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WIAA football photo: Playoff qualifiers Verona and Sun Prairie

Verona's Nick Heinzen tries to break the tackle of Sun Prairie's Maven Kretche in the first quarter, as Sun Prairie takes on Verona in Big Eight Conference high school football at Verona High School on Friday, 9/14/18, in Verona, Wisconsin


Middleton (6-3) at
Sun Prairie (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Middleton gets one more shot at Sun Prairie after falling in the first battle of Cardinals two weeks ago, 35-7. Big Eight Conference co-champion and 2017 WIAA Division 1 runner-up Sun Prairie shined on defense, holding Middleton to 170 yards of offense, and Sun Prairie quarterback Richie Gilles threw for 280 yards. But that is nothing new for coach Brian Kaminski’s team, which lost its opener at Madison Memorial, 32-26, but has been challenged only once since (by Verona in Week Five, a 43-35 win). The Cardinals have averaged 45.4 points per game since that loss, and aside from the Verona game have given up only five touchdowns, never more than one per game. Gilles has thrown for 1,804 yards and 23 touchdowns, with Cooper Nelson catching 49 passes for 913 yards and 13 scores. For Middleton, Kallion Buckner has run for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns.


Lodi (7-2) vs. Lake Mills (7-2)
at Campus Field, Lake Mills, 7 p.m. Friday

Defending WIAA Division 4 state champion Lodi hasn’t lost two games in a row since the first two games of the 2012 season (McFarland and Marshall), and their last three-game losing streak bridges the 2006 playoffs and the start of the 2007 season. But the Blue Devils dropped their last two games of this regular season, to Lake Mills and Lakeside, falling from the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press’ state medium-sized school rankings straight out of the poll. To avoid a three-game losing streak and an early exit from the playoffs, the Blue Devils will have to get their revenge against the L-Cats. Lake Mills sophomore quarterback Adam Moen ran for two touchdowns and threw for another against Lodi, and the defense intercepted four passes and forced a fumble. On the year, Moen has thrown for 2,014 yards and 25 TDs and rushed for 439 more yards. Lodi has gotten 616 yards rushing from Colton Nicolet and 506 yards from Austin Soehle.

Stoughton (6-3) at
Monona Grove (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

This Division 2 opener is a rematch of a game from two weeks ago, when the Silver Eagles rolled to a 42-7 victory as Brady Killerlain rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. The game extended Stoughton’s losing streak to three games, but the Vikings righted the ship with a 47-0 win over Fort Atkinson last week. Dwight Walker has rushed for 915 yards for Stoughton, and quarterback Adam Hobson has thrown for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 649 yards rushing with five scores. Monona Grove, a balanced team that has multiple weapons with which to attack defenses, has gotten 1,621 yards passing (at a 63 percent completion rate) and 19 touchdowns from Jordan Bishop. Killerlain and Jalen Ostrowsky have combined for 1,061 yards rushing and 13 TDs. Linebacker Trenton Herber leads the defense with 67 stops.


Sussex Hamilton (5-4) at
Madison Memorial (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The Big Eight co-champion Spartans, in their first year under coach Mike Harris, are back on track after a 28-10 loss to Verona in Week Six. They closed the regular season and locked up a share of the league title with an impressive 41-27 thumping of Janesville Craig on Friday. Jason Ceniti has been a steady performer at quarterback, throwing for 1,396 yards and 19 touchdowns, and Kam Marshall has rushed for 1,037 yards and seven scores. Linebacker Sam Jessup leads the defense with 86 tackles. Hamilton, the fourth-place team in the Greater Metro Conference, has won three of its last four games, two by shutout, and is led on offense by running back Jackson Kollath (8.1 yards per carry). Kollath, the grandson of former Badgers and Atlanta Falcons center Phil Sobocinski, has received a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Wisconsin.

Hartland Arrowhead (6-3)
at Verona (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday

The last time the storied Warhawks program had to hit the road for a playoff opener, they visited Verona in 2016 — and the host Wildcats took a 21-17 victory. This year, the Warhawks’ record is deceptive: They lost their first three games, to Milwaukee Marquette, Muskego and Waukesha Catholic Memorial, but have won six in a row heading into the postseason. Quarterback Nic Wohlfiel has thrown for 748 yards and rushed for 647 more, and Josh Nielsen has 866 yards rushing to lead a balanced attack. Verona has won four in a row, and even its two losses (to Janesville Craig and Sun Prairie) were hotly contested battles. The Wildcats have scored 40 or more points in each of their last three games, as quarterback Adam Bekx has boosted his season passing totals to 1,563 yards and 13 TDs. Senior linebacker Dylan Bourne leads the defense with 128 tackles, eight for loss.

Madison La Follette (4-5) at
Fond du Lac (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

The Cardinals opened the season with a bang, ending Kimberly’s 70-game winning streak with a 31-28 win and scoring 42 or more points in seven of their eight games since. Eben Sauer has rushed for 1,150 yards and 12 TDs, and quarterback Carson Raddatz has completed 70 percent of his passes for 562 yards and rushed for 875 yards and 15 scores. La Follette is led by quarterback Ben Probst (954 yards passing, 13 TDs) and running back Kayvion James-Ragland (732 yards).

