High School Football Recap: Week 4

monona grove football stadium

Monona Grove 42, Edgewood 6: The Silver Eagles notched a big win over the Crusaders, with Alec Ogden making a pair of spectacular runs for scores and another couple of touchdowns through the air in a game out of hand by the second quarter.

Here's the broadcast:

Here's our Week 4 recap!

For Week 5: Teams noted with an asterisk * can clinch a playoff spot with a win, while teams noted with a # are at risk for elimination with a loss.

Big Eight:

Madison West 23, Verona 17: One week after getting beat 36-0 by Middleton the Regents jumped right back into the Big Eight conference race with a steady six-point win over Verona. For Verona, it's their first loss of the season, one week ahead of taking on Middleton.

Madison Memorial 28, Madison La Follette 26: In nearly the same exact circumstances as last year, the 0-3 Spartans upended the 3-0 Lancers in a close game (last year it was 7-6). Memorial's close to getting back on track by avoiding an 0-4 start, while La Follette has now played two cardiac games in back-to-back weeks.

Sun Prairie 41, Janesville Parker 6: It's lonely at the top. Sun Prairie is now the conference's lone unbeaten team, with big games still looming against Madison West and Verona. For Parker, while it's not a totally unexpected result, their offense struggled again in this week, albeit against the conference's best defense.

Middleton 42, Janesville Craig 7: After getting thumped by Sun Prairie in week two, Middleton has rattled off two wins by a combined 88-7 score as they get ready for a huge game at Verona next Friday (our Madison Taxi High School Game of the Week). Craig has now played Sun Prairie and Middleton in back-to-back weeks,  so they will be battle-tested going forward.

Beloit Memorial 26, Madison East 6: The streak is over! After losing 33 straight Big 8 games, Beloit Memorial gets their first one since beating East in 2013. The much-improved Purple Knights get the Janesville schools yet as well as a few more interesting games remaining, so they could still pick up another win or two this year. For East, it's back to the drawing board as the Purgolders try to find wins the rest of the season.

Sun Prairie 4-0
Middleton 3-1
Madison West 3-1
Verona 3-1
Madison La Follette 3-1
Beloit Memorial 1-3
Janesville Craig 1-3
Janesville Parker 1-3
Madison Memorial 1-3
Madison East 0-4

Week 5:

Middleton (3-1) at Verona (3-1): A doozy of a contest because the winner will still be a game back or possibly tied with Sun Prairie for the conference lead. Verona still gets Sun Prairie later in the season, so a win over Middleton gives the Wildcats control over their own destiny for at least a share of the Big 8 title. For Middleton, a win over Verona places them back in the running for a shot at a home playoff game, as it appears the Cardinals are starting to get healthy at the right time of the season. Oh, and this is our Madison Taxi Game of the Week. See you Friday, Verona!

Madison La Follette (3-1) at Madison West (3-1): This is undoubtedly a huge game as both the Lancers and Regents could get to four wins (on the bubble for a playoff spot). La Follette held off Beloit Memorial but couldn't rally against Madison Memorial, and if they needed a reminder of their schedule kicking up a notch, La Follette still has to play against Verona, Middleton, and Sun Prairie the rest of the way. For West, after a huge win over Verona, they have a shot to get into the conference championship race with a win here, as the Regents still get Sun Prairie down the road.

Sun Prairie (4-0)* at Beloit Memorial (1-3): Not the pushover game this may have been in the past, the Purple Knights got a taste of victory this week and will get a stiffer test in the form of the Sun Prairie Cardinals this week. For Sun Prairie, they are suddenly alone atop the Big Eight after La Follette and Verona suffered losses this week, and one of Middleton and Verona will pick up a second loss this coming week.

Janesville Parker (1-3) at Janesville Craig (1-3): The Battle For Monterey will have the winner keeping some hope of a playoff berth alive, while the losing team will need to win out to clinch a postseason berth. Craig's burgeoning offense has met a brick wall in the form of two of the conference's best defenses, while Parker similarly has struggled against top Big 8 competition.

