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Football Weekend: Enz continues to shine

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John Barry
Thursday, August 31, 2017

So what have we learned after two weeks of the high school football season?

 

Some things I saw coming. Others caught me off guard.

 

Let's take a look at the area conferences, two of which already have two conference games in the books.

 

Big Eight

 

Sun Prairie was my pick, along with many other folks, to win the Big Eight. The Cardinals have done nothing to disprove that the first two weeks. A 56-0 throttling of Madison East was followed up by an impressive and dominating 34-6 win over Big Eight powerhouse Middleton.

 

Madison West, Madison La Follette and Verona are also 2-0 but don't appear to be in the same league as Sun Prairie.

 

Janesville Craig sits at 1-1 after dismantling East last Friday, but crosstown rival Janesville Parker has yet to score a point in losing its first two.

 

Rock Valley

 

The story thus far in the Rock has been the incredible play of Walworth Big Foot's Jackson Enz. The senior quarterback has thrown for 494 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 383 yards and seven TDs. He's averaging 11.6 yards per game while also handling several other duties.

 

Enz has verbally committed to North Dakota State University, but I wonder if Football Bowl Subdivision schools are going to come calling if he keeps up the pace. He's eerily similar in style to Jared Abbrederis, whom I watched lead Wautoma to the 2008 WIAA Division 4 state title. Abbrederis walked on at the University of Wisconsin before getting a full scholarship and earning all-America honors.

 

Jefferson and Clinton were the co-favorites to win the Rock and both are 2-0.

 

East Troy and Beloit Turner also sit at 2-0 and are both capable of piling up the points.

 

The biggest surprise thus far is that perennial powerhouses Brodhead/Juda and Evansville/Albany are both 0-2.

 

Badger South

 

Milton, Stoughton and Monona Grove are 2-0 after winning both of their Badger crossover games.

 

The Badger South schedule kicks off Friday, with Milton hosting defending conference champion Monroe.

 

Southern Lakes

 

The nonconference schedule was not kind to the Lakes. Westosha Central is the only team to come away unblemished.

 

Wilmot, the pick by many to win the Lakes, is a deceiving 0-2. The Panthers lost to Kenosha Bradford in Week 1 and a 14-13 heartbreaker to Franklin last week. Franklin was the Division 1 runner-up last year.

 

Delavan-Darien/Williams Bay and Elkhorn are both 1-1. The Comets host Wilmot on Friday night.

 

Here's a look at three area games:

 

Madison East (0-2) at Janesville Parker (0-2), Big Eight, 7 p.m., tonight, Monterey Stadium--These two teams have generated little offensively. East has six points in two games, while Parker has not scored yet.

 

If Parker is going to get well, it has to start tonight. The Vikings have scored 185 points in the last five games against the Purgolders.

 

"We have to use Week 1 and Week 2 as an opportunity to learn and grow," Parker coach Clayton Kreger said. "Our defense needs to do a better job tackling and our guys in the box need to play with lower pad level. On the offensive side of the ball, we have to get better in both the run and pass"

 

Best guess: Parker 27, East 13

 

Janesville Craig (1-1) at Sun Prairie (2-0), Big Eight, 7 p.m., tonight, Sun Prairie High School--The Cougars have the unenviable task of trying to slow down the state's third-ranked team.

 

Sun Prairie has outscored its first two opponents 90-6.

 

"I watched enough of them on tape to know that they're the real deal," Craig coach Adam Bunderson said of the Cardinals. "What's really impressive about them is how good they are defensively. They have no weakness on defense. It's 11 guys flying to the ball. We have to make sure to maintain our blocks and play to the whistle."

 

Craig put up 42 points in its win last week against East. Five different players scored touchdowns, including two from quarterback Ben Coulter.

 

"We have to stay focused and build off our momentum from last week," Bunderson said. "We know it's a big step up as far as who we're playing but our guys won't be intimidated."

 

Best guess: Sun Prairie 21, Craig 0

 

Beloit Turner (2-0) at Evansville/Albany (0-2), Rock Valley, 7 p.m. Friday, Evansville High School--The Blue Devils have dominated this series for a long time. Do the Trojans finally snap the long losing streak?

 

"It's not something the players are really concerned about right now," Turner coach Derek Diehl said of Evansville/Albany's long winning streak in the series. "I think that's something the coaches and media care more about.

 

"Our kids are just excited about the opportunity and to see how our current program stacks up against one that has been so good for so long."

 

Turner rolled to wins in its first two games thanks to a balanced offensive attack. Sophomore quarterback Kenny Draeving has attempted only 12 passes, but five of them have gone for touchdowns. Running back Kyle Hanaman has 226 yards rushing and three TDs.

 

"I really believe we're having success because we're not relying on one or two players," Diehl said. "We're scoring in all facets of the game.

 

"These kids really get along well and play hard on each and every play. We're very team-oriented right now and that's great to see."

 

Evansville/Albany is an uncharacteristic 0-2. The Blue Devils gave preseason favorite Jefferson a scare last week before losing 20-13.

 

Quarterback Zach Mielke has thrown for nearly 300 yards and three TDs, but the Blue Devils' usually reliable ground game has been stymied, gaining just 139 yards in two games.

 

Best guess: Turner 26, Evansville/Albany 20



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