Football weekend: Previewing Week 3 of the high school season

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John Barry
Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mequon Homestead’s 13-7 win over Hartland Arrowhead on Friday sent shockwaves throughout the state.

Arrowhead is the defending Division 1 state champion, and with as many as nine Division I recruits on the field, was considered a good bet to put together back-to-back unbeaten seasons.

But was Homestead’s victory that shocking? Not really.

The Highlanders are the defending Division 2 state champions, and coach Dave Keel has one of the most successful programs in the state. Homestead has compiled a ridiculous 157-18 record under Keel, including four state championships, a state runner-up finish and four state semifinal appearances.

Despite the loss, Arrowhead remains the team to beat in Division 1. Homestead simply stated its case as possibly the best team in the state.

The majority of area teams begin conference play Friday night. The Big Eight, which plays a nine-game conference schedule and no nonconference games, already has two conference games in the books.

  • Sun Prairie, the prohibitive Big Eight favorite, is 2-0 but has been pushed in both games. The Cardinals needed a last-second field goal to beat Verona on Friday.
  • Walworth Big Foot puts its 43-game Rock Valley Conference winning streak on the line Friday night at Evansville.
  • East Troy begins defense of its Rock Valley North title and will have the state’s top-rated quarterback leading the way.  Brandon Matz has thrown for 849 yards and 12 touchdowns in two games.
  • Delavan-Darien, behind all-everything quarterback Jesse Collins, has proven in two games that it’s going to be a threat in the Southern Lakes. The Comets have scored 100 points in two games and pushed Big Foot to the limit before losing in Saturday’s weather-delayed nonconference game.

Here’s a look at three area games of note Friday.

Jefferson (2-0, 0-0) at Clinton (2-0, 0-0), 7 p.m.—The Eagles, the defending Rock Valley North co-champions, were expected to be 2-0. The Cougars haven’t been 2-0 to start a season since 2000 when they opened with wins against Delavan-Darien and Columbus.

Jefferson kicked off its Rock Valley North championship season a year ago with a 46-21 win over Clinton. The Eagles have scored 84 points in two games this season and are averaging 251 yards per game on the ground. Tailback Garrett Blaeske is averaging 122 yards per game and 9.4 yards per carry.

Clinton’s rebuilding project under coach Jeff Spiwak is ahead of schedule. The Cougars came into the season having won only nine games in the last six seasons.

Jacob Marchillo, one of the Rock Valley’s top playmakers, broke his fibula in the win against North Boone (Ill.) and will be sidelined at least 4-6 weeks. The senior tailback was averaging more than 10 yards a carry.

“I’m so proud of these kids for the way they responded to the adversity,” Clinton coach Jeff Spiwak said of Marchillo’s injury. “A year ago, they probably would’ve hung their heads and felt like they couldn’t go on.

“Now they have confidence because they’ve bought into the system.”

Best guess: Jefferson 27, Clinton 13.

Big Foot (2-0, 0-0) at Evansville/Albany (1-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.—The six-time defending Rock Valley South champion Chiefs will put their 43-game conference winning streak on the line. Big Foot cruised in its season opener against Westosha Central but had to hold off a talented Delavan-Darien team in week two.

After pounding opponents into the ground for much of the last six years, Big Foot has mixed it up offensively this season. In two games, the Chiefs are averaging 242 yards rushing and 153 yards passing per game. Tim Long had over 200 yards rushing in Saturday’s win over Delavan-Darien.

The Blue Devils were impressive in a week-one win against Union Grove but were dismantled in a 35-7 loss to  Brodhead/Juda on Friday.

Evansville/Albany has scored only six points in the first half in two games and can’t afford another scoring drought as it begins defense of its Rock Valley North co-championship.

Best guess: Big Foot 35, Evansville/Albany 13.

Waterford (1-1, 0-0) at Lake Geneva Badger (1-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.—The defending Southern Lakes champion Wolverines travel to Lake Geneva to face the 2013 preseason favorite Badgers.

Waterford’s defense has made life miserable for Badger’s offense in the last two meetings. The Badgers were shut out by the Wolverines in 2011 and lost 7-3 a year ago with the conference title on the line.

Badger is coming off a 9-7 loss to sixth-ranked Mukwonago. Andrew Allen figures to carry the load for the Badgers. The tailback has rushed for 323 yards in two games and is averaging 8.3 yards per carry. Badger’s defense has been stellar in two games, allowing just over 200 yards of total offense per game.

Best guess: Badger 14, Waterford 6.

High school football

Games Friday

(7 p.m. starting times unless indicated)


Middleton at Janesville Parker, 7:30 p.m.

Janesville Craig at Verona, 7:30 p.m.

Sun Prairie at Beloit Memorial, 7:30 p.m.

Madison Memorial at Madison East, 7:30 p.m.

Madison La Follette at Madison West, 7:30 p.m.



Edgerton at Brodhead

Walworth Big Foot at Evansville

Jefferson at Clinton

McFarland at Orfordville Parkview

Beloit Turner at Whitewater

East Troy at Palmyra-Eagle


Milton at Madison Edgewood

Stoughton at Fort Atkinson

Monona Grove at Oregon

DeForest at Monroe (crossover)


Waterford at Lake Geneva Badger

Wilmot at Delavan-Darien

Elkhorn at Westosha Central

Union Grove at Burlington

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