Wednesday, October 22, 2008
First, let me tell you that there are 191 teams that are in like Flynn. Even if they lose tonight or tomorrow, they still make the field.
Next, there are 17 more teams that are heavily favored to win this week, and if they do so, they will be in. For those of you scoring at home, that means 208 teams have now made the field. That leaves 16 spots for 39 teams that have a realistic chance of making it.
In order to get in, a team is going to have to have a .500 or better conference record. Assuming that there will be more than 16 of those remaining 39 teams that fit this category, we will next try to round out the field with teams that are .500 or better overall. This may be the cut off, and as such, we will look at games where those implications loom the most.
So what are the games to watch tonight and why? Let’s get started!
Wisconsin Dells (2-2, 6-2) @ Mauston (2-2,4-4)
This one is easy. The winner is in, the loser stays home. BIG GAME for both teams, obviously. Mauston is coming off back to back losses to Wautoma and Nekoosa. Wisconsin Dells was crushed last week by Wautoma and held scoreless on offense. It would be a shame if a 6-3 overall team missed the playoffs, but that’s the WIAA.
Belleville/Albany (2-2,2-6) @ New Glarus/Monticello (2-2,4-4)
New Glarus is at home, and has been the stronger of the two teams all year. Both teams have conference losses to Marshall and Cambridge, however, Belleville/Albany has lost to them the last two weeks only scoring a total of 8 points in both games. Whatever team wins is in.
Madison Edgewood (3-2,4-4)@ Stoughton (2-3,4-4)
This one is a classic. Edgewood missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth last week losing to Monona Grove 30-24. If they lose this week, they will have a .500 conference record, but they will have a losing overall record, and will put them squarely on the bubble. Five of their eight games have been decided by 7 points or less this season. Stoughton must win and they are in. This is the fourth straight week that they have been “win and in”, but losses to Milton, Monona Grove, and Monroe finds them now in “do or die”.
Tomah (3-3,4-4) @ Greenfield (3-3,4-4)
Who would have thought that this evenly matched non-conference game could be a win and in, lose and out game for BOTH teams. Both teams will finish at .500 in their conference, but the loser will have that overall losing record that will put them on the bubble. Greenfield is coming off a terrible loss to a 1-5 New Berlin West team that would have clinched a playoff spot for them. Now, the road is tough as Tomah has quality wins over Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau (6-2),
La Crosse Central (5-3) and crushed rival Sparta last week 51-26.
Melrose-Mindoro (3-3,4-4) @ Cochrane-Fountain City (3-3,5-3)
Guess what….winner in, loser out. CFC missed two opportunities in the last two weeks to clinch a playoff berth with losses to Blair-Taylor and Independence/Gilman, the latter a two point loss 19-17 last week. Melrose-Mindoro are riding momentum as they have won their past two games against Independence/Gilman 27-7, and Lincoln 35-19. Advantage Melrose-Mindoro.
Medford (3-3,3-5) @ Seymour (3-3,4-4)
Another non-conference matchup in the final game has playoff implications. Both teams will finish .500 in their conference. Seymour can clinch a spot with a victory against Medford that will give them a winning overall record. Medford is a team that has lost their last three games by an average of 5.6 points, and must win to keep their hopes alive, and get on the bubble.
New Auburn (3-3,3-4) @ Lake Holcombe (3-3,3-5)
Winner in, loser out. New Auburn has won their last two games against Prairie Farm and Cornell to give them this chance. Lake Holcombe is on the other side of that coin, having lost it’s last two games, albeit to the top two teams in the Lakeland South conference Plum City (6-0,8-0) and Pepin (5-1,6-2). Lake Holcombe is at home, and is the better team.
Other close games where one team must win to get in include:
Fox Valley Lutheran (4-4,4-4) @ Winneconne (3-5, 3-5)
FVL is win and in, lose and they are a bubble team.