Madison Memorial (1-3) at Madison East (0-4)#: With the Spartans back on track, I don't have to make the obligatory "winner of this game gets their first win of the year" introduction. However, for both schools, this is a tremendously important game if they want to keep their seasons afloat. A loss for East means they won't be guaranteed a playoff spot, even if they won their final four games.

Badger North

Waunakee 48, DeForest 12: Waunakee raced out to a 42-12 halftime lead and went on to take out one of their biggest challengers to the Badger North crown. The Warriors are a cut above this season, and could be a special group to watch during the playoffs as Waunakee makes a push in Division 2. There's not much you can fault DeForest for in this game. The Norskies will give it a go next week against Sauk Prairie.

Mount Horeb/Barneveld 49, Beaver Dam 7: Regardless of the final, the Vikings bounced back from an emotional loss to Waunakee a week ago and rounded back into form. Mount Horeb/Barneveld will be a team to watch in Division 3 down the road. Beaver Dam's introduction to the Badger North was briefly sweet, as now the Golden Beavers will get one of the conference's perennial powers in Reedsburg next week.

Reedsburg 37, Sauk Prairie 20: It looked like the Eagles would send Reedsburg to an 0-4 start, but the Beavers got to work and took a 21-20 halftime lead with a late second quarter score, then added some insurance points in picking up their first win of the season. Reedsburg's season is far from over, but they'll need to find three more wins in order to make the playoffs.

Portage 28, Baraboo 19: Portage held off the Thunderbirds for their first back-to-back conference wins in four years. Now, the Warriors are tied atop the Badger North with the other Warriors (Waunakee), and wouldn't you know it, they play next week. Baraboo's season took a disappointing turn after a close loss to Beaver Dam last week, and they'll have to, like Sauk Prairie, win four of their remaining five games to make the playoffs.

Waunakee 2-0 (4-0)
Portage 2-0 (2-2)
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 1-1 (3-1)
DeForest 1-1 (2-2)
Beaver Dam 1-1 (1-3)
Reedsburg 1-1 (1-3)
Sauk Prairie 0-2 (1-3)
Baraboo 0-2 (0-4)

Week 5:

Portage (2-2, 2-0) at Waunakee (4-0, 2-0): The winner will be all alone at the top of the conference. For Waunakee, with a road trip to Reedsburg still on the slate, this will be their only home game against one of the contending Badger North squads. For Portage, a win at Waunakee in the midst of their roll would be a monumental upset, and a tremendous credit to veteran coach Bob Hepp, who picked up win #102 in beating Baraboo last week. This will undoubtedly be one of our Big Five match-ups of the week, although Waunakee will be pretty heavily favored in the Battle of the Warriors.

Mount Horeb/Barneveld (3-1, 1-1) at Baraboo (0-4, 0-2): With the Vikings back to form and Baraboo smarting after two losses by a combined ten points, this one sets up interestingly enough. Can the Thunderbirds find any room to breathe against the Vikings defense? Or will Malik Winston of MH/B rumble and carry the Vikings to victory?

DeForest (2-2, 1-1) at Sauk Prairie (1-3, 0-2): It's go time for teams thinking about a playoff push, since it'll take four wins to get there. A loss for Sauk Prairie means they'll need to win out to make it there, while DeForest could be halfway to a playoff spot by picking up a win here.

Beaver Dam (1-3, 1-1) at Reedsburg (1-3, 1-1): This really needs to be a trophy game. More importantly, for each school, this appears to be an even match-up going in, with two pretty good defenses about to slug it out. Reedsburg got off the mat with a win last week, so we'll see if they can take that momentum into a season-changing game against Beaver Dam.

Badger South

Stoughton 35, Milton 7: A battle of unbeatens went decidedly in the Vikings' favor. Stoughton will have a difficult schedule to navigate as they push for their first conference title in a generation, especially Week 8 when they play Monona Grove. For Milton, this is a momentary setback. The Red Hawks will likewise face a gauntlet in the Badger South as they make a push for a playoff return.

