H.S. football weekend: Big Foot last area team standing

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Eric Schmoldt
Thursday, November 7, 2013

We’re suffering from a deep-run drought when it comes to area teams to cheer for in the WIAA football playoffs.

Walworth Big Foot is the last remaining program standing within The Gazette’s coverage area, and the Chiefs will host a Division 4 Level 3 game against Platteville Friday night.

If you’re looking to get out of the house on Friday night (or Saturday) and are hoping for a short drive to the cold bleachers, here are your best bets:

• There’s not a single Big Eight team left standing through two weeks in the Division 1 playoffs, but the Mukwonago at Oconomowoc matchup is intriguing. Mukwonago is the lone team left that’s not a No. 1 or 2 seed after upsetting Sun Prairie, and the team boasts University of Wisconsin recruit Dominic Cizauskas.

• In Division 2, Southern Lakes Conference followers will have their eyes on Waterford. The Wolverines were part of the three-way tie at the top of the final standings and travel to Waukesha West on Friday night.

• Monona Grove, which took out area teams Milton and Edgerton in the first two rounds, respectively, hosts Catholic Memorial on Friday night in Division 3 action. La Crosse Logan, which topped Evansville/Albany in Level 1, hosts Mount Horeb/Barneveld.

• Interested in some smaller-school action? Looking a little to the west, Black Hawk hosts Potosi in a Division 7 game on Friday night.

And while there’s only one game in our coverage area, it shouldn’t disappoint.

Platteville (7-4) at Big Foot (11-0), 7 p.m., Friday—When Rodney Wedig began looking at game tape of the Hillmen, he might have believed briefly that his own team had simply put on different-colored uniforms.

This should be a battle between two bruising Division 4 teams who are wont to run the ball, but aren’t afraid to pass if necessary.

“I’ll tell you what, they’re remarkably similar to us,” Wedig said. “They’re big and physical up front. They’re a tough draw for us.

“It’s great this time of year. We’re into overtime. If Brodhead wins, then you play a team that you have seen so many times. All of the sudden Platteville wins, and you’re scrambling just because now it’s somebody completely different. It’s kind of a fun game that way.”

It appeared Brodhead/Juda and Big Foot were on a collision course for their third playoff meeting in the past four years, until Platteville came to Brodhead on Friday night armed with big-play ability in a 31-21 victory.

The four Hillmen touchdowns—one on a kickoff return and another on an interception return—chewed up more than 250 yards. William Cooley, a running back who entered the game with more than 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns, didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark but scored on the kickoff return.

“He’s big and he’s physical. He’s got some good speed, too,” Wedig said. “The scary part with Platteville’s offense is you have to take away the run, but they can still throw the ball. Brodhead did a pretty good job containing him, but they had so many big plays. That’s what we’ve been preaching so far this week is no plays over 20 yards.”

The blue-collar Chiefs—who topped Clinton 38-7 in Level 2 to get here—rely on running backs Tim Long and Brandon Hausner. The two have combined for more than 2,500 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns.

Wedig acknowledged quarterback Brett Morris, however, who does have more than 1,200 passing yards and 14 touchdowns with only six interceptions.

“Brodhead and Clinton really tried to load up the box and take away the run, and I think Platteville’s probably going to do the same thing,” Wedig said. “We’re going to need a good night from him and our receivers.”

Best guess: Big Foot 34, Platteville 14.

--Eric Schmoldt

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