New Richmond (3-3,3-5) @ Amery (2-4,3-5)
It is win and in, lost and out for New Richmond.
Campbellsport (3-3,3-5) @ Sheboygan Falls (2-4,4-4)
It is win and in, lost and out for Campbellsport.
Kettle Moraine (3-3,4-4) @ Mukwonago (4-2,4-4)
It is win and in, lost and out for Kettle Moraine, but it will be a tough one on the road. They have a chance to pull the mild upset here.
Onalaska (2-3,5-3) @ La Crosse Central (3-2,5-3)
Onalaska has to go on the road and face La Crosse Central, but it is a winnable game for them. They win, they are in.
Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln (3-2,3-5) @ Marshfield (3-2,5-3)
Although over .500 in the conference right now, if Lincoln loses this game, they will end up at .500, but would likely be out based on their 3-6 overall record. Marshfield stays in even if they lose this game.
Maranatha Baptist (3-2,4-4) @ Rockford Christian (3-2,6-2)
Baptist faces an uphill challenge here on the road, and would likely be out if they lost.
It should be a very exciting Wednesday and Thursday across the state of Wisconsin. If your team wins tonight, be happy and joyful, but don’t forget that there are a lot of Seniors playing their last football game tonight. Appreciate them for what they have accomplished as student athletes through their careers, and wish them well in their lives.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Pewaukee drove 78 yards in 8 minutes 24 seconds at the end of the fourth quarter to give Donny Cramer a chance to win the game. Cramer, who missed an extra point in the first quarter, converted on a 25 yard field goal as time expired to lift the Pirates to a 24-21 victory over New Berlin Eisenhower, clinching at least a tie for the Woodland Conference Championship.
Eisenhower stormed back from a 21-7 deficit midway through the third quarter and scored touchdowns on two consecutive drives. A perfectly executed stop and go route with 8:26 left in the fourth quarter resulted in a 19 yard touchdown pass from Lion's backup quarterback Brian York to Ian McKechnie that tied the score 21-21 and set up Pewaukee's game winning drive.
Starting at their own 20 yard line, Pewaukee ate up the rest of the clock before Cramer kicked the winning field goal. On the drive, Kenny Mischker converted on three third downs. The Pirates were also the beneficiaries of a questionable pass interference call that moved them inside Lion's territory.
A.J. Coley ran off right tackle on 4th and 2 at the 11 yard line with 1 minute remaining in the game to put the Pirates in position to win with a first and goal at the 3 yard line. The Lions defense did not break, and forced the field goal attempt on 4th and goal with just 2 seconds remaining.
Both teams played well, with neither team committing a turnover the entire game. After the Lions jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a 2 yard TD run by Mike Lyles, Pewaukee reeled off 21 unanswered points. Andrew Kissner started the scoring with a 26 yard touchdown reception from QB Patrick Bacon with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter. Pewaukee followed that up with second and third quarter drives that were culminated by touchdown runs of 6 and 9 yards by Mischker and Coley respectively.
Eisenhower starting QB Niko Koshak left the game near the end of the third quarter with an apparent shoulder injury and was replaced by Brian York, a 6'3", 170 lb. Junior. In a tough situation, York failed to capitalize on a first and goal situation by missing a wide open Kevin Marr in the end zone to finish the half without points. The decision not to kick the field goal ultimately cost them an opportunity at overtime.
After a three and out series to open the second half, however, York began to heat up. Eisenhower successfully mixed the running of Tyler Faber and Lyles, and the connection of York to McKechnie to get back into the game.
The Pirates can clinch the Woodland Conference Championship with a victory on Wednesday against St. Francis.
After beating Greendale last week to set up this game between conference unbeatens, Eisenhower will likely have to settle for second place if they can win next week against Brown Deer.The Lions hope to get QB Koshak back in time for the playoffs, where they will need every bit of their powerful offense to compete in Division 3 this year.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Click the play button to listen to the post game interview with Coach Doug Lange
Discuss this on the WHSF Forum
How does it break down for the Milwaukee Area teams trying to get into the playoffs? Let’s first take a look at those that are IN (YAHOO), and those that are out (MAJOR BUMMER DUDE).
