WIAA football playoffs
The sophomore running back scored two third-quarter touchdowns in Arrowhead’s 31-7 victory over Homestead in the WIAA Division 1 title game at Camp Randall Stadium on Friday—including a Division 1-record 93-yard touchdown run that broke the game wide open.
It was sweet payback for Arrowhead (14-0), which lost to Homestead, 35-0, in last year’s Division 1 championship game.
“It’s redemption,” Arrowhead running back Jake Ferris said. “It feels good. We waited a whole year for this. They’re a powerhouse and we respect them. It’s great to play them and beat them.”
Asked what it felt like to make up for last year’s loss, Arrowhead coach Tom Taraska smiled.
“Every time I picked up a paper, all I got reminded of was how we got manhandled and beaten,” Taraska said.
Ferris and Crook rushed for a combined 337 yards, and Ferris added a 78-yard touchdown run near the end of the decisive third quarter.
“Mine was longer, but he got one too,” Crook said, pointing to Ferris.
Trailing 10-7 at halftime, Homestead (12-2) gave up three touchdowns in the third quarter.
“Somebody’s got to lose,” Homestead coach Dave Keel said. “Unfortunately, it was Homestead’s turn today. We made too many mistakes that kept them in the game early. We fumbled on the first drive and we threw the interception early in the second half.”
Arrowhead’s Chris Pendergast began the second half by picking off a pass from Homestead quarterback Casey Barnes to give the ball to the Warhawks at the Homestead 37.
“We had a chance to do something,” Keel said. “It was the wrong play call, I guess. It didn’t work. That was huge.”
Arrowhead drove to the 15, where Crook ran in for a touchdown to put the Warhawks ahead 17-7 midway through the third quarter.
Homestead punted on its next possession, pinning Arrowhead deep in its own territory. But Crook broke through the line and found himself all alone in Homestead’s defensive backfield, running 93 yards for a touchdown that put Arrowhead up 24-7.
Arrowhead’s defense held Homestead running back Brett Werner-Powell to 35 yards on 15 carries.
Kimberly 20, DeForest 7—Kimberly’s first trip to a state title game was a smashing success thanks to senior running back Michael Sewall, who ran for 182 yards and scored two touchdowns—just in the first half.
Sewall slowed down after halftime, but Kimberly’s defense kept DeForest from mounting a comeback in the WIAA Division 2 championship game.
“We played really well the first half,” Kimberly coach Steve Jorgensen said. “Second half, we just held on.”
It was an easy victory for Kimberly (14-0)—but a relative nail-biter as far as this year’s state tournament was concerned. The five previous title games were decided by a margin of 21 points or more.
“I dreamed about it happening,” said Sewall, who finished with 200 yards rushing. “I had no idea we would go undefeated and win the state championship.”
Kimberly’s defense slammed the door on DeForest running back Tylur Lengfeld, limiting him to 95 yards on 30 carries—including only four net yards in the first half.
“They’re quick, they’re physical,” DeForest coach Mike Minick said. “They get after you.”
Coming into Friday’s game, Lengfeld carried the ball a whopping 345 times for the Norskies (12-2) this year, gaining 1,972 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns.
Trailing 20-0 at halftime, DeForest’s run-first offense wasn’t able to mount a comeback despite several scoring chances in the second half.
“We just kind of came out slow, and that affected us,” Minick said.
Wisconsin Lutheran 49, New London 6—Wisconsin Lutheran is back—and how!
After missing the state finals for the first time in three years last season, the Vikings returned to rout New London.
Chris Echols rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns and Jesse Muldrow added 97 yards rushing and another two scores for the Vikings (13-1).
Echols said the team was motivated by missing last year’s title game.
“We came in with a little chip on our shoulder,” Echols said. “But I think we got that chip off today.”
A perfect game? Not quite—on a chilly, overcast day at Camp Randall, Wisconsin Lutheran coach Kirk DeNoyer couldn’t dodge a sports drink bath from his players as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter.
“They got me good this year,” DeNoyer said. “I’m usually a little bit quicker.”
It was the third division title in four years for the Vikings, who won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. They also finished runner-up in 2003.
And it was over by halftime, as New London couldn’t stop Wisconsin Lutheran’s inside running game.
“We were going to go right at them,” DeNoyer said. “That’s what we said.”
