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Pick 6: Madison Memorial, Verona renew football rivalry when Big Eight Conference play opens

Pick 6: Madison Memorial, Verona renew football rivalry when Big Eight Conference play opens

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The third week of the high school football season will bring a considerable taste of conference action to the schedule and a look at many newly configured leagues.

That includes the Big Eight Conference (which will have eight teams this season under realignment), Badger Large and the Badger Small.

Last week provided a few upsets of ranked teams, including Mount Horeb/Barneveld over Monroe and Marshall over Black Hawk/Warren (Illinois).

And there was a wild 34-31 victory for Waunakee, top-ranked in Division 2 in the state coaches’ poll, over Middleton. Warriors junior quarterback Garett Lenzendorf relieved injured starter Quentin Keene and threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. 

Here are several interesting storylines to watch this week:


DeForest (2-0) at Oregon (1-1), 7 p.m. — DeForest, ranked sixth in the Large Division of The Associated Press state poll and fourth in Division 2 in the coaches’ poll, comes off a 40-14 victory over Stoughton. Junior quarterback Mason Keyes threw four touchdowns — two apiece to seniors Deven Magli and Max Weisbrod — and ran for another score. Oregon (1-1) used a powerful ground game (334 yards), which included Teague Szudy and Austin Saunders each rushing for two touchdowns, in a 49-14 victory over Madison West. This Badger Large game was moved from Friday to Thursday due to a shortage of officials, according to DeForest athletic director Richard Henert.

Mason Keyes tosses 4 TDs, DeForest's passing game goes deep against Stoughton

Friday’s games

Madison Memorial (1-1) at Verona (2-0), 7 p.m. — The game is a Big Eight opener. Madison Memorial won the conference title in 2019, the last time the title was awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spartans edged Janesville Craig 7-6 last week. Memorial’s Antonio Thomas scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard run in the second quarter, erasing a 6-0 deficit. Thomas had 95 of the Spartans’ 216 yards rushing. Verona held off host Oshkosh West 17-14. Kyle Krantz ran for 93 yards and a touchdown, while the Wildcats’ defense was led by Mason Armstrong (nine tackles) and Drake Badger (eight tackles). Memorial rallied for a 27-24 victory over Verona in the rain and mud in 2019, scoring on Kabaris Vasser's 3-yard run as time expired. 

Waunakee handles Madison Memorial in season opener

Monona Grove (2-0) at Baraboo (2-0), 7 p.m. — This Badger Small game will highlight Monona Grove’s passing attack and Baraboo’s running game. Monona Grove quarterback Casey Marron has thrown 10 touchdowns in two games, including five in the 48-20 victory over Madison La Follette last week. Marron was 17-for-24 for 275 yards. Ty Hoier had six catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Baraboo, ranked No. 1 in Division 3 in the state coaches’ poll, rolled over Madison East 44-6. Baraboo’s Luna Larson had 204 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries, while Kane Mahoney rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

Madison Edgewood (2-0) at McFarland (0-2), 7 p.m. — Edgewood, which has come flying out of the gates with victories over River Valley and Lake Mills and is ranked fourth in Division 4 in the coaches’ poll, opens Rock Valley Conference play on the road. In a 20-0 victory over Lake Mills, Cam Fane ran for two touchdowns and Chase Koch led the defense with 10 tackles. McFarland seeks its first victory and to bounce back from a 34-14 loss to Onalaska.

Columbus (2-0) at Lake Mills (1-1), 7 p.m. — Columbus, led by first-year coach Andrew Selgrad, enters Capitol Conference competition after topping Platteville 42-6. Nathan Cotter threw two touchdowns to Brady Link, while Colton Brunell and Andrew Pfeffer scored two rushing touchdowns apiece. The Cardinals, ranked sixth in Division 4 in the coaches' poll, will try to slow the L-Cats’ passing game directed by quarterback Liam Carrigan.

Madison East (0-2) at Madison West (0-2), 7 p.m., Mansfield Stadium — It’s been a rough start for these city rivals, but one team can gain its first victory and hold a share of the league lead after this Big Eight game. East comes off the loss at Baraboo, while West, led by first-year coach Art Bonomie, fell at Oregon.  

(This report includes statistical and game information from the State Journal, other published reports, teams and


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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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