Lake Geneva Badger
Wait ‘Til Next Year:
West Allis Central
St. Thomas More
Now that we know who is IN and who is OUT, let’s look at the rest and their chances for making it.
Division 1 - Hartford Union
Division 4 - Saint Francis
Division 1 – Muskego
The remaining schools have work to do. They will need two victories out of their next three to make it to the post season. And even then, it may not be guaranteed.
Need 2 Wins to get IN:
Division 1 - Shorewood/Messmer
So, the playoff picture must be clear as mud, right? I do believe we will be much much clearer after this week’s games. In next week’s playoff preview, I will give my predictions on who will make it, and who will not.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Must See- great game between two strong teams
Check it Out – Potential upset or just could be a good game
Homer Specials – Only the parents care
Blow Out City – Not for the faint of heart
Classic 8 (Discuss)
Arrowhead survived a lackluster first half performance in which they trailed Waukesha South at halftime 19-13 before rallying with 28 unanswered points in the second half to win easily 41-19. Catholic Memorial showed that they were the real deal in trouncing Waukesha West 28-7 by outgaining the Wolverines in total yardage 394-183. These two teams remain unbeaten in the conference, and overall. They meet in Week 8, but neither figures to be challenged until then.
Waukesha West and Kettle Moraine appear headed to the playoffs as they will be both be favored in at least 2 of their remaining 3 conference games. It will be an uphill battle and take an upset for Mukwonago to sneak in.
Catholic Memorial has been literally destroying its opponents this year outscoring them 306 – 54 and averaging 414 yards of offense per game while surrendering only 185 yards per game. The Crusaders are led by QB Jack Fleming, who has thrown for 6 TDs, and ran for 14 more on an offense that has had three players (Fleming, Ryan Baez, Andy Jaynes) that have all scored at least 8 rushing touchdowns.
But Crusaders BEWARE. Can you say TRAP GAME? Memorial cannot get caught looking ahead to the conference title showdown game with the Warhawks of Arrowhead, the top ranked team in the state. Watch out for the speed of the Kettle Moraine offense, let by QB Mike Butterfield, who was ranked 27th in the list of the top 100 prospects in the state of Wisconsin by WisconsinPreps.com. Butterfield could pose some problems for the Crusader defense, but it is unlikely that the Lasers defense can stop Memorial if they remain focused on the task at hand.
Mukwonago (2-2, 2-4) at Waukesha South (0-4, 2-4)
Arrowhead (4-0, 6-0) at Waukesha North (1-3, 2-4)
Waukesha West (2-2, 3-3) at Milwaukee Pius (1-3, 2-4)
Greater Metro (Discuss)
Brookfield Central came up on the short end of the round robin part of the schedule between the Lancers, Marquette, and West Allis Hale. Despite outgaining the Hilltoppers last week, Central committed 4 turnovers and lost 10-6 at home. This sets up a potential conference title game this Friday when West Allis Hale travels to Hart Park to take on Marquette. If Marquette wins, they would essentially have a 2 game advantage over the rest of the conference.
Sussex Hamilton is still holding on to a good chance at making the playoffs with both Brookfield East and Wauwatosa East remaining on their schedule. They need to win 2 of their remaining 3 games to get in. Menomonee Falls is in the same boat, but will find it much tougher facing both Marquette and Brookfield Central in 2 of their remaining 3 games. To make the playoffs, the Indians must find a way to win one of those games.
West Allis Hale (4-0, 5-1) at Marquette (4-0, 5-1)
The Hilltoppers have a tough task facing them coming off an emotional victory at Brookfield Central last Friday. With no rest for the weary, they face their second straight conference unbeaten in West Allis Hale. With a victory, Marquette will almost certainly assure itself a Greater Metro Conference title. Falter, however, and they will need help just to share the title.
