Game of the week
Middleton (2-1 Big Eight) at Madison Memorial (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Memorial, ranked seventh among the state’s large schools by The Associated Press, walloped Madison East last week, opening a 35-0 halftime lead on its way to a 42-7 win as senior quarterback Jason Ceniti threw for four touchdowns. Memorial averages 39.7 points and 357 yards of offense per game. Middleton held off Madison West last week 23-12, bouncing back after a 61-35 loss to Verona in Week Two. Running back Kallion Buckner has rushed for 461 yards and already has 11 touchdowns, nine via the rush. Middleton's defense, though, has allowed 41 fourth-quarter points in three games.
Games to watch
Madison West (1-2 Big Eight) at Verona (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Verona, ranked sixth, has averaged 50.3 points per game, including last week’s 49-8 win over Janesville Craig. Jackson Acker has averaged 12.8 yards per carry (385 yards on 30 carries, with five TDs), and Graham Stier has rushed for 221 yards and three scores. Playing behind a monster of an offensive line, quarterback Adam Bekx has completed 68% of his passes for 437 yards and 10 TDs, with no interceptions. West has been able to hang in early in losses to Madison La Follette and Middleton, getting 219 yards rushing from Nazier Jones and four rushing TDs from Ezra Thompson. Junior linebacker Sammy Smith (28 tackles) and the Regents defense will be challenged by Verona’s talent-rich lineup.
Beloit Memorial (1-2 Big Eight) at Madison East (0-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Breese Stevens Field
Beloit Memorial ended a long Big Eight losing streak with a 16-13 victory over Janesville Craig in the opener, but a 47-7 loss to Sun Prairie and a 33-0 loss to Madison La Follette followed. Shelvin Garrett II has proven versatile at quarterback, but Beloit seems to have trouble finishing drives and avoiding key penalties. East has averaged 16.7 points and 298 yards per game, but hasn’t held an opponent to less than 35 points. Quarterback Phil Roh III threw for 311 yards last week and Keonte Jones has averaged 20.4 yards per catch.
Madison La Follette (2-1 Big Eight) at Janesville Parker (0-3), 7 p.m. Saturday
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La Follette bounced back from a Week 2 loss to Madison Memorial by stopping Beloit Memorial last week 33-0. The Lancers have back-to-back road games against the two Janesville teams before meeting Sun Prairie and Verona in Weeks 6 and 7. Ben Probst has thrown for 616 yards and 11 scores so far, completing 72% of his throws with three interceptions. Senior linebacker Malik Robinson leads the defense with 23 tackles. Parker lost last week to Sun Prairie 52-10, and has allowed an average of 40 points per game while scoring a total of four touchdowns and a field goal.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld (1-2, 1-0 Badger North) at Waunakee (3-0, 1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Mount Horeb/Barneveld suffered a crushing blow when quarterback Ethan Post suffered a rotator-cuff (shoulder) injury in Week One but got a lift last week when the defense pitched a second-half shutout and Cris Pertusatti kicked a last-minute field goal to beat Portage 24-21. Quarterback Tanner Gassman has thrown for 282 yards and rushed for a team-best 201 yards. Waunakee, ranked third among state large schools, has averaged 58 points and 374 yards per game on offense. Caden Nelson has completed 74.4% of his passes for 572 yards, with 13 TDs and no interceptions, and Alec Morgan has rushed for 318 yards and seven TDs.
Sauk Prairie (3-0, 1-0 Badger North) at Reedsburg (2-1, 0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Sauk Prairie is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2005, as new coach Clay Iverson (formerly of Pewaukee and Mukwonago) has breathed new life into the program. While wins over Monroe, Madison Edgewood and Baraboo have been impressive, Friday’s game starts a run of tests against Reedsburg, DeForest and Waunakee that will let the Eagles know where they stand. Quarterback Kyle Breunig, running back Parker Breunig and receiver Ben German have led the offense. Reedsburg fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, suffering a 28-0 loss at the hands of DeForest. Casey Campbell has rushed for 226 yards and a touchdown for the Beavers, who pass infrequently in their flex-bone offense.
Milton (3-0, 1-0 Badger South) at Monona Grove (1-2, 1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
The Red Hawks are off to an unbeaten start under new coach Rodney Wedig, averaging 44 points and giving up 7.2 points per game. But the mark of a program on the rise often is a victory over a long-standing conference power, and that’s what Friday’s game against Monona Grove represents. Nick Huber has run for 269 yards and seven TDs for Milton, and Evan Jordahl has completed 54% of his passes for 300 yards and seven scores. Monona Grove earned its first win last week, opening Badger South play with a 39-29 decision over Monroe after crossover losses to Waunakee and Reedsburg. Cameron Behnke has thrown for 386 yards and four touchdowns so far, and Fabian Jackson has rushed for 230 yards and three scores.
Madison Edgewood (0-3, 0-1 Badger South) at Oregon (1-2, 0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Edgewood dropped a 41-0 decision last week to one of the Badger South favorites, Watertown. Logan Ritchie took the bulk of the snaps at quarterback last week, throwing for 115 yards with three interceptions. Edgewood was held to 171 yards of total offense. Oregon stayed with Stoughton until the end of last week’s 42-34 loss, as Erik Victorson threw for 124 yards. But the Panthers allowed the Vikings to rack up 476 yards of total offense.