Caden Nelson wasn’t going to miss this Friday night fun.
After spending much of last week’s game on the sideline with an injury, the Waunakee senior quarterback ran for a pair of touchdowns and completed four passes to lead the Warriors into the semifinals of the WIAA Division 2 state football playoffs with a 49-21 victory over previously unbeaten Hartford.
Nelson opened the scoring with a 25-yard run and added a 7-yard TD run in the second quarter, helping the Warriors (11-1) open a 21-14 halftime lead over the host Orioles (11-1).
Cole Mobley also ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and Quentin Keene threw for 76 yards and a score for Waunakee, which will meet Waukesha West (9-3) next week.
Hartford’s Jacob Frantl threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns, completing 22 of 39 passes, and also ran for an eight-yard score in the third quarter.
DeForest 52, Monroe 14
In a Division 3 quarterfinal at McFarland, the Cheesemakers (7-5) opened a 14-7 lead over the Norskies (12-0) on Nick Bansley’s second touchdown of the night, but DeForest scored twice before halftime and went on a 31-point tear in the second half to advance to a semifinal against New Berlin Eisenhower (11-1).
Alex Endres broke a 56-yard scoring run with 4:12 left before halftime, and quarterback Trey Schroeder scored from 4 yards out with 11 seconds before halftime. Monroe tried an unsuccessful onside kick to open the second half, and Endres scored on a 41-yard run.
Devin Magli then scored on a 54-yard punt return, Lane Larson ran an end-around for a 10-yard score, Trace Grundahl returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown, and Gabe Finley scored his second and third touchdowns of the game on runs of 49 and 43 yards.
River Valley 28,
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Lakeside Lutheran 14
In Division 4, Brandon Springer ran for a 95-yard touchdown to break a fourth-quarter tie and the Blackhawks (10-1) added a score on a 14-yard run by quarterback Will Bailey to put away the visiting Warriors (6-5).
Logan Pampel tied the game for Lakeside Lutheran with a 1-yard run earlier in the fourth quarter.
Bailey finished with 118 yards on 15 carries and was 9-for-21 passing. Lakeside Lutheran quarterback Matt Davis scored the game’s opening touchdown but finished 12-for-30 passing with a pair of interceptions.
Lake Mills 14
In a Division 4 quarterfinal at Carroll University, the L-Cats (10-2) drew within 21-14 in the second quarter, but Alex Oechsner scored his second of three receiving touchdowns to make it 28-14 at halftime and the Crusaders (10-2) rolled.
Adam Moen threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Matthew Johnson and scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter. Oechsner caught TD passes of 69, 12 and six yards, and Allen Obacoso ran for two second-half scores for Memorial.