Hale has been a steady team in 2008, but far from dominating. They have won their last three games by an average of 12 points against teams with a combined record of 5-13. They will need to bring their A game against a Marquette defense that has given up just 26 points in their last 5 games, and only surrendered 13 points in the conference season.
Marquette will also get their lead running back Brock LaFace back from injury and illness this week, but don’t expect him to carry the load. Coach Dick Basham has used a running back by committee approach, led by senior Mike Hoffman in recent weeks. They also got their passing game going against Brookfield Central last week in their 10-6 victory.
North Shore (Discuss)
With their upset of previously unbeaten Cedarburg last Friday, the Port Washington Pirates put themselves right back into the discussion of the conference championship race. Homestead is still the overwhelming favorite. However, Port Washington must hope that the team they just beat in Cedarburg can pull them upset in the last week of the season against Homestead. If that happens, and the Pirates can stay out of trouble the next three weeks, we could have a three way tie at the top of the North Shore.
Whitefish Bay looks in line for a playoff berth, having to win just one more game in the conference, and Nicolet still on the schedule.
Whitefish Bay (3-1, 4-2) at Homestead (4-0, 6-0)
Homestead made the jump to number 1 in the WHSF website rankings for the area this week after remaining unbeaten in dominating fashion over Milwaukee Lutheran 63-20. The Highlanders had a 21-0 lead in the first quarter before letting Lutheran get back in the game with 20 unanswered points. That may just have been the wakeup call that Homestead needed in their ho-hum season, as they ran off their own streak of 42 unanswered points finishing with 518 yards of total offense.
Whitefish Bay will try to ride the arm of highly touted QB Jimmy Sherburne to be competitive in the game. Sherburne can beat you with his arm and his legs, running out of the spread offense. Against Homestead, however, he will have a very difficult time without any other threat on an offense that “goes as Jimmy goes”.
Wisconsin Little Ten (Discuss)
By all accounts, the conference title already belongs to Wisconsin Lutheran, and it should. They are unbeaten both in the conference and overall and have beaten Hartford, considered the only serious competition for the Vikings inside the conference. They continued to roll over Watertown last Friday by a merciful score of 34-7.
The real battle in this conference is for the playoff berths. In a top heavy conference, West Bend East, West Bend West, and Beaver Dam all have realistic playoff aspirations.
Beaver Dam (2-2, 3-3) at Hartford (3-1, 5-1)
Beaver Dam running back Devin Kellenberger has rushed for over 1000 yards this season and 16 touchdowns, but that is about all the Beavers have had to hang their hat on this year. One wonders where they would be without him. They travel to an always rowdy atmosphere at Hartford Union this Friday to take on a team out to prove who the real Oriole football squad is.
After being manhandled by Wisconsin Lutheran 34-0 two weeks ago in the conference showdown of the year, Hartford bounced back to handily defeat West Bend East 42-6. Will the real Hartford Orioles please stand up?
In what may have been the game of the year in Southeastern Wisconsin, the battle of Racine unbeatens went deep into the fourth quarter before Horlick pulled out a 35-28 victory over Deon McClain and Park. By staying unbeaten, the Rebels put themselves in perfect position to win the conference title. The championship is theirs if they can win 2 of their last three games.
Park, Kenosha Bradford, and Kenosha Tremper are locks for the playoffs. Franklin must win their remaining three games, but all three are winnable having already played the top 4 teams in the conference. Burlington has an outside chance to qualify for the playoffs, but must win 2 of their remaining 3 games. Easier said than done, however, as they must come away with an upset against either Racine Park or Racine Horlick.