Monona Grove 42, Edgewood 6: A game that was running clock late in the second quarter, the Silver Eagles barely had their offense on the field in this victory. After allowing the Crusaders to drive to the five yard line on the opening series, the Silver Eagles intercepted a pass in the end zone, and three plays later, Alec Ogden was 71 yards and into the end zone. It was 42-0 with 74 seconds left in the second quarter. Edgewood hopes to have its projected top quarterback in the fold soon, but Jack McNeil, the all-conference tight end and defensive lineman, displayed a cannon arm with some touch as he threw several good passes. It makes you wonder if the 6-5, 250-pound McNeil had played exclusively at quarterback for a season or two what he could do, because the raw talent is clearly there.

Oregon 34, Fort Atkinson 27: The latest stop on the comeback tour for the Panthers saw them hold off Fort Atkinson and pick up a second win in 2017, doubling their 2016 win total in the process. Fort Atkinson now finds itself in an unenviable position, with Monona Grove looming next week as a potential third loss, meaning the Blackhawks will need to practically win out for any shot at the postseason.

Monroe 29, Watertown 28: Potentially a season-saving win for Monroe, Watertown led late but Monroe cashed in a late score to take this critical contest. Both teams now have identical 1-1 records in conference play.

Monona Grove 2-0 (4-0)
Stoughton 2-0 (4-0)
Milton 1-1 (3-1)
Monroe 1-1 (2-2)
Oregon 1-1 (2-2)
Watertown 1-1 (2-2)
Fort Atkinson 0-2 (1-3)
Edgewood 0-2 (0-4)

Week 5

Stoughton (4-0, 2-0) at Monroe (2-2, 1-1): Getting by a resurgent Milton squad was step one. Now, the Vikings have to take on the defending Badger South champs on the road in order to stake their claim as one of the teams to beat in the Badger South. Monroe saved its season from sliding towards disaster by coming back to beat Watertown last week. Expect plenty of running plays in this one.

Milton (3-1, 1-1) at Oregon (2-2, 1-1): A very good game that will go under the radar, this is what amounts to a playoff game for each school, since this win will go a long ways towards deciding which of these schools eventually reaches the postseason. Oregon held off Fort Atkinson to pick up a victory, while Milton will need to shake off a tough one against Stoughton.

Monona Grove (4-0, 2-0) at Fort Atkinson (1-3, 0-2): Fort Atkinson's lines should provide a good challenge to the Silver Eagles, who barely had to operate on offense this past week in a rout of Edgewood. Can the Blackhawks keep up with the frenetic pace of the Monona Grove RPO offense? A loss here means Fort Atkinson will need to run the table to make the playoffs.

Watertown (2-2, 1-1) at Edgewood (0-4, 0-2): Edgewood might have its projected starting quarterback in uniform for this one, but the bigger question is how the Crusaders can slow down the spread-option Goslings one week after being gashed at will by Monona Grove. Watertown has to shake off a tough loss to Monroe last week.

Capitol North and South (final week of non-conference and crossover play)

Crossover Games: Capitol North finishes 6-0 against Capitol South

Non-Conference Games (no crossovers): Capitol North 11-7, Capitol South 12-2 (five more non-conference games remain for the Capitol South)

(Crossover) Lake Mills 41, Belleville 0: The L-Cats are an offensive machine and finely tuned for their enormous conference-opening showdown with Lodi this week. Belleville gets their first loss, but there's nothing to hang their heads about in this one. Especially since conference play starts next week.

(Crossover) Lodi 28, Marshall 13: Lodi is projected as a top area team again this year and needed to grind out a win over the Marshall Cardinals. Marshall seems to always be in the playoff hunt, and while a moral victory isn't nearly as satisfying as an actual victory, the Cardinals asserted themselves extremely well in the loss to a highly-ranked Lodi squad.

