Submitted to OnFocus – With the end of high school football season on the horizon, this is the last week of regular season football. This also serves as the last chance for teams to make a case for playoff consideration. There have been cancellations, adjustments and postponements galore during this Covid-infused season. Here’s a list of five of the big-time high school football matchups for this weekend. (These are scheduled games. As we all know, schedules are subject to change.)
1. Edgar (5-0) @ Reedsville (6-0)
This Division 7 matchup has classic written all over it. The Edgar Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in Division 7 having destroyed almost every opponent they’ve played. Matchups with Colby and Stratford, perennial powerhouses in Central Wisconsin, have been cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. Colby and Edgar would have faced off last week as a pair of undefeated teams. Instead, we are rewarded with a similar game this week.
Reedsville is unbeaten as well and is leading the Big East Conference having outscored opponents 200-58 on the season. Not to be outdone, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents by a tally of 212-21 and are atop the Marawood Conference standings. Reedsville bolsters a potent rushing attack as four of their players run for more than 40 yards per game. Weston Liebzeit leads the ground game with just over 100 yards per game and 10 touchdowns on the year.
Prediction: Edgar 40, Reedsville 27
2. Medford (5-1) @ Rhinelander (6-0)
This rivalry will be a fun one when both the Medford Raiders and the unbeaten Rhinelander Hodags clash on Friday. The game will serve as a defacto conference championship game as the winning team will be atop the Great Northern Conference standings. After losing senior Blaine Seidl to an injury in the third game of the year, Medord rallied around its leader and pulled off impressive victories over Merrill and Ashland before falling to Rice Lake last week. The combination of a stellar passing attack, led by sophomore Logan Baumgartner, and ground game have been tough on opposing defenses this season. Alden Gardner has been pacing the Raiders with just over 135 yards per game on the ground.
The Hodags have been fending off losses left and right this season with three of their wins coming by margins of three or less points. Yet, they remain undefeated and hold the throne of the Great Northern Conference for now. Rhinelander has displayed its balanced ground game thus far, recording three players with four or more rushing touchdowns.
Prediction: Medford 20, Rhinelander 24
3. Spencer/Columbus (4-2) @ Amherst (6-0)
The steamroller that is the Amherst Falcons will be tasked with taking down a pesky Spencer/Columbus Rocket team on Friday night in a battle of the top-two teams in the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division. After recently becoming a pipeline for Wisconsin Badger players, Amherst is once again showing its talent is unmatched. The Falcons are scoring 40 points per game while only giving up 59 points all season. Tristan Schelvan has been tearing apart opposing defenses as he has thrown for over 1,000 yards in only six games. He also leads the team in rushing with 812 yards from scrimmage.
The Rockets will need to put forth their best effort of the season if they hope to stop Schelvan and the Falcons. SC has given up 144 points to its opponents, second-worst in the conference. SC head coach Jason Gorst has been giving the ball to his best playmaker, senior Eden Jacobson a ton this season. He leads the team in both rushing yards (947) and receiving yards (127). This game will likely be a track meet in which both offenses will find success.
Prediction: SC 31, Amherst 48
4. Colby (4-0) @ Abbotsford (2-2)
Only 3.7 miles separate these two schools but their intentions on how the game will go on Friday night could not be farther apart. The Colby Hornets come into the game as the favorite showing off a perfect 4-0 record. Colby will be coming off of a two-week hiatus in which the team was held out from activities due to positive cases within the program. The Hornets are ranked sixth in Division 5 by wissports.net and junior linebacker/quarterback Brent Jeske has garnered interest from several Division I colleges including the University of Wisconsin. Jeske leads the Hornets in passing and rushing, scoring a combined nine touchdowns this year.
Last week, the Falcons squeaked out a 28-22 victory over the Athens Blue Jays pushing their record to .500. Their season has had all sorts of ups and downs with Covid cancellations pushing the Falcons’ start of the season back to Oct. 9. Abbotsford has been a tale of two teams in their games so far this season. In their wins, the Falcons outscored their opponents 64-35. Compare that to the team’s losses where they have been blanked 0-69 in both of those games.
Prediction: Colby 28, Abbotsford 7
5. Westfield (0-3) @ Athens (2-2)
Our final matchup to watch this week is a game between unfamiliar teams to each other. Athens is a member of the Marawood Conference and has hit some rough patches this season on and off the field. After getting rocked by Edgar in their first game of the season, the Blue Jays came back and dismantled Thorp and Pacelli High Schools before dropping a close one to Abbotsford last week. The Blue Jays, like many other schools, were forced to cancel multiple games this season due to Covid-19 concerns.
Westfield has been bad this year. There is no other way to put it. They have only played three games but they have been outscored by an average of 24 points in those games. The Pioneers have less than 100 yards passing on the season but a bright spot has been senior Carter Stauffacher who is averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season. Something that would be a bit of a salvaging point would be to pull out a victory against the Blue Jays this Friday night.
Prediction: Athens 42, Westfield 6