Racine Horlick (6-0) at Kenosha Bradford (4-2)
Many of the HS Football pundits in the area still think that Kenosha Bradford may be the best team in the Southeast Conference. And that may be all well and good, but their record shows them no better than fourth, and they may fall further than that taking on the conference leader and undefeated Horlick Rebels led by standout QB Steve Morris.
Horlick has not been as dominating as other top ranked Southeastern Wisconsin teams this year, but they have soundly beaten the teams they are supposed to, and have managed victories against very good Kenosha Tremper and Racine Park teams. Steve Morris is as dangerous a weapon as there is, and he proved it last Friday in leading his team to a come from behind win against previously unbeaten Racine Park.
Bradford, meanwhile, has lost their two games by 4 and 3 points against Kenosha Tremper and Racine Park respectively. The Red Devils are solid on both sides of the ball. Tremper, Bradford, Park, and Horlick could probably play a round robin season between themselves and all finish at .500. Expect another thriller at the top of the Southeastern Conference.
For the fourth straight week, Greendale, Pewaukee, and New Berlin Eisenhower remain in a three way tie at the top of the Woodland conference. That will change this week, however, when Eisenhower travels to Greendale where they haven’t won since 2004. The winner of that game will share the lead with Pewaukee, who, barring a natural disaster will cruise over winless Wauwatosa West.
New Berlin Eisenhower(5-0, 5-1) at Greendale (5-0, 6-0)
Without Pewaukee on their schedule, the Greendale conference season likely comes down to this game on Friday against the Lions. Eisenhower, however, isn’t as fortunate, as they need to get by Greendale this Friday to set up a matchup with Pewaukee on next week to decide the Woodland conference title.
Led by QB Chris Ridgway, the Panthers have a potent offense that has not scored less than 34 points in a game all year. Coach Bob Stoltz calls the plays from the sideline by using hand signals to all the skill position players on offense as they line up in a five wide spread formation without a huddle. Greendale has ridden this approach to an unbeaten record, has clinched a playoff berth, and can all but assure at least a share of the conference title with a win on Friday.
Eisenhower will have plenty to say about that, however. Having only one non-conference loss to perennial state powerhouse DC Everest by a mere 3 points in the season opener, the Lions have beaten their last five opponents by an average of 33 points per game. 10 players have scored offensive touchdowns for the Lions, and 4 of those players have scored 6 or more times. That does not include QB Niko Koshak, who has thrown 15 touchdown passes to 5 different receivers.
Look for lots of fireworks from these two offenses in a game that may not end until Sunday morning.
Classic 8 (Discuss)
Catholic Memorial 63 Kettle Moraine 13
Waukesha South 27 Mukwonago 19
Arrowhead 84 Waukesha North 0
NOTE: The same score that my alma matter Northstars lost to Sussex Hamilton by in the year I graduated.
Waukesha West 34 Milwaukee Pius 6
Greater Metro (Discuss)
Milwaukee Marquette 31 West Allis Hale 12
Brookfield Central 41 Menomonee Falls 12
Sussex Hamilton 38 Brookfield East 13
Wauwatosa East 27 West Allis Central 9
North Shore (Discuss)
Homestead 44Whitefish Bay 8
Grafton 14 Nicolet 13
Port Washington 35 Germantown 10
Cedarburg 42 Milwaukee Lutheran 20
Wisconsin Little Ten (Discuss)
Hartford 35 Beaver Dam 13
Wisconsin Lutheran 34 West Bend West 0
Slinger 14 Oconomowoc 6
West Bend East 38 Watertown 20
Racine Horlick 28 Kenosha Bradford 27
Racine Park 42 Burlington 17
Franklin 50 Racine Case 6
Oak Creek 19 South Milwaukee 16
Kenosha Tremper 44 Muskego 13
New Berlin Eisenhower 31 Greendale 27
Whitnall 37 Brown Deer 16
Greenfield 23 Cudahy 21
St. Francis 38 New Berlin West 6
Pewaukee 63 Wauwatosa West 0