WATCH
Wales Kettle Moraine (7-3) at Sun Prairie (10-0)
Coach Brian Kaminski’s Cardinals have put up monster numbers en route to the No. 3 ranking among the state’s large schools: 39.9 points per game; 4.7 points allowed per game; three touchdowns allowed after the first quarter in 10 games; averages of 311 yards per game of offense and 123 yards allowed. Senior Jack Zander has thrown for 1,305 yards at a 56 percent clip, with 22 touchdown passes and five interceptions. Senior Draven Peeples has averaged 101 yards rushing per game with 12 total touchdowns. UW walk-on recruit Marty Strey, a senior linebacker, has 60 tackles with nine sacks, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, and has scored two defensive TDs, senior defensive back Kaden Kauppinen, a North Dakota commit, has six interceptions, and senior defensive lineman Josh Dinga has 10 sacks and two interceptions. Senior kicker Alex Oakley is an All-State candidate.
Kettle Moraine comes from the Classic 8 Conference, acknowledged by many as the state’s deepest and strongest league. And coach Justin Gumm’s Lasers have won five of six, including a 28-19 win at Verona last week that saw Kettle Moraine wipe out an early 10-0 deficit. KM’s three losses have come by six points against Hartland Arrowhead, Waukesha Catholic Memorial and unbeaten Waukesha West, all still alive in the playoffs. The offensive leader is senior quarterback Max Herro (1,303 yards passing, eight TDs; 725 yards rushing, eight TDs). Junior running back Elijah Weis has 1,029 yards rushing and nine TDs, and senior Mike Timm has 10 rushing scores in 51 carries and has totaled 128 tackles from his linebacker spot.
Waterford (8-2) at Monona Grove (10-0)
Coach Brandon Beckwith’s seventh-ranked Silver Eagles, last year’s state runners-up, have sliced through a difficult run of Badger South Conference foes, averaging 46.2 points and 468 yards of offense while allowing 13.8 points and 238 yards per game. Senior quarterback Alec Ogden has completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 2,313 yards and 31 touchdowns, with five interceptions, and has rushed for 635 yards (10.1 per carry) with 11 more scores. Equally impressive has been the rushing of senior Jackson Thomsen, who has run for 1,236 yards and 21 scores. Junior linebacker Trenton Herber leads the defense with 80 tackles.
The Wolverines finished second in the Southern Lakes Conference and have won seven straight after opening with losses at Franklin and league champ Lake Geneva Badger. Last week, Waterford edged Burlington in overtime, 28-27, when the Demons failed on a two-point conversion that would have won the game. Sophomore Tanner Keller leads the team with 1,189 yards rushing and 16 TDs, and senior Ben Michalowski has averaged 100 yards rushing per game with 15 scores.
Slinger (7-3) at Waunakee (10-0)
Waunakee has put up once-in-a-generation numbers in rolling to the No. 2 state large-school ranking. Coach Pat Rice’s Warriors have celebrated the school’s new turf field by averaging 54.2 points per game, averaging 395 yards of offense (239 rushing and 156 passing). Waunakee has given up 48 points all year and has buried its last five opponents by a combined 276-9, with a current string of three consecutive shutouts. Senior Javian Dayne has produced 1,564 yards rushing (on an 8.7-yard average) with 23 touchdowns, and senior quarterback Nate Carter has thrown for 1,539 yards (at a 65.9-percent rate) with 20 TDs and four interceptions. Senior defensive back Lucas Statz has 64 tackles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, three defensive TDs and three scores on kick returns
Slinger opened its playoff run by scoring the last 20 points in a 20-7 victory over DeForest, a team that fell 48-12 to Waunakee. Coach Bill Jacklin’s Owls lost to Whitefish Bay, Hartford and Mequon Homestead in North Shore Conference play. Senior Jason Klink has rushed for 1,287 yards and 14 TDs, and two other running backs have combined for 849 yards and 14 more scores. Senior linebacker Mitchell Krumhus has racked up 102 tackles.
Stoughton (9-1) at Waukesha West (10-0)
The Vikings cruised through the regular season with only one slip, but it was a doozy — a 63-35 loss to Monona Grove in in Week 8. Coach Dan Prahl’s team bounced back with a solid performance in a 28-7 victory over arch rival Oregon last week. Despite missing an early game due to injury, senior Brady Schipper has racked up 1,943 rushing yards with 25 touchdowns on an 8.4-yard average. Senior Jonathan Malueg has passed for 990 yards and nine touchdowns.
