Week 1 of the alternate fall football season is in the books.
And according to Travis Wilson of WisSports.net, 55 of the 58 scheduled games were played.
That means only three games were canceled or postponed to a later date due to COVID-19 concerns.
Brodhead/Juda kicked off the season with an impressive 33-8 nonconference win over Mount Horeb/Barneveld. Cardinals coach Jim Matthys said that outside of coaches and players wearing masks, it was football as usual.
“I think more than anything, it was a 60-minute distraction for the kids, and in a good way,” Matthys said. “They were back to playing football and getting a chance see all the hard work they put in in the offseason pay off.
“We didn’t use their (Walworth Big Foot) facilities at all other than the (turf) field. No locker rooms or bathrooms or anything. We got off the bus, put on our shoulder pads and helmets and got ready to play. And honestly, I kind of liked doing things that way. There were far less distractions. You just get off the bus and go play.”
And play well the Cardinals did. Mount Horeb/Barneveld was a Division 3 state quarterfinalist in 2018 and a tough nonconference opener for Brodhead/Juda. The Cardinals trailed 8-6 after one quarter but scored 27 straight points to pull away.
Brodhead/Juda quarterback Cade Walker was an impressive 9-for-11 passing for 123 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Cardinals held the Vikings to minus-3 yards rushing.
“That’s probably the best game we’ve played in a long time, at least since I came back as head coach,” Matthys said. “I thought we had a good chance to win the game, but certainly not by that margin.
“We were solid on both sides of the ball. I know it’s only one game, but I really feel like this puts us back on the map.”
Unfortunately, Brodhead/Juda is currently without an opponent this week. The Cardinals were slated to host Montello/Green Lake/Princeton, but the co-op team was forced to cancel due to lack of numbers in the program.
Other area teams turning in impressive performances in Week 1 were Janesville Parker, Evansville and Big Foot.
Parker won for only the second time in the last three seasons, 27-6 over Beaver Dam. The Vikings led 27-0 at halftime.
“After 519 days from the last time we took the field together, our kids were excited to get the win last Saturday,” Parker coach Clayton Kreger said. “Our football program was 3-0, with all three levels finishing ahead on the scoreboard (varsity vs. Beaver Dam, JV vs. Beaver Dam, freshmen vs. Milton) on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
“The last few years we have been very young and undersized, and our kids have been working toward building a winning culture. Now, with a roster that includes 24 seniors, it is truly exciting to see the level of improvement of this senior class since they started as sophomores two years ago.”
Evansville opened the Garth Coats era with a 43-6 win over Rock Valley Conference rival Whitewater in a nonconference game. The Gazette’s 2019 all-area quarterback Tyr Severson threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another TD.
Big Foot opened up a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 47-26 win over Clinton. Jax Hertel rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs, while quarterback Basil Demco threw for two scores.
Week 2 kicks off tonight with Evansville playing host to Monroe and Edgerton hosting Beloit Turner.
Game of the Week
DeForest (1-0) at Janesville Parker (1-0), nonconference, 7 p.m., Friday, Monterey Stadium--The Vikings take a big step up in competition after opening the alternate fall season with a win last Saturday.
DeForest won the WIAA Division 3 state title in 2019 and opened the alternate season with a 56-7 win over Janesville Craig. The Norskies scored two defensive touchdowns the first half in opening up a 49-point halftime lead.
Gabe Finley led a balanced rushing attack for DeForest with 80 yards, while all-state basketball player Max Weisbrod had three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Parker jumped all over Beaver Dam in winning its opener. The Vikings built a 27-0 halftime lead in matching their win total from 2019. Jesse Pritchard scored twice on rushing TDs, while quarterback Sam O’Leary connected with Griffin Davis and Garrett Sanwick on touchdown passes.
Parker’s defense limited Beaver Dam to 168 yards of total offense.
Best guess: DeForest 27, Parker 13.