DIVISION 6 FINAL
Iola-Scandinavia (13-0) vs. Racine Lutheran (11-2), 1 p.m. Thursday
How they got here: Iola-Scandinavia pulled out a 27-25 victory over Grantsburg to earn its second consecutive trip to the state final and fourth overall; Racine Lutheran rolled to a 55-28 victory over Lancaster to earn its first finals trip.
About the Thunderbirds: All eyes will be on Iola-Scandinavia senior running back Bryce Huettner (5-10, 215), who last week became the leading rusher in Wisconsin history with 6,714 yards. This year, he has 2,298 yards and 37 rushing touchdowns. “His focus is second to none on both sides of the ball,” coach Scott Erickson said. Huettner, also a linebacker, leads the Thunderbirds with 91 tackles and also has a sack and an interception. Senior Carter Kurki (5-9, 210) has added 71 stops. Erickson says the experience of last year’s loss to Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs (a finalist in Division 5 this year) has paid dividends. “A lot of our kids had never been to Camp Randall Stadium before,” Erickson said of last year’s trip to the state final. “It was like they were walking into the Grand Canyon.”
About the Crusaders: Coach Scott Smith’s team has a star running back, too, in 5-9, 200-pound junior running back Tyler Tenner. Tenner has rushed for 300-plus yards in each of the last two games, victories over Cambridge and Lancaster that helped the Crusaders average better than 41 points in each playoff game. Tenner has totaled 2,149 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns on the season, and has 31 TDs overall. “He brings a work ethic and a will to win. He trains for football year-round. It’s what he cares about the most,” Smith said. … Tenner was knocked out with an injury in a 40-8 loss to Greendale Martin Luther in Week 4, and the Crusaders’ other loss came against Division 4 finalist Racine St. Catherine’s in Week 6. … Quarterback/defensive back Colton Kraus (5-9, 170) has thrown for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 208 yards and two scores, and leads the defense with 156 tackles and four interceptions.
— Art Kabelowsky