WIAA Crowns Football Champions: Regis(D7) Stratford (D6) Aquinas(D5) Columbus (D4)

First Day of State Football Finals Crowns Four Champs

MADISON,  Wis. – Champions in four divisions were crowned Thursday at the 2022 State Football Championships at Camp Randall Stadium.

2022 WIAA Football State Championships Scoreboard: Scores, Game Stats

Columbus (14-0) capped an undefeated season by beating the former two-time defending champion Catholic Memorial (13-1) 23-21 in the Division 4 title game.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Cardinals scored first on a 3-yard run by Colten Brunell at the 11:56 mark of the second quarter. The Crusaders tied the game later in the quarter on a 61-yard burst by Corey Smith with 5:03 to go before halftime.

Smith added another touchdown run of 17 yards with 1:12 remaining in the second quarter to give Catholic Memorial a 14-7 advantage; however the Cardinals drove 63 yards with five plays on their ensuing drive to tie the game at 14-14 on a 6-yard pass from Nathan Cotter to Jefferson Mobry with two seconds remaining on the clock.

Columbus scored on its opening drive of the third quarter on a Brunell 8-yard run to the pylon for a 20-14 lead with 8:45 remaining in the third quarter, but the point-after kick was blocked. The Crusaders took a 21-20 late in the quarter when Isaiah Nathaniel found Bennett McCormick wide open down the center of the field for a 49-yard touchdown toss and catch.

The Cardinals’ Corbin Hynes kicked what proved to be the game-winning 31-yard field goal on a snow-covered field with 4:43 remaining in the game.

In a game that was relatively even statistically, Columbus possessed the ball more than 14 minutes longer than Catholic Memorial.

Brunell ran for a game-high 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Nathan Cotter completed 9-of-11 passes for 92 yards and a score for Columbus. Braxton Nachreiner was Cotters’ favorite target, making four catches for 53 yards. Defensively, Ty Cowell made a team-high seven stops and forced a critical Crusaders’ fumble in the fourth quarter.

Nathaniel completed 9-of-16 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, and Smith ran 17 times for 95 yards and two scores to lead the Crusaders. McCormick caught a game-high six passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Tyree Harper was credited with a game-high 10 tackles, and Josh Oechsner chipped in with eight tackles on defense for Catholic Memorial.

Columbus won its third State championship in its fourth appearance in the finals, and Catholic Memorial finishes runner-up in its ninth experience in the championship game.

Aquinas (13-1) won its second consecutive Division 5 championship by defeating Mayville (13-1) 22-14 in a rematch of last season’s championship game.

Mayville scored first on a ball-control drive that consumed 7:43 of the clock to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 9:31 remaining in the second quarter. Blake Schraufnagel ran in from 10 yards to cap the 16-play, 80-yard possession. Aquinas answered on their next drive to take an 8-7 lead on a Calvin Hargrove 3-yard run with the two-point conversion at 7:14 remaining in the half.

The Blugolds increased their lead to 14-7 on a quick strike at the 3:54 point of the third quarter on a 71-yard pass play from Jackson Flottmeyer to Collin Conzemius. The point-after attempt failed.

The Cardinals tied the game at 14-14 with 9:47 left in the fourth quarter. Damien Hauglie took the handoff and sprinted 13 yards to the end zone.

The Blugolds’ winning score came following a turnover on a fumble on the Cardinals’ 38-yard line. It took three plays for Aquinas to capitalize with a 27-yard pass from Flottmeyer to Conzemius at 2:04 remaining in the game to account for the final score.

Flottmeyer completed 7-of-11 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Collin Conzemius caught four passes for 115 yards and two scores. The ground game was led by Hargrove with 97 yards and one touchdown. Defensively for the Blugolds, Hargrove led all tacklers in the game with 20 stops, and Flottmeyer pick off a Cardinals’ pass.

Schraufnagel was the leader on offense for the Cardinals, rushing 32 time for a game-high 131 yards. Adison Mittelstadt connected on 4-of-8 passes for 47 yards. His favorite target was Bradley Bushke with a pair of catches for 31 yards. Bradley Bushke was the team’s leader on the defense with 10 tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage.

Mayville possessed the ball nearly 11 minutes longer than the Blugolds and had three more first downs, but Aquinas outgained the Cardinals 347-272 in total yardage.