And that’s what they did.
Muldrow scored the Vikings’ first touchdown on a 2-yard run at the 5:40 mark in the first quarter. Echols, who had 37 touchdowns this season coming into Friday’s game, then scored on a 71-yard run near the end of the first quarter to put Wisconsin Lutheran ahead 14-0.
Vikings quarterback John Klein scored on a 1-yard run with 10:45 left in the second quarter.
With New London (12-2) already sputtering on offense, Wisconsin Lutheran linebacker Damon Campbell picked up a fumble by quarterback Trevor Hass and rumbled 31 yards to the end zone, putting the Vikings ahead 28-0.
“You’ve got to play that perfect game, and that’s what we tried to do,” Campbell said.
Klein then threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Corey Henne just before halftime.
New London coach Pete Mroczynski said his team “ran into a buzzsaw.”
“We knew they were a good team. We could see that on film,” Mroczynski said.
“They have a little bit of everything – size, speed. And they’ve been here before.”
West Salem 52, Ketttle Moraine Lutheran 14—After finishing second in 2002 and 2005, the Panthers scored every time they had the ball to win their first state title.
Dan Schneider, a left-handed junior, completed a 35-yard pass to Jacob Welch on West Salem’s second offensive play, and the rout was on against Kettle Moraine Lutheran (13-1), which was playing just its fifth varsity season.
Later in the first quarter, Schneider hit Sam Lehmann from 20 yards out to make it 14-0.
West Salem (13-1) was just getting warmed up on the cold night, scoring 24 points in the second quarter.
After a field goal, Schneider and Hunter Burke hooked up on a 52-yard touchdown pass.
“We knew he was capable of special things,” Burke said about his quarterback, who was 14-of-17 for 292 yards. “He came up big today.”
Kettle Moraine Lutheran had one first down and 32 yards in the first half. Its quarterback, Taylor Koth, completed just two of eight passes in the game, both to West Salem defenders.
Aquinas 27, Kewaunee 0--La Crosse Aquinas has al player named Favre, who made a big play to lead his team to the WIAA Division 5 state championship at Camp Randall Stadium.
Tony Favre caught a 51-yard touchdown pass just 2:02 into the game, and Aquinas went on to its first WIAA state title with a decisive victory Thursday over Kewaunee, the state’s top-rated medium-sized school.
Kevin Schams hit Favre cutting across the middle at the 30, and the junior wide receiver easily took it the rest of the way.
“People tease me about my name a lot,” said Favre, obviously no relation to Brett. “But that’s OK. I’m a Packer fan.”
The Blugolds felt a perceived lack of respect going into the game.
“Whoever doubted us, in your face,” said Favre, whose wears No. 20. “This feels amazing.”
Co-captain Adam Poellinger was just as blunt.
“No one respected us all year,” he said. “We stuck it to every person we played.”
Aquinas (12-2), a WIAA member since 2000, also won championships in the now-defunct Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association (WISAA) in 1993 and 1995.
Kewaunee (13-1) lost to Lancaster in the 2001 and 2006 state finals. Last year, Lancaster broke a tie on a 63-yard run with 47 seconds left.
There was no such drama this year, as Kewaunee twice drove deep into Aquinas territory in the first quarter, but came away with no points.
On 4th-and-1 from the 9, Kyle Kudick was tackled for a 1-yard loss. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Kewaunee was called for illegal motion on 4th-and-goal from the 1. From the 6, a pass into the end zone was incomplete.
Aquinas then marched 94 yards in nine plays, the longest a 20-yard pass from Schams to Favre. Sam Pederson scored on an 11-yard run up the middle for a 14-0 lead.
Pederson finished with 194 yards on 30 carries as Aquinas had a 263-49 advantage on the ground.
Stratford 28, Iola-Scandinavia 7—Ryan Schalow’s many happy returns led Stratford to its fifth straigh state championship.
The junior, who scored five times and averaged 47 yards on special teams going into the Division 6 title game, set up two touchdowns with long punt returns in the first quarter as the Tigers rolled Iola-Scandinavia.
Stratford (14-0), which has won 69 of its last 70 games, also captured the state title in 1986 and is tied with Lancaster for the most championships with six. Stratford is the only school to win more than three titles in a row. Iola-Scandinavia (13-1) also was the runnerup in 1999.