Wales Kettle Moraine (5-4) vs.
Janesville Craig (6-3) at Monterey Stadium,
Janesville, 7 p.m. Friday

The host Cougars, led by University of Wisconsin recruit Keeanu Benton on the line, finished tied for fourth in the Big Eight after last week’s home loss to Madison Memorial. Tressin Kussmaul has rushed for 1,038 yards and 14 touchdowns for Craig. Kettle Moraine, of the Classic 8, snapped a three-game losing streak with three consecutive victories to earn its postseason spot. Elijah Weis has rushed for 1,262 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Lasers.


Baraboo (4-5) at
Waunakee (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Waunakee, the defending Division 2 state champion, stormed through the regular season, outscoring its opponents, 389-34. That includes a 43-0 win over the Thunderbirds on Oct. 5. Quarterback Jarrett Wulf has completed a remarkable 84.4 percent of his passes for 1,636 yards and 19 touchdowns, with Sawyer Maly making 29 catches for 724 yards and 10 scores. Despite the tough draw, Baraboo has reason to celebrate — it’s the Thunderbirds’ first playoff appearance since 2006. Mike Wech has rushed for 1,140 yards and 12 TDs for Baraboo.

Holmen (6-3) at
DeForest (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Holmen won the Mississippi Valley Conference title outright with a 49-14 romp over second-place Onalaska last week, following a 28-6 upset loss at Sparta that snapped a five-game winning streak. Kevin Koelbl has rushed for 888 yards and eight TDs, and Brett Holden has 876 yards rushing and 11 scores. DeForest has quietly built an excellent season in the talent-rich Badger North, falling only to Oregon and Waunakee. The Norskies downed Mount Horeb/Barneveld last week, 25-22, for sole possession of runner-up honors in the North. Trey Schroeder has thrown for 969 yards and eight touchdowns, and Evan Armstrong has rushed for 799 yards and 10 scores.

La Crosse Central (7-2) at
Oregon (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Oregon finished second behind Monona Grove in the Badger South, and has won six straight after back-to-back losses to Mount Horeb/Barneveld and MG. Nolan Look has passed for 756 yards and seven TDs, and Keion Szudy and Dylan DiMaggio have combined for 1,684 yards rushing and 15 scores. Mississippi Valley runner-up Central has won three straight and five of six, led by a prolific offense powered by quarterback Johnny Davis (2,034 yards passing, 63.8 percent completions, 20 TDs; team-high 490 yards rushing, 10 more scores).

Whitefish Bay (5-4) at
Watertown (6-3), 7 p.m. Friday

The Goslings’ hopes for a Badger South title fizzled with back-to-back losses to Oregon and Monona Grove to end the regular season. Still, the Goslings could be a tough out in the playoffs, led by the arm of quarterback Ethan Pauly (1,914 yards passing, 15 TDs; 444 yards rushing, eight scores). Bay takes a three-game winning streak to the postseason, led by running back Drew Garcia (1,105 yards rushing, 16 TDs).


Pewaukee (6-3) at
McFarland (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Coach Paul Ackley’s Spartans have celebrated their new turf playing surface by barreling through the Rock Valley Conference, averaging 42.1 points per game and giving up only 11 per contest (with five opponents held to one touchdown or less). Quarterback Derek Schwartling has thrown for 1,753 yards and 25 touchdowns, with Reece Samuel catching 24 passes for 422 yards and five scores. Tysen White has rushed for 844 yards and 12 TDs, and leads the defense with 96 tackles and two interceptions. But Pewaukee, the fourth-place finisher in the Woodland West, takes a five-game winning streak to the playoffs. Josh Geisel and Masen Beatty have combined for 1,475 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.

Berlin (7-2) at
Mount Horeb/Barneveld (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Under new coach Bret St. Arnauld, the Vikings have built an impressive offensive attack, averaging 38 points and 425 yards of offense per game against Division 2 opposition. The Vikings have won five of their last six, breaking the 40-point mark four times during that run and dropping only a 25-22 decision to DeForest. Quarterback Ethan Post has thrown for 1,989 yards and 24 touchdowns on a 65.2 percent completion rate, and Malik Winston has rushed for 947 yards and 15 TDs. Berlin finished third behind Winneconne and Plymouth in the East Central Conference and takes a three-game winning streak to the playoffs. Berlin’s Alec Moriarty has rushed for 1,325 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Jefferson (6-3) at Waukesha
Catholic Memorial (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Catholic Memorial, which competes all year against Division 1 powers in the Classic 8 and then drops to Division 3 for the postseason, has won two state championships and two runner-up trophies and is making its 12th consecutive playoff trip. Memorial coach Bill Young, in his 41st year, locked up second place in the Classic 8 with a 27-20 win over Waukesha West last week. Luke Fox has passed for 1,597 yards and 19 TDs, and Tate Kopulos has rushed for 767 yards and 13 scores. Jefferson, fourth in the Rock Valley, has won three of four to close the season. Nolan Klawitter and Ryan Brost have combined for 1,090 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.


