Brodhead-Juda wins state football berth
The Cardinals dominated from the midway point of the first quarter and cruised to a 32-14 win over defending state champion Walworth Big Foot in a Division 4 semifinal game at Breitenbach Stadium.
Brodhead-Juda (11-2) plays unbeaten Kewaunee (13-0) for the state championship Thursday night at 7 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. The Cardinals will be making their first trip to the state finals since losing to Ripon in the title game in 2003.
What was billed as a clash between Rock Valley South titans turned into a clinic on both sides of the ball by Brodhead/Juda. The Cardinals played smashmouth on offense, rushing for 329 yards, while suffocating the bewildered Chiefs on defense. Brodhead/Juda limited Big Foot (10-3) to 147 yards of total offense.
“To be able to beat a team as good as Big Foot is a huge win for us,” Brodhead/Juda coach Jim Matthys said. “Our whole idea was to play tough defense, keep the clock going and get to the fourth quarter where they had to scramble against the wind. And fortunately, that’s how it turned out.
“We got so many extra yards today on extra effort. That’s as hard as Alex (Wallace) and Jesse (Delorme) have run all season. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”
Big Foot struck first to go up 7-0 midway through the first, but Brodhead/Juda responded with 25 straight points to take control. Delorme’s 8-yard touchdown run gave the Cardinals the lead for good at 6:46 of the second quarter, and Mike Peterson’s clutch 17-yard touchdown pass from David Earleywine with nine seconds left in the half pushed the advantage to 19-7.
Big Foot, which was shooting for a third straight trip to the state title game, floundered after an impressive opening drive. The Chiefs had no rhythm offensively, and defensively could not get off the field on critical third-down plays. Leading rusher Kenneth Walker was unable to go for Big Foot because of a sprained ankle, but head coach Rodney Wedig was not making any excuses afterward.
“I think more than anything, we just picked a poor game to not play our best,” Wedig said. “We missed a lot of tackles, and that’s a credit to Wallace and Delorme. They really ran hard and attacked us.
“The third quarter was the key. We had to make our move there with the wind, and because of poor field position, we weren’t able to do much with it. But give Brodhead a lot of credit. They played awfully well.”
Wallace and Delorme both finished with over 100 yards rushing, while Earleywine ran the offense to perfection.
Delorme capped off the Cardinals’ memorable performance with an acrobatic interception midway through the fourth quarter that put an end to any comeback hopes for the Chiefs.
“We were stunned after they scored right away on the first series, but I told the guys that one play or one series is not going to affect the rest of the game,” Delorme said. “Our offense came back and scored right away, and that got everybody pumped up.
“Coach preached all week that defense was going to win the game. And our defense stepped up.”
BRODHEAD/JUDA 32, BIG FOOT 14
Walworth Big Foot 7 0 0 7—14
Brodhead/Juda 6 13 6 7—32
Scoring summary: BF—Jordan Gottman, 23 run (Sean Kivlin kick). B/J—Jesse Delorme, 11 run (kick failed). B/J—Delorme, 8 run (run failed). B/J—Mike Peterson, 17 pass from David Earleywine (Josh Dougherty kick). B/J—Earleywine, 1 run (kick failed). BF—Gottman, 1 run (Kivlin kick). B/J—Earleywine, 1 run (Dougherty kick).
Statistics: First downs—BF 9, B/J 19. Rushes—BF 37-115, B/J 55-329. Yards passing—BF 32, B/J 97. Passes—BF 18-3-1, B/J 9-4-0. Fumbles—BF 3-0, B/J 2-1. Penalties—BF 3-18, B/J 4-50.