(Crossover) Luther Prep 42, Waterloo 8: Nothing fancy here. Phoenix football took down last year's second-best Capitol South squad easily en route to their third win of the year. Waterloo, meanwhile, will be a little more tested for the conference season starting next week.

Lakeside Lutheran 49, Wautoma 14: A pretty significant clobbering by Lakeside Lutheran here, as they now finish non-conference play with a solid 3-1 record.

Columbus 21, Adams/Friendship 14: Both teams went 9-0 en route to conference titles in 2016, but life comes at you fast. The Cardinals earn the decision here, scoring their first win of the season and snapping a four-game skid dating back to last year's playoffs.

Winnebago Lutheran Academy 27, Poynette 14: The Pumas led in this game but WLA pulled away for a victory. Poynette finishes 2-2 in non-conference play.

New Glarus/Monticello 29, Mauston 28: A wild win for the Glarner Knights evens their record at 2-2 for the defending Capitol South champions.

Cambridge 34, Wisconsin Dells 6: No troubles here for the resurgent Blue Jays in dominating Wisconsin Dells Friday night.

Capitol North (non-conference records)

Lake Mills 4-0
Lodi 4-0
Lakeside Lutheran 3-1
Luther Prep 3-1
Poynette 2-2
Columbus 1-3

Lodi (4-0) at Lake Mills (4-0): What a way to kick off the Capitol Conference season. This is one of the top games in the entire state. Lodi's monster defense led by Jacob Heyroth against Ben Dunkleberger and the L-Cat's superb offense. 

Lakeside Lutheran (3-1) at Poynette (2-2): Both teams look to get on the right side of the playoff equation this year, and this will be a key game in that decision. After solid non-conference slates, the race is on to three wins and a postseason berth.

Columbus (1-3) at Luther Prep (3-1): If the Cardinals can springboard their win over Adams/Friendship into some momentum against the Capitol North, it will be a great comeback for Columbus after an 0-3 start to the season under new coach Calvin Zenz. Luther Prep represents a big challenge, however, as the Phoenix only lost in non-conference play to state power St. Mary's Springs.

Capitol South (non-conference records)

Belleville 3-1
Cambridge 3-1
Marshall 2-2
New Glarus/Monticello 2-2
Waterloo 2-2

Belleville (3-1) at New Glarus/Monticello (2-2): Right out of the gate, a big rivalry game to kick off conference play. In a wide-open Capitol South, the winner of this game is not only halfway to the playoffs, but earns a win over one of the projected top conference contenders.

Cambridge (3-1) at Waterloo (2-2): Cambridge has asserted itself well in non-conference play, while Waterloo has done well to replace some of the weapons they lost from last year's second-place team. As will be the case with every Capitol South game, a win moves a team halfway to the playoffs while a loss makes the margin for error razor-thin.

(non-conference) Marshall (2-2) at Mineral Point (3-1): Marshall's insane schedule continues against one of the best teams in the SWAL, fresh off of a win over Darlington. Marshall has played both Lodi and Lake Mills (losses) while earning wins over Parkview (in a crazy game) and Adams/Friendship, although now winless, was a 9-1 team a season ago.

Next week the Capitol Conference recaps move into their own North and South sections

Rock Valley

Clinton 53, East Troy 21: The Cougars roll to yet another dominating win over a Rock Valley contender, and yet Clinton still has Turner and Jefferson awaiting them on the schedule. Regardless, it's an impressive win over a dominant offense with a highly-regarded line. If Clinton is this much better than the other conference teams, look out. Outside of their season-opening comeback against Evansville/Albany, Clinton has breezed to victory.

Jefferson 45, Big Foot 22: Speaking of contenders, Jefferson was pegged to be a top team in the league in the preseason, and so far the Eagles are holding up their end of the bargain, taking down the Chiefs by three scores. Big Foot's season enters critical territory now with their third loss.