Schalow’s 30-yarder on the opening series put the ball on the 13. Two plays later, Chris Olson bowled over three defenders on 4-yard touchdown run.
Then, late in the quarter, Schalow’s 31-yard return put Stratford on Iola-Scandinavia’s 22, again setting up Olson. This time the senior took the handoff from the 6 and bounced the play outside for another score.
“Those were big momentum swings,” Schalow said. “We set up walls for those, and they gave me good room to run. Coach told me to get the wall. If I get to the wall from there, I should be gone.”
There was no other scoring until the fourth quarter, when Olson added a 3-yard run and Jordan Leonhardt threw a 37-yard pass to Derek Joswiak. Olson finished with 156 yards on 31 carries.
Eleva-Strum 41, Southwestern 6—Eleva-Strum made up for a 42-0 loss in last year’s Division 7 putting a damper on Hazel Green’s hopes for a Cinderella finish.
Lance Rongstad, Eleva-Strum’s senior quarterback needed less than two minutes to lead his team to a score. He added an interception on defense and a kickoff return for a touchdown as the Cardinals completed a 14-0 dropped Southwestern to 9-5.
Rongstad’s 43-yard pass to Nick Rogness set up a 9-yard run by Nick Zander to give Eleva-Strum a 6-0 lead just 1:54 into the game.
Blake Martin then drove Southwestern to the 17, but Rongstad’s pickoff ended the threat.
Halfway through the second quarter, Martin’s 2-yard keeper tied the game at 6-6. But then, Rongstad took the kickoff at his 21, went down the left sideline and cut all the way back across the field, eluding three diving defenders along the way to a 79-yard return that gave the Cardinals the lead for good at 13-6.
“It was a little nerve-racking because we stalled out there for a while,” Rongstad said. “But that kickoff return really sprung us to a state championship.”
At Camp Randall Stadium,
Division 7—Eleva Strum 41, Hazel Green Southwestern 6
Division 6—Stratford 28, Iola-Scandinavia 7
Division 5—La Crosse Aquinas 27, Kewaunee 0
Division 4—West Salem 52, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 14
Division 3—Wisconsin Lutheran 49, New London 6
Division 2—Kimberly 20, DeForest 7
Division 1—Hartland Arrowhead 31, Mequon Homstead 7
Mequon Homestead 21, Stevens Point 13
Hartland Arrowhead 24, Verona 7
Kimberly 35, Menomonie 14
DeForest 20, Germantown 10
New London 28, Clintonville 0
Wisconsin Lutheran 24, Kewaskum 17
Kettle Moraine Lutheran 37, Somerset 20
West Salem 31, Brodhead 17
Kewaunee 35, Chetek 0
La Crosse Aquinas 29, Racine St. Catherine’s 7
Stratford 48, Owen-Withee 32
Iola-Scandinavia 21, Fennimore 13
Eleva-Strum 41, Gilman 14
Hazel Green Southwestern 42, Hillsboro 7
Stevens Point 20, Appleton North 6
Mequon Homestead 27, Hartford 14
Verona 17, Kenosha Bradford 6
Hartland Arrowhead 44, Milwaukee Marquette 41
Menomonie 28, Minocqua Lakeland 17
Kimberly 49, De Pere 7
DeForest 27, Waunakee 13
Germantown 35, Waterford 0
Clintonville 27, Mosinee 25
New London 28, Green Bay Notre Dame 16
Kewaskum 21, Madison Edgewood 0
Wisconsin Lutheran 40, Brown Deer 26
Somerset 26, Tomahawk 20 (OT)
Kettle Moraine Lutheran 35, Appleton Xavier 32
West Salem 42, Wautoma 0
Brodhead-Juda 6, Evansville 0
Chetek 12, Stanley-Boyd 7
Kewaunee 53, Mishicot 27
La Crosse Aquinas 36, Lancaster 20
Racine St. Catherine’s 35, Brillion 7
Owen-Withee 48, Chippewa Falls McDonell 30
Stratford 7, Shiocton 6
Fennimore 27, Mineral Point 14
Iola-Scandinavia 29, Stevens Point Pacelli 22
Gilman 13, Shell Lake 9
Eleva-Strum 40, Independence/Gilmanton 0
Hillsboro 43, Potosi 20
Hazel Green Southwestern 14, South Wayne Black Hawk 13