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WIAA Division 5 state football: Dynamic duo takes center stage for La Crosse Aquinas

From the COLLECTION: Aquinas Blugolds: State champs in Division 5 series

They both contend that this whole thing started on the basketball court.

Point guard Quinn Miskowski knew getting the ball in the post to Jackson Flottmeyer was a good idea whenever they played together, and he learned quickly to take advantage of those opportunities.

The reverse happens on the football field, and that has led to a lot of success for an Aquinas High School team (13-0) that plays for the WIAA Division 5 state championship on Thursday.

Flottmeyer, the quarterback, and Miskowski, the wide receiver, have played key roles for an explosive offense that next takes aim at Mayville (11-2) in a 4 p.m. kickoff at Camp Randall Stadium.

“I always have a good understanding of where he’s going to be,” Flottmeyer said of Miskowski. “He also has a good understanding of where I’m going to put the ball if it goes to him, too.”

Flottmeyer doesn’t look for him on every snap, but it’s a good bet to say that Miskowski’s whereabouts is taken into account each time Flottmeyer drops back to pass. Nothing is forced, but anything that opens up is pounced on.

They might hit a couple of slants or dump passes to get the connection going, but the intention is to build to the big play — something they’ve been able to pull off with amazing regularity all season.

“I definitely know he can find me,” Miskowski said of Flottmeyer. “Most of the season, we’ve been able to hit those long plays on double moves, triple moves, all kinds of things to hit the home run.”

Miskowski has 37 receptions (less than three per game), but those plays have covered 942 yards (25.5 yard per catch) and produced 17 touchdowns. Flottmeyer has also connected with Miskowski on seven two-point conversions.

“It definitely started when we got to know each other through basketball,” Miskowski said of the chemistry on the field. “That’s where we started to trust each other, and we built on that with the work we’ve done together in the summer.”

Flottmeyer’s summers have been instrumental in his progress as a quarterback. He isn’t shy about rounding up teammates to run routes and catch passes in preparation for a new season.

Miskowski is a regular participant in those “practices.”

And while repetition plays a big role in the two connecting at the rate they do, there are many other factors. Miskowski’s natural speed is one of them.

But the big goal is to work the defense and soften it up for that big play. It’s hardly a new concept, but Miskowski feels like he can take advantage whenever the two determine the timing for such a play is right. Communication between the two in pulling it off is the most important aspect, and they say there is plenty of that on the field and on the sideline.

“Just last week, we went into halftime down, and (Miskowski) came over to me to say, ‘Hey, just so you know, this (route) is there,” Flottmeyer said. “We came out in the second half, and the first play on our first offensive series was that, and it worked for us.

“I thought, ‘God, I love Quinn for that.’”

Of Miskowski’s 17 touchdown receptions, nine of them are on plays of at least 25 yards. Three have gone for more than 50 yards, and he caught a 74-yarder to give the Blugolds a 24-6 halftime lead over St. Croix Falls in the quarterfinal round.

While they both help each other succeed in football and basketball, Miskowski branches off on his own in the spring as a member of the track and field team.

He helped the Blugolds qualify for the finals in the Division 3 400-meter relay and was an individual qualifier in the long jump. The relay team placed second, Miskowski was fourth in the long jump, and Aquinas won the overall team championship.

“I went out my sophomore year, but the season was canceled after two days,” Miskowski said. “I didn’t know if I was going to go out my junior year, but (assistant coach Chris) Carley was telling me that we were going to have a special team.

“He thought I could help out, and I had a fun time doing that and winning that championship.”

One more good game — especially one with enough big plays from this combination — could lead to another title to celebrate.

Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at todd.sommerfeldt@lee.net or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX

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