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High school football roundup: Second-place West Salem keeps Holmen out of playoffs

HOLMEN — The West Salem High School football team scored twice in each half and had enough defensive answers for Holmen in a 28-21 MVC victory at Empire Stadium on Friday.

The Panthers (7-1, 6-1) officially ended the season for the Vikings (2-7, 2-5), who have failed to qualify for the WIAA playoffs for the first time since 2008. West Salem had already qualified for the first time since 2018 and officially nailed down a second-place finish in the conference after champion River Falls beat Sparta 43-14.

CJ McConkey mug

CJ McConkey

Senior CJ McConkey ran for one touchdown in the first quarter and another in the third for the Panthers, who beat Holmen in Holmen as a member of the MVC for the first time and scored the last two touchdowns to win.

The Vikings trailed 14-7 before a good end to the first half and start to the second. Senior quarterback Luke LeClaire ended Holmen’s final possession of the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run that knotted the score at 14 heading to the break.

LeClaire then gave the Vikings a 21-14 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run that was followed by Hogan Schneider’s third extra point for a 21-14 lead with 7 minutes, 26 remaining in the third quarter.

LeClaire also scored Holmen’s first touchdown to conclude his season with 15. His 79 rushing yards gave him 902.

Brett McConkey answered leClaire’s final touchdown with a 46-yard scoring run on the next possession, but a conversion pass from Noah LaFleur to Zack Niemeier was no good, and the Vikings clung to a 22-20 lead.

CJ McConkey’s final touchdown of 15 yards was followed by a Brett McConkey conversion run that gave the Panthers the final margin of victory with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. CJ McConkey rushed for 118 yards on 18 carries, and Brett McConkey added 115 on 15 attempts.

Brett McConkey also completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brennan Kennedy on a fourth-and-13 snap that gave West Salem a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.

Onalaska 51, Tomah 13

TOMAH — The Hilltoppers (5-4, 4-3) became automatic playoff qualifiers after scoring 30 points in the first quarter and 44 in the first half.

The Timberwolves (0-9, 0-7), however scored the first touchdown when Tom Hesse connected with junior Drew Brookman on an 80-yard pass play. The touchdown was the 16th of Brookman’s career, and that ties him with Cole Franklin for the school record.

Ayden Larson mug


Ayden Larson completed 10 of 12 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns for the Hilltoppers, who had 316 total yards. Michael Skemp had five catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, and Nick Odom added five more receptions for 88 yards.

The Timberwolves had 208 total yards and were led by Brookman’s 101 yards on four receptions. Jeffrey Baumgartner scored Tomah’s second touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Larson and Robert Bonner each rushed for a touchdown for Onalaska, and quarterback Adam Skifton completed all three of his passes for 39 yards and one of the TDs to Skemp.

River Falls 43, Sparta 14

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — The Spartans (3-6, 2-5) finished the season with five straight losses. Nothing was reported.


Arcadia 38, Viroqua 0

ARCADIA — The Raiders (7-1, 6-1) nailed down second place in the standings while rushing for 366 yards.

Senior Ryan Sokup gained 147 of those on 17 carries and ran his season touchdown total to nine by scoring on runs of 7 and 14 yards in the first quarter. He also became a 1,000-yard rusher by moving his season total to 1,009 yards.

Brett Rebhahn ran for 99 yards and a 38-yard touchdown on seven carries, and Kaden Updike passed for one touchdown and rushed for another.

Altoona 39, Black River Falls 27

BLACK RIVER FALLS — The Tigers (2-7, 2-5) couldn’t get a third conference win for playoff consideration. Nothing was reported.

Scenic Bluffs

Bangor 17, Cashton 13

CASHTON — The Cardinals (7-2, 5-1) denied the Eagles (7-2, 5-1) an outright championship and earned a share of their eighth in a row.

Bangor senior Mathieu Oesterle rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns — he has 16 this season — on 34 carries, and teammate Sam Crenshaw kicked two extra points in two tries and booted a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter

Colin O'Neil mug


Junior Colin O’Neil gained 108 yards on 22 carries for Cashton, which last beat Bangor in 2013. O’Neil takes 993 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns into Cashton’s eighth playoff appearance since 2000.

Bangor held Ethan Klinkner, who entered the game averaging 58 rushing yards, to 25 on five carries. Sam Cropp added 43 rushing yards on eight attempts for the Cardinals.

Onalaska Luther 35, Brookwood 6

ONTARIO — Senior Dillon Yang returned to the field and led the Knights (5-4, 4-3) to their third playoff appearance.

Yang carried 13 times for 115 yards and four touchdowns in a game Luther led 35-0 by halftime.

Dillon Yang mug


Yang scored on runs of 9, 13, 1 and 2 yards — all in the first half — and completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Bass to give the Knights a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. Yang is responsible for 19 touchdowns — 11 of them on the ground — this season.


Blair-Taylor 46, C-FC 8

BLAIR — The Wildcats (4-5, 3-4) put an end to a four-game losing streak and earned a playoff spot thanks to a big night from both Cain Fremstad and Jackson Shramek.

Fremstad completed 10 of 13 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns, and Shramek scored once and gained 170 yards on 21 carries for Blair-Taylor, which scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and two more in the second. Fremstad also rushed for 43 yards and two scores.

Fremstad completed two touchdown passes to Gabe Armitage and another to Evan Nehring, who had a team-high 78 receiving yards.

Pepin/Alma 39, Melrose-Mindoro 20

MELROSE — The Eagles (7-1, 6-1) took over final possession of second place by scoring 25 points in the two middle quarters to stop the Mustangs’ win streak at four games.

Third-place Melrose-Mindoro (5-4, 5-2) allowed 388 total yards and was led by Braydon Lockington’s 178 passing yards. Raef Radcliffe rushed for 94 yards on just seven carries, and Lockington passed for one touchdown and rushed for another. Radcliffe also caught three passes for 80 yards.


Brodhead/Juda 22, Prairie du Chien 19

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — The Blackhawks nearly became the first team this season to beat the Cardinals.

Brodhead/Juda (9-0, 7-0) needed to score twice in the fourth quarter to finish off its unbeaten overall and conference regular season. Blake Matthys and Gage Boegli scored on 1-yard touchdown runs in the fourth, and Boegli’s gave the Cardinals a 22-13 lead with 4:07 left.

Maddox Cejka completed a 20-yard touchdown to Trent Mallat with 3:25 left as Prairie du Chien (5-4, 4-3), which owns a playoff spot, reached the final margin.

Rhett Koenig rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown, and teammate Ty Wagner added 53 rushing yards.


De Soto 12, Royall 6

ELROY, Wis. — The Pirates (6-3) concluded the regular season with a win by scoring the last two touchdowns.

Aiden Brosinski mug


Aiden Brosinski carried 16 times for 112 yards and a touchdown, and Landon Pedretti added eight carries for 62 yards and a touchdown for De Soto. Pedretti’s touchdown tied the game, and Brosinski’s touchdown — his ninth — put the Pirates up for good in the second quarter.

Saint Croix Central 28, Westby 8

WESTBY — The Norsemen (5-4) scored a touchdown and safety in the third quarter after giving up two second-quarter touchdowns.

Quarterback Dillon Ellefson completed 12 of 28 passes for 127 yards and was intercepted twice. He also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to start the third quarter, but a two-point conversion failed, and Saint Croix Central held its 14-6 lead.

Westby had four turnovers and finished with 40 rushing yards on 35 attempts. Grant McCauley rushed for 43 yards and caught four passes for 63, while Bo Milutnovich caught seven passes for 60 yards.


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