All games 7 p.m. Friday
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Waunakee (2-0) at Mount Horeb/Barneveld (2-0)
This battle, which opens the Badger North Conference schedule for both schools, could be the area’s best showdown of the regular season. Waunakee is ranked third by the Associated Press among state large schools (and is the top-ranked Division 2 school on the list); the Vikings are ranked third in Division 3.
Coach Pat Rice’s Waunakee program is the most successful in the area, but the talent the Warriors bring to the field this fall could develop into a once-in-a-generation. It all starts in the backfield, with the brute force of senior Javian Dayne (222 yards, five touchdowns) and the lightning of senior state sprint champion L.O. Johnson (132 yards, three TDs). Working behind a large and experienced line, senior returnee Nate Carter has run the Warriors’ new-look spread offense well, throwing for 198 yards per game with four TDs, to four receivers. The Warriors have averaged 39 points in the first half and 56 points per game, and the defense hasn’t yielded a point while allowing only 177 yards of offense per game.
But there’s no dismissing the early accomplishments of Mount Horeb/Barneveld, which has dispatched Madison Edgewood and Oregon by identical 49-20 scores. Junior Malik Winston already has rushed for 545 yards on a 10.9-yard average per carry, adding five touchdowns. Senior Luke Hagelin has completed 74 percent of his passes for 297 yards, with six TDs and one interception. Senior linebacker Ky Kalscheur has 18 tackles and a sack. The defense has given up 194.5 yards rushing per game, giving Waunakee a potential point of attack.
Monona Grove (2-0) at Oregon (1-1)
Coach Brandon Beckwith’s Silver Eagles, last year’s Division 2 state runners-up, have won two Badger crossover games by runaway margins at home, beating Baraboo, 49-19, and Portage, 49-14. Senior quarterback Alec Ogden, a pre-season all-area pick, has completed 77 percent of his passes for 526 yards and six TDs, with no interceptions. He also has rushed for 127 yards and two scores. Senior running back Jackson Thomsen has run for 618 yards and four TDs. The defense gives up 252.5 yards per game.
Oregon looked sharp in an opening 24-14 victory at DeForest, but couldn’t stop Mount Horeb/Barneveld in a 49-20 loss last week. Senior Brett Wannebo has rushed for 169 yards and senior Kardelle Phillips has 154 yards rushing and an 11.8-yard average.
Monroe (1-1) at Milton (2-0)
This is a key Badger South opener for the Red Hawks, who take on the defending Badger South champion Cheesemakers at home. Milton finished strong last week in a 27-19 victory over Reedsburg after opening with a 31-14 win at Sauk Prairie. Junior quarterback Danny Weitzel has had a breakthrough start, throwing for 425 yards and five TDs and leading the Red Hawks with 101 yards rushing. The defense has allowed 284.5 yards per game.
Monroe lost last week to DeForest, 27-7, after opening with a 31-13 victory over Reedsburg. The Cheesemakers have rushed for 203.5 yards per game, passing for only 39 yards per game, and have allowed a total only 196.5 yards per game overall.
Beloit Turner (2-0, 2-0 Rock Valley) at Evansville/Albany (0-2, 0-2)
This is a must-win game for Evansville/Albany, which lost its first two outings to league favorites Clinton and Jefferson and would be all but eliminated from league title contention with another loss. The Blue Devils have been held to 69 yards rushing per game. … Turner has downed Edgerton and Whitewater, averaging 44 points per game with an offense led by junior running back Kyle Hanaman.
Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs (2-0) at Watertown Luther Prep (2-0)
This game was pulled together at the last minute, after both teams’ Week 3 opponents called off their varsity seasons. It’ll take a lot more preparation to get coach Justin Gregorius’ Phoenix ready for Springs, the state’s unanimously top-ranked small school and winner of five WIAA state championships since 2009. Luther Prep was solid in a 17-7 win over University School of Milwaukee and a 35-12 win over Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran, getting 178 yards rushing and two TDs from senior Joe Hirsch and three rushing TDs from senior quarterback Jonah Schulz. Springs won a showdown last week over two-time defending Division 5 state champion Amherst, 14-13, and is led by junior quarterback Mitchell Waechter (173 yards passing, 98 yards rushing) and 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior running back Clay Schueffner (178 yards, four TDs).
Cambridge (2-0) vs. Horicon/Hustisford (1-0) at Discher Park, Horicon
Both teams are mentioned in the AP state small-school rankings. Cambridge has steamrolled Brookfield Academy (21-10) and neighbor Deerfield (49-6) so far, led by the passing of senior Spencer DeForest (198 yards passing) and the rushing of junior Riley Olson (150 yards rushing, four TDs). Horicon/Hustisford didn’t play last week after opening with a 44-6 romp over Lomira.
Wautoma (1-1) at Waterloo (2-0)
Waterloo has defeated Deerfield and Palmyra-Eagle for a 2-0 start, allowing just two touchdowns and 234.5 yards per game. Easton Ellis has thrown for 155 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores. Wautoma, a favorite in the South Central Conference, lost 21-8 to Berlin last week and already has 405 yards passing from junior Ryan Lois.