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Pick 6: State-ranked Madison Edgewood, Monroe tangle Friday for Rock Valley Conference football title
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PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Pick 6: State-ranked Madison Edgewood, Monroe tangle Friday for Rock Valley Conference football title

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The final regular-season games of the season, barring late-week changes, will be played this week. After Friday’s games, the WIAA will examine which teams have qualified for the playoffs and set the teams by division. Then seedings and game pairings will be determined and should be finalized by Saturday.

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

Monroe (7-1 overall, 6-0 Rock Valley Conference) vs. Madison Edgewood (8-0, 6-0), 7 p.m., at Breese Stevens Field — The Rock Valley championship will be determined. Monroe, tied for eighth in the Medium Division in The Associated Press poll and ranked seventh in Division 3 in the WisSports.net state coaches’ poll, defeated McFarland 42-7 last week. Alex Hernandez gained 196 yards rushing on 28 attempts and scored three touchdowns, while University of Wisconsin commit J.T. Seagreaves rushed for one score. Edgewood, ranked seventh in the AP Medium Division and third in Division 4 in the coaches’ poll, defeated Evansville 41-0. Joe Hartlieb threw four of the Crusaders’ five touchdown passes. Jackson Trudgeon, who’s committed to UW as a preferred walk-on, and Isaac Thelen each had two touchdown catches for Edgewood, enjoying its best season in years. Edgewood’s last undefeated team was in 1994, according to Crusaders athletic director Chris Zwettler.

Marshall (8-0, 6-0 Eastern Suburban Conference) at Markesan (8-0, 6-0), 7 p.m. — The Eastern Suburban champion will be crowned. Marshall, which won the league title last year, was ranked fifth in the AP Small Division and sixth in Division 5 in the coaches’ poll. The Cardinals, coached by Matt Kleinheinz, opened a 51-0 halftime lead and defeated Palmyra-Eagle 59-0 last week. Matthew Motl ran for three touchdowns. Markesan had 554 yards rushing and topped Cambridge 53-20. This season, Marshall won an added game over Southern Door when Cambridge wasn’t able to play and forfeited to Marshall that week, while Markesan lost an added game to Amherst after Clinton wasn’t able to play and forfeited. The WIAA counts forfeited conference games toward postseason qualifying and uses the added game results for seeding purposes.

Sun Prairie (8-0, 6-0 Big Eight Conference) at Verona (6-2, 4-2), 7 p.m. — Sun Prairie clinched a share of the conference title with a 26-21 victory last week at Middleton and can secure the outright crown this week. Junior Jerry Kaminski threw two touchdown passes and Davis Hamilton’s fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown sealed the victory. This week, Sun Prairie was tied for second in the AP Large Division and ranked third in Division 1 in the coaches’ poll. Verona didn’t play after Madison East had to cancel due to health and safety protocols. It was announced this week that Verona coach Dave Richardson plans to retire after this season.

Fort Atkinson (6-2, 5-1 Badger Small Conference) at Monona Grove (6-2, 4-2), 7 p.m., in Monona — The Badger Small has been a wild ride, and how many teams wind up on top will be determined in the final week. It could be anywhere from one to four. Fort Atkinson and Mount Horeb/Barneveld are tied for the league lead, one game ahead of Monona Grove and Baraboo. Carson Baker threw two touchdown passes, but Fort Atkinson dropped an 18-12 decision to Mount Horeb/Barneveld last week. Monona Grove, led by running back Markale Curry, built a 20-0 lead before holding off Portage 20-16.

Reedsburg (2-6, 2-4 Badger Small) at Mount Horeb/Barneveld (7-1, 5-1), 7 p.m., at Mount Horeb — With a victory, Mount Horeb/Barneveld can earn at least a share of the title while awaiting the result of the Fort Atkinson-Monona Grove game. Kolton Schaller ran for one touchdown and completed a 20-yard go-ahead scoring pass to Landon Ellestad with 14 seconds left in Mount Horeb/Barneveld’s victory over Fort Atkinson. Tyler Buechner had 91 yards rushing and a touchdown. Mount Horeb/Barneveld was ranked ninth in Division 3 in the coaches’ poll. Reedsburg was shut out by Stoughton 21-0 last week.

Lakeside Lutheran (4-4, 4-2 Capitol Conference) at Columbus (7-1, 5-1), 7 p.m. — Columbus and Lake Mills are tied for the conference lead, one game ahead of Lakeside Lutheran and Lodi. Lake Mills plays Horicon/Hustisford and Lodi plays Watertown Luther Prep. Columbus, ranked sixth in Division 4 in the coaches’ poll, defeated Beloit Turner 55-6 last week. Nathan Cotter threw for three touchdowns and Colton Brunell ran for two scores for the Cardinals. Columbus’ loss this season was a forfeit to Walworth Big Foot. Lakeside Lutheran defeated Horicon/Hustisford 41-6. Kooper Mlsna threw two touchdown passes and Nathan Yaroch rushed for two touchdowns and had a scoring reception.

(This report includes information and statistics from the State Journal, teams, other reports and WisSports.net.)

— 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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