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WIAA FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Sun Prairie, Edgewood football eye 11th wins and other things to know as teams brace for Week 2 of postseason

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football photo 10-26

Gabe Passini tries to get away from Madison Memorial's Cole Hendrickson during the first half of Middleton's 33-3 victory in the Division 1 playoffs Friday. Middleton plays Wisconsin Rapids this week.

Get ready for the second week of the football playoffs — or Level Two as the WIAA likes to call it. Here are six games involving area teams to watch:

Friday’s games

Fourth-seeded Fond du Lac (6-4) at top-seeded Sun Prairie (10-0), Division 1, 7 p.m. — Sun Prairie rolled past Madison La Follette 63-0 in the first round. Quarterback Jerry Kaminski threw three touchdown passes and running back Cortez LeGrant rushed for 180 yards and four scores for the Big Eight Conference champion. Like Sun Prairie, Fond du Lac of the Fox Valley Association has a traditionally strong program and will present a solid threat in the battle of Cardinals. Fond du Lac scored the final 21 points in ousting Verona 31-13 at Ingalls Field in Ripon, closing the coaching career of Verona’s Dave Richardson. Friday’s winner faces either Middleton or Wisconsin Rapids next week.

Fourth-seeded Belleville (8-2) at top-seeded Marshall (10-0), Division 5, 7 p.m. — Eastern Suburban Conference champion Marshall held off River Valley 14-12 last week. Coach Matt Kleinheinz said the Cardinals defense came up with a goal-line stand that led to a field goal attempt, which was blocked and returned 94 yards by Marshall’s Bryce Frank for a touchdown, and also stymied River Valley’s fourth-quarter 2-point conversion try. Marshall now faces an explosive Belleville team that defeated Poynette 56-14. Belleville’s Trevor Syse threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, Dylan Posthuma ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns, Andrew Ace had two touchdown catches and Anthony Nolden totaled 132 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Third-seeded Lake Mills (8-2) at second-seeded Columbus (9-1), Division 4, 7 p.m. — Lake Mills and Columbus finished atop the Capitol Conference standings with 6-1 records and now meet in the second round of the playoffs. Columbus defeated Lake Mills 29-0 Sept. 3, but the L-Cats have won seven consecutive games since. Lake Mills, behind Caden Belling’s three touchdown passes, edged Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran 28-27 in overtime last week. Columbus defeated Lakeside Lutheran 41-14. Nathan Cotter ran for a touchdown and came up with explosive plays in the passing game — throwing for 211 yards and three touchdowns on five completions. Colton Brunell had 128 yards rushing and two scores. The winner meets either Madison Edgewood or Kewaskum next week.

Fifth-seeded Kewaskum (7-3) vs. top-seeded Madison Edgewood (10-0), Division 4, Breese Stevens Field, 7 p.m. — Edgewood senior Jackson Trudgeon, who’s committed to the University of Wisconsin as a preferred walk-on, rushed for two touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown in the Rock Valley Conference champion’s 53-6 victory over Platteville last week. Kewaskum upended Lodi 29-20. Max Melzer ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and Bryan Butler caught four passes for 100 yards and one touchdown. Kewaskum finished in a three-way tie for third in the East Central Conference.

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Third-seeded DeForest (9-1) at second-seeded Menomonie (9-1), Division 2, 7 p.m. — DeForest takes on another Big Rivers Conference opponent after defeating New Richmond 35-14 last week. Cale Drinka ran for 207 yards on 35 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns and Mason Keyes threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns. South Dakota commit Tyler Ebel continues to aid field position for the Norskies, averaging 43.5 yards on four punts. Menomonie and Rice Lake were atop the Big Rivers with 6-1 league marks. Menomonie topped Monona Grove 33-6, gaining 249 yards rushing on 47 attempts. Reed Styer had two touchdown passes among his five completions. The winner plays the Waunakee-River Falls victor.

Saturday’s game

Fourth-seeded River Falls (8-2) at top-seeded Waunakee (10-0), Division 2, 2 p.m. — Badger Large Conference champion Waunakee’s defense stymied Marshfield, Warriors running back Michael Gnorski scored two first-quarter touchdown runs and quarterback Quentin Keene threw two second-quarter touchdowns during a 54-14 victory. Mississippi Valley Conference champion River Falls topped La Crosse Central 29-6. Cole Evavold is River Falls’ leading rusher for the season, but Tyler Haydon had 152 yards rushing and two touchdowns last week. After winning by forfeit over La Crosse Logan, River Falls played an added game Sept. 24, falling to Sun Prairie 21-6. According to Waunakee athletic director Aaron May, the game was moved to 2 p.m. Saturday due to WIAA tournament regulations indicating that “at Levels 1, 2 and 3, if travel is more than 120 miles between opponents, the game will be played on Saturday, unless both schools agree to play on Friday.”

(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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