Aquinas has won the title in each of its three State Finals appearances, and Mayville finishes runner-up in its sixth experience in the finals.

Stratford (11-2) overcame a 1-point deficit in the third quarter with 19 unanswered points to down Mondovi  32-14 in the Division 6 championship game.

The Tigers scored first on a 23-yard pass from Braeden Schueller to Cayden Leonhardt at the 5:58 point of the first quarter for a 6-0 lead after the point-after was missed. Koehler Kilty, who rushed for a game-high 194 yards, scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 3-yard run to give Stratford a 13-0 lead with 3:03 remaining in the first half.

The Buffaloes responded with a 64-yard drive prior to halftime. Jarod Faulkner culminated the drive with a 1-yard plunge with 16 ticks left on the clock to cut the their deficit to 13-7 at the half.

Mondovi took its only lead of the game at 14-13 at the 8:10 mark of the second half on a 36-yard pass from Faulkner to Cade Fremstad. However, Stratford scored on their ensuing possession to regain the lead at 19-14 on a 2-yard Kilty rush.

The Tigers increased their advantage to 25-14 early in the fourth quarter on Leonhardt’s second touchdown reception on an 11-yard pass from Schueller. Kilty capped the scoring with a 1-yard rush with 34 seconds remaining in the game.

Schueller completed 6-of-11 passes for 78 yards and two scores for Stratford, and Leonhardt made three catches for 57 yards and the two touchdowns for the Tigers. Defensively, Ashton Wrensch and Ryan Becker each record seven tackles, and Wrensch added an interception to lead the Tigers.

Faulkner completed 9-of-18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown to pace the Mondovi offense. He also rushed for 30 yards. Dawson Rud led the Buffaloes in rushing with 32 yards, Fremstad led all receivers with four catches for 110 yards and a score. Rud was also active in the defensive side of the ball with a game-high 11 tackles.

Stratford wins its eighth championship in its 10th State Finals appearance, which ranks second-most of any member school. Mondovi (12-2) finished runner-up in its second trip to Camp Randall.

Regis (14-0) cruised to the Division 7 championship with a 41-7 win over Shiocton (11-3).

Zander Rockow sprinted 65 yards on the first play from scrimmage to give the Ramblers a 6-0 lead at 11:48 remaining in the first quarter. He established a Division 7 record with 251 yards rushing in the game, which also set a division mark for yards per carry at 15.7.

Kendon Krogman connected with Carson Tait on a 33-yard scoring pass at the 8:16 mark of the first quarter. The two-point conversion upped the Ramblers lead to 14-0. Carson Tait scored again with 8:20 remaining in the second quarter on a 35-yard run to give Regis a 21-0 advantage.

The Ramblers scored one more time before halftime on a 6-yard scamper by Rockow with 2:37 remaining in the half, which increased the lead to 28-0.

Regis expanded its lead to 35-0 and invoked the continuous clock when Krogman found Tyler Gehling on a 35-year scoring pass with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter. The final Regis points came on a 73-yard run by Rockow to increase their lead to 41-0.

Shiocton avoided the shutout with a 4-yard run by Cade Stingel to cap a 10-play, 78-yard drive with 6:50 remaining in the game.

The Ramblers outgained the Chiefs 467-227 in total offense in the game. Krogman completed 6-of-10 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and five different players caught passes in the game for Regis, including Alex Figy with two receptions. On defense, the Ramblers were led by Caden Weber with eight tackles and Josh Brickner with an interception and five tackles.

For Shiocton, Dawson Schmidt set a Division 7 record for most pass completions with 15 on 22 attempts for 134 yards. Stingle paced Shiocton on the ground with 55 yards on 19 carries, and Cody Young hauled in a game-high five receptions for 28 yards. Bradley Demerath was the Buffaloes’ leader on defense with a game-high eight tackles.

The Ramblers have won three State championships in seven trips to the State Final, and the Chiefs finish runner-up in their fourth State appearance.

Thursday, Nov. 17 Results
Div. 4:  Columbus (14-0) 23, Catholic Memorial (13-1) 21 – Stats
Div. 5:  Aquinas (13-1) 22. Mayville (13-1) 14 – Stats
Div. 6:  Stratford (11-2)  32, Mondovi (12-2) 14 – Stats
Div. 7:  Regis (14-0) 41, Shiocton (11-3) 7 – Stats

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]