GAME RECAP: Middleton (1-0) 36, Madison Memorial (0-1) 7
Middleton, Wis. - Coming into Friday night's season opener at Otto Breitenbach Stadium, both head coaches, Tim Simon of Middleton and Adam Smith of Madison Memorial, had been saying that they expected a much closer game than last year's lightning-shortened 31-3 win by Middleton.
Much like last year's game, the Spartans of Madison Memorial had trouble with turnovers, which led to some easy early points for Middleton.
After Memorial scored a three-and-out on defense to start the game, they took over on their own 23 yard line. On their first play from scrimmage, Middleton's Cole Ragsdale picked off Spartans quarterback Michael Toman. Six plays later, Dion Huff went up left of center for a four-yard score to make it 7-0.
Memorial would turn it over again on their next drive, another interception, this time to Kevin Meicher. It took only two plays to cash in this time for the Cardinals, as James Pabst scored from seven yards out. Midway through the first quarter, it was 14-0 Middleton.
Memorial went three-and-out on its next possession, but they were able to stymie the Cardinals after the Spartans punted away. Memorial sophomore Jason Ceniti recorded a sack, two tackles for a loss, and a big hurry on a fourth down to force an incompletion.
More turnover woes continued for the Spartans, as they had a punt blocked after going three-and-out, giving the Cardinals the ball at the two. It took two tries, but Pabst scored again for Middleton to make it 21-0 with 8:13 to play in the second quarter. Memorial couldn't sort it out on the next drive either, with another three-and-out and then a mishandled snap on a punt in the end zone, which led to a Cardinals safety to extend the lead to 23-0 Middleton with 6:26 left in the first half.
Middleton's defense brought the lunch pail to work on the next drive, getting a big stop on second down on a hit from Shane Bick, and then Jimmy Frusciante sacked Toman on fourth down to end the drive.
The Cardinals got the ball on their own 25 with 3:36 left in the first half, with a full assortment of timeouts. On second down, Davis Roquet found Cole Ragsdale on the left side for a 64-yard catch-and-run, then set up a play-action seam play to Cole Parrell two plays later to take a 29-0 lead just before the half. The six points on this drive were the only points that Middleton did not score off of a turnover in the game.
Memorial came out of halftime firing away. Barrett Hackbart had runs of 20 and 15 on a drive that ended on a bootleg touchdown pass from Toman to Mike Cerniglia, Jr. from six yards out, putting the Spartans on the board, trailing 29-7 with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
However, on the Spartans' next drive, they would fumble it away, and Middleton would get seven more points off of the turnover, a one-yard touchdown run by Huff, to make it 36-7.
Offensive Player of the Game: Davis Roquet, QB, Middleton: 9-15, 158, TD; 4-9 rushing
Defensive Player of the Game: Jimmy Frusciante, MLB, Middleton: 2 sacks, 3 TFL
Play of the Game: Play-action pass from Roquet to Cole Parrell in second quarter to make it 29-0 a minute before halftime
Next Week: Middleton at Sun Prairie (Madison Taxi Game of the Week); Memorial vs West
Middleton 36, Madison Memorial 7 - See Above
Verona 21, Janesville Parker 0
Sun Prairie 56, Madison East 0
Madison West 20, Beloit Memorial 0
Madison La Follette 30, Janesville Craig 22
Madison La Follette 1-0
Madison West 1-0
Sun Prairie 1-0
Beloit Memorial 0-1
Janesville Craig 0-1
Janesville Parker 0-1
Madison East 0-1
Madison Memorial 0-1
Verona at Beloit Memorial: After a solid showing in their loss to West defensively, Beloit will get an even stiffer test hosting the Wildcats.
Madison East at Janesville Craig: A battle of first-year head coaches, one of these teams will get their first win for the season.
Janesville Parker at Madison La Follette: The Lancers were able to hold off Craig, and now welcome in the other Janesville school that is seeking its first win.
