The Onalaska Luther High School football team is 2-0 for the second season in a row.
After holding off a young and pesky Blair-Taylor in their first game, the Knights rolled to a 34-6 victory over Cashton on Friday night and will spend this week preparing for a home game against Dodgeville (1-1) and the chance to be 3-0 for the first time in 14 years.
So, how does the team move forward?
“That’s a good question,” Knights coach Matt Schiebel said. “We’re getting ready for our crossover games (with the SWC), and we’ll be playing Dodgeville and Platteville, which are the same size as the other schools in our conference.
“So these teams are going to be as big as the ones we play the rest of the season, and I hope the team has some confidence after the first two weeks.”
Schiebel said the first two victories have been the product of good senior leadership and a chance for a large number of sophomores to become comfortable on the field.
Onalaska Luther has a senior starter at quarterback in Zach Wihlm, a senior running back in Noah Matzke and four senior offensive linemen.
Matzke rushed for 203 yards on just nine carries in Friday’s win over the Eagles, and he has 255 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Wihlm has completed 6 of 11 passes for 128 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Junior Ben Riley emerged Friday as a big-play threat with 121 rushing yards on three attempts and two catches for 41 yards out of the team’s veer option.
“The offense we run relies on the big play, so we hoped we could have those,” Schiebel said. “With the veer option, you are getting two yards, three yards, three yards, and you try to hit something big in there.”
Five players broke free for at least 19 yards once against Cashton. Riley and Ben Kutz caught Wihlm’s three completed passes and turned them in 72 yards, picking up 57 after making the catches.
One thing the Knights will always battle is depth, and that’s where the sophomores come in. Schiebel said their experience so far has been good.
“We have 11 seniors, but only three juniors,” he said. “Most of the guys we have standing on the sideline are sophomores, and they have to play for us, and I think they’ve done pretty well so far.”
Dodgeville opened its season with a win over Orfordville Parkview before losing a 42-21 game to Mineral Point last week. The Dodgers beat the Knights in Week 3 last season.
TOMAH SHOWS SCORING BALANCE: While Tomah used four touchdown passes by junior Connor Prielipp to beat Mauston in its season opener, it turned to the running game of Isaac Klema to take care of Black River Falls in Week 2.
Klema, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound halfback, carried 30 times for 170 yards and scored five of the Timberwolves’ six touchdowns on running plays. The senior has carried 55 times for 275 yards heading into Friday’s game at Logan (1-1).
WINNING STREAK INTACT: Bangor continued its regular-season win streak by scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and pummeling Loyal 38-0 on Friday night.
The Cardinals (2-0) have won 29 straight regular-season games since Brookwood handed them a 40-21 defeat on Oct. 18, 2013, and most of them have been one-sided.
Bangor has outscored its first two opponents 89-7 heading into Friday’s Scenic Bluffs Conference opener at Royall (1-1), and it has won 18 straight SBC contests.
A GOOD SWITCH: Black River Falls saw its losing streak reach 13 games by losing to Tomah, but there are some things working for the Tigers.
Coach Jim Bible went with sophomore Elliot Bird — he made an impact as a freshman basketball player last winter — at quarterback and moved Ethan Anderson to wide receiver prior to the first game of this season.
Bird has responded by passing for 600 yards and just one interception. The 6-4 Anderson, who passed for 924 yards as a junior, has 14 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown for a team led by Isaac Cowles’ 18 catches and 258 receiving yards.
Bird has completed 67.8 percent of his passes (53-for-78) and four touchdowns.
The Tigers host Lancaster on Friday.