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Pick 6: Clashes between conference leaders highlight Week 5 high school football games
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Pick 6: Clashes between conference leaders highlight Week 5 high school football games

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Madison Memorial's Antonio Thomas runs for a first down in the first quarter and is pushed out by Verona's Collin Stubitsch, as Madison Memorial takes on Verona in WIAA Wisconsin boys high school football on Friday, Sep. 3, 2021 at Verona High School.

While coach Dave Richardson (199-108 record) goes after his 200th victory when Verona plays host to Beloit Memorial on Friday night, here are six other high school football games to watch in Week 5:

While most WIAA football programs have opted to play a shortened fall schedule due to COVID-19, most Madison-area high schools — including the entire Big Eight Conference and every Rock Valley Conference school except Madison Edgewood — have committed to an alternative spring season, leaving their stadiums eerily empty this fall.

Friday’s games

Monona Grove (3-1 overall, 1-1 Badger Small Conference) at Stoughton (1-3, 0-2), 7 p.m. — Quarterback Casey Marron threw four touchdown passes in Monona Grove’s 33-13 victory over Reedsburg last week. His favorite target was Ty Hoier, who had 13 catches and four touchdowns. Stoughton’s defense permitted only one touchdown in a 17-0 loss to Baraboo, but it was the Vikings’ third consecutive defeat. Banged-up Stoughton hopes to get back to almost full strength, and that includes welcoming back lineman Barrett Nelson, a University of Wisconsin commit who missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury and illness.

Larson-less Baraboo puts together 'best defensive performance' to beat Stoughton
Dave Richardson photo 2

Richardson 

Sun Prairie (4-0, 2-0 Big Eight) at Madison Memorial (3-1, 2-0), Mansfield Stadium, 7 p.m. — Sun Prairie has averaged 52 points per game. Jerry Kaminski has completed 72.7% of his passes for 13 touchdowns (with no interceptions). Davis Hamilton has five touchdown catches. Sun Prairie is ranked third among large-sized schools in The Associated Press poll and fourth in Division 1 in the state coaches’ WisSports.net poll. Madison Memorial has three consecutive victories, including league wins over Verona and Madison East, entering this game between two of the Big Eight leaders (Middleton also shares first place).

Middleton responds to coach's challenge in victory over La Follette

Waterloo (3-1, 1-1 Eastern Suburban) at Marshall (4-0, 2-0), 7 p.m. — Host Marshall, the defending Eastern Suburban champion and current co-leader with Markesan, comes off a 28-6 victory over Clinton. Craig Ward has completed 60.3% percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns. Bryce Frank and Matthew Motl have formed a potent 1-2 rushing combination for the Cardinals. Marshall is ranked eighth in the Small Division in the AP poll and seventh in Division 5 in the coaches’ poll. Waterloo, which defeated Cambridge 33-14 last week, is led by running back Eugene Wolff, who has rushed for 758 yards and eight touchdowns.

Lake Mills (2-2, 1-1 Capitol) at Lakeside Lutheran, (2-2, 2-0), 7 p.m. — Lakeside Lutheran enters this city rivalry game tied for first with Lodi and Columbus in league play. Lakeside Lutheran edged Beloit Turner 32-31 in overtime when backup quarterback Kooper Mlsna, replacing an injured Levi Birkholz, threw a touchdown pass and two-point conversion pass to Tyler Marty. Lake Mills topped Watertown Luther Prep 21-20 in two overtimes on a touchdown pass from Caden Belling to Matthew Stenbroten and the subsequent conversion kick.

Madison Memorial football team tops Verona with late goal-line stand

Saturday’s games

Jefferson (2-1, 1-1 Rock Valley Conference) at Madison Edgewood (4-0, 2-0), 1 p.m. — Edgewood, which shares the conference lead with Monroe, defeated Whitewater 42-0 last week behind four touchdown passes by Joe Hartlieb, including two to UW preferred walk-on commit Jackson Trudgeon. Edgewood was ranked 10th in the Medium Division in the AP poll and fourth in Division 4 in the coaches’ poll. Jefferson fell to Monroe 18-7. Jefferson’s attack is led by quarterback Evan Neitzel and running back Brady Gotto.

Mount Horeb/Barneveld (4-0, 2-0 Badger Small Conference) at Baraboo (4-0, 2-0), 4 p.m. — The teams enter the game sharing the Badger Small lead with Fort Atkinson. Mount Horeb/Barneveld, which edged Portage 29-26 last week, is led on offense by dual-threat quarterback Kolton Schaller and running backs Trenton Owens and Tyler Buechner. Baraboo lost standout quarterback and linebacker Luna Larson to a knee injury in last week’s victory over Stoughton, and his status will be crucial during the Thunderbirds’ season. Kane Mahoney picked up the rushing load, gaining 284 yards on 43 carries and scoring one touchdown. Baraboo was ranked first in Division 3 and Mount Horeb/Barneveld eighth in Division 3 in the coaches’ poll.

Jon Masson

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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