Beloit Turner (4-5) at
Lakeside Lutheran (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Coach Paul Bauer’s Warriors got off to a solid start, marred only by a 33-14 loss to defending Division 5 runner-up Hartland Lake Country Lutheran. But Lakeside’s finish was truly noteworthy: A string of six wins, scoring 35 points or more each time, including a 35-19 victory over Lodi to close the season and lock up the Capitol North title. Quarterback Jack Monis and running backs Casey Ponyicsanyi and Brevin Jegerlehner have led the offense, combining for 1,393 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. Turner sneaked into the field with a 4-5 record and has lost its last four games, scoring only 44 total points in those defeats.

Mauston (8-1) at
River Valley (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday

River Valley finished second in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference, falling to champ Prairie du Chien and non-conference foe Westby, and has hammered its last three opponents by a combined score of 114-2. Will Bailey has passed for 1,523 yards and 17 TDs, and Shane Liegel has 621 yards rushing and 10 scores. Mauston won the outright South Central Conference title and lost only to Lake Mills, 24-14, in Week Three. Tyler Jirousek has rushed for 1,528 yards and 23 touchdowns, and Cade Hall has thrown for 1,342 yards and 15 scores.

Wautoma (6-3) at
Edgerton (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The Crimson Tide finished second to McFarland in the Rock Valley, losing 57-34 to the Spartans in the season opener. They have averaged 42.1 points during their current eight-game winning streak, led by quarterback Jaden Johnson. Johnson has passed for 807 yards and nine TDs, and has rushed for 1,544 yards and 20 scores. Devin Jorgenson has 1,261 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. Wautoma was runner-up in the South Central and lost to playoff qualifiers Mauston, Lakeside Lutheran and Berlin. Matthew Kroll (1,232 yards rushing, 15 TDs) and quarterback Ryan Lois (1,058 yards rushing, 15 TDs) lead the offense.


Marshall (3-6) at Hartland Lake
Country Lutheran (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

The Cardinals snapped a two-game losing streak by beating New Glarus/Monticello and Waterloo to clinch a playoff spot, but then lost back-to-back games to Cambridge and Belleville. Quarterback Josh Wehking and running back Dylan Horstmeyer lead the offense. Lake Country Lutheran has averaged 39.8 points and has allowed only eight touchdowns all year, and only four over its last six games (including a forfeit win). The Chargers are led by Ethan Wilkins (1,234 yards passing, 19 TDs) and Dane Vance (1,138 yards rushing, 17 TDs).

Belleville (6-3) at
Horicon/Hustisford (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The Wildcats are hoping for a postseason push after their bid for a Capitol South title fell short. Nate Mabis has passed for 1,090 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 577 yards and nine more scores. Luke Kelly has added 844 yards rushing and five scores. Horicon/Hustisford takes a six-game winning streak into the playoffs, and has scored 40 or more points in each of those games. Dylan Schmitt has thrown for 839 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 585 yards and 12 scores.

New Glarus/Monticello (4-5) at
Prairie du Chien (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The Glarner Knights, one of three teams to tie for second in the Capitol South, had a two-game winning streak snapped by a 49-21 loss at Cambridge last week. Connor Siegenthaler has thrown for 969 yards and 10 touchdowns for New Glarus/Monticello. Prairie du Chien won the outright Southwest Wisconsin Conference title and takes a five-game winning streak to the playoffs. Gavin Gillitzer has thrown for 1,940 yards and 26 touchdowns, and Tyler Smock has rushed for 1,120 yards and 15 scores.


Dodgeland (5-4) at
Cambridge (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday

It’s been a banner year for coach Mike Klingbeil and the Blue Jays, who have made it to the quarterfinal round four times since 2008. The team averages 36.7 points per game, led by quarterback Denver Evans (1,493 yards passing) and running back Riley Olson (955 yards rushing, 18 TDs). Dodgeland lost its season finale last week to Horicon/Hustisford, 54-7, snapping a three-game winning streak. Nate Oestreich has rushed for 984 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Ozaukee (7-2) at
Mineral Point (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday

The Pointers drew the second seeding in its part of the Division 6 bracket, behind Cambridge, after a perfect run through the SWAL season as part of an eight-game winning streak. Point’s only loss came against Lake Country Lutheran in the season opener. Quarterback Isaac Lindsey has thrown for 2,009 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he leads the Pointers in rushing with 413 yards and six scores. Ozaukee has won five of its last six to finish fifth in the 11-team Big East Conference.


Cambria-Friesland (4-5) at
Johnson Creek (7-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Coach Tim Wagner’s Bluejays rebounded from a wild 42-41 loss to Oshkosh Lourdes in Week 8 to bury Beaver Dam Wayland last week, 67-0. The Bluejays average 47 points and 431 yards of offense per game, led by Justin Swanson (1,221 yards passing, 16 TDs) and Anthony Purpi (892 yards rushing, 15 TDs). Cambria-Friesland finished fourth in the Trailways Small, breaking a two-game losing streak with last week’s 31-0 win over Randolph. The Hilltoppers have gotten 703 yards rushing from Max Raymond.

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.