Stoughton will have its hands full, however, with a Waukesha West team that is fired up after being seeded No. 2 (behind Monona Grove) in its quarter of the playoff bracket. Classic 8 champion West has advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs in each of the last nine seasons, including runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015. West had only one game decided by less than 13 points and averages 408 yards of offense per game. Senior Peter MacCudden, a four-year starter, has rushed for 1,672 yards and 25 touchdowns on an 8.6-yard average, and each of his three passes has resulted in a touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Brooks Blount has thrown for 953 yards and 11 TDs, and senior linebacker Hunter Albanese has 77 tackles. Navy recruit Bryce Texiera (6-2, 285) anchors the offensive line with Christian Sheedy (6-3, 270).
Mount Horeb/Barneveld (9-1) vs. Waukesha Catholic Memorial (8-2) at Carroll University
Aside from a 42-20 loss to Waunakee in Week 3 — the Warriors’ closest game of the year — coach Ryan Kleppe’s Vikings sliced through mostly Division 2 opponents in the Badger North before rolling past Evansville/Albany last week, 56-7. The Vikings have averaged 47.9 points and allowed 13.0 in their victories. Senior quarterback Luke Hagelin has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 1,957 yards and 22 touchdowns, and junior Malik Winston has rushed for 1,707 yards and 27 scores on a 6.7-yard average. Senior Travis Klassy has caught 32 passes from Mount Horeb quarterbacks and picked off seven passes from opposing QBs.
Defending state champ (and 2015 runner-up) Catholic Memorial played some of the state’s top opponents in the Division 1 Classic 8 Conference. Bill Young has coached the Crusaders since 1975, winning 333 games and six state titles and earning a spot in the National High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. The Crusaders beat East Troy last week, 42-20, bouncing back from a 20-7 loss to Waukesha West in the regular-season finale. Senior quarterback Ben Nimz has thrown for 1,270 yards and 13 touchdowns, and junior Tate Kopulos has 1,530 rushing yards and 16 scores. The defense, which gives up 15.8 points per game, is led by senior linebacker C.J. Goetz (118 tackles, 18 for loss).
Platteville (9-1) at Lodi (10-0)
Coach Dave Puls and his No. 1-ranked Blue Devils refused to let their exceptional season come to an end last week, rallying from a 31-24 deficit behind two fourth-quarter touchdown runs by senior Jacob Heyroth to beat Mayville, 38-31. Heyroth had 302 yards rushing and three TDs in that game, giving him 1,898 yards (on a 10.4-yard average) and 25 touchdowns on the year. Senior quarterback Cameron McDonald has thrown for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns. The defense, led by senior linebacker Max Barreau and junior linebacker Austin Soehle (45 tackles each), allows opponents 10.4 points and 187 yards of offense per game, including only 66 yards rushing.
Platteville has a history of deep postseason runs, and started this year’s playoff season by winning a 54-42 slugfest over Beloit Turner. Ethan Bernhardt passed for 431 yards and five touchdowns in that game, giving him 2,613 yards and 35 scores on the season. Big-play senior Donovan Blevins catching 10 throws for 163 yards and two scores last week to give him 1,222 yards and 19 TDs on the season.
Lake Mills (9-1) at Racine St. Catherine’s (10-0) at Union Grove
There’s no denying that Lake Mills’ attack centers around senior quarterback Ben Dunkleberger, who has thrown for 2,588 yards and 35 touchdowns and leads the L-Cats with 1,278 yards rushing and 20 more TDs. He’s got an all-state candidate to throw to in senior Hayden Iverson, who caught four touchdown passes in last week’s 42-26 win over Lakeside Lutheran and 69 catches for 1,502 yards and 26 TDs on the year. Tenth-ranked Lake Mills’ only loss was a 55-24 drubbing against Lodi in Week 5.
Third-ranked Racine St. Catherine’s also has a talented, do-it-all quarterback in junior Da’Shaun Brown, who holds a scholarship offer from the University of Wisconsin and has thrown for 1,333 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 1,159 yards and 16 more scores. His play (312 yards passing, 154 yards rushing) baffled 2016 state runner-up River Valley in a 53-35 victory last week. Sophomore Isaiah Dodd has rushed for 1,122 yards and 15 scores. The defense has allowed 15.3 points and 231 yards per game.
Mineral Point (8-2) at Cuba City (7-3)
The Pointers and Cubans tied for the SWAL championship, although Cuba City beat Mineral Point 36-7 in Week 7. Point has gotten a huge sophomore season from quarterback Isaac Lindsey, with 1,783 yards and 20 touchdowns on a 62.4-percent completion rate with three interceptions. Lindsey also has rushed for 498 yards and 11 scores, ranking second behind senior Riley Workman’s 1,096 yards and 16 scores.
Cuba City missed out on a chance to clinch the outright SWAL title when it lost 13-7 at Iowa-Grant in Week 9. Cuba City beat Pardeeville 36-0 in its first-round playoff game. Junior Andy Clendenen has thrown for 1,267 yards and 16 touchdowns, and junior Mason Reuter and senior Kordell Stillmunkes have combined to rush for 1,032 yards and 13 scores.