Madison West vs Madison Memorial: The battle for Mansfield Stadium will be intriguing: Can West keep Memorial's offense in check, or will the Spartans' offense come alive against the Regents?
Middleton at Sun Prairie: Our Madison Taxi Game of the Week features the only match-up of unbeaten teams in Week 2 in the conference. Middleton flashed its depth in a week one win over Memorial, but Sun Prairie absolutely dominated Madison East, scoring all of its points by mid-second quarter in a 56-0 rout.
Waunakee 49, Fort Atkinson 0
Stoughton 43, Portage 28
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 49, Edgewood 20
Monona Grove 49, Baraboo 19
Monroe 31, Reedsburg 13
Milton 31, Sauk Prairie 14
Oregon 24, DeForest 14
Watertown 38, Beaver Dam 15
(No conference games played yet)
Stoughton at Baraboo: The Vikings got a little bit of a test from the Portage Warriors to start the season. Now, they''ll take on a Thunderbirds team reeling from a 30-point loss against Monona Grove.
Sauk Prairie at Edgewood: Both teams struggled early in their losses, but were able to keep it relatively close the rest of the way. One of them will pick up their first win of 2017 before beginning conference play next week.
Beaver Dam at Fort Atkinson: Both teams dropped contests to opponents that were picked to finish at or near the top of their respective conferences, but this represents the first "real" Badger Conference game for Beaver Dam. Fort Atkinson will try to rebound from a shutout loss at Waunakee.
Reedsburg at Milton: The Red Hawks got off to a good start in a win over Sauk Prairie, but now get Reedsburg, coming off of a physical battle in their loss to Monroe.
Portage at Monona Grove: Veteran coach Bob Hepp kept it within a couple of scores against one of the Badger South favorites, at home versus Monroe. Now, the Warriors will face the high-flying Silver Eagles, fresh off their rout of Baraboo.
DeForest at Monroe: A clash between two playoff teams from last year, the DeForest Norskies dropped their opener to Oregon. Monroe, meanwhile, seems to have found their new backfield horses to carry them this season after losing much of their production to graduation from last year.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld at Oregon: A sneaky-good game, Oregon is bouncing back from a one-win 2016, already matching that win total with a victory against perennial Badger North power DeForest. MH/B can't afford to look ahead to week three's Badger North-opening battle with Waunakee.
Waunakee at Watertown: Speaking of the Warriors, here they are taking on Badger South newcomer Watertown in one of the most highly-anticipated games of 2017's regular season in southern Wisconsin. Can the deep and talented secondary for the Warriors slow down the Goslings' high-powered passing attack?
Lakeside Lutheran 34, Adams/Friendship 13
Lodi 34, Delavan-Darien 6
Lake Mills 42, Marshall 15
Palmyra/Eagle 19, Poynette 13
Ripon 28, Columbus 17
Luther Prep 17, University School 7
Belleville 41, Elcho/White Lake 6
Cambridge 31, Brookfield Academy 10
New Glarus/Monticello 47, Catholic Central 7
Waterloo 39, Deerfield 12
(No conference games have been played yet)
Lodi at Wisconsin Dells (Thursday)
Poynette at Adams/Friendship
Platteville at Columbus
Luther Prep at Kettle Moraine Lutheran
New Glarus/Monticello at Lake Mills
Elkhorn at Lakeside Lutheran
Boscobel at Belleville
Deerfield at Cambridge
Marshall at Parkview
Palmyra/Eagle at Waterloo
Big Foot 47, Brodhead-Juda 27
Turner 39, Edgerton 14
Clinton 28, Evansville/Albany 16
East Troy 47, McFarland 42
Jefferson 44, Whitewater 7
Big Foot 1-0
East Troy 1-0
Whitewater at Turner
Brodhead/Juda at Clinton
Big Foot at East Troy
Evansville/Albany at Jefferson
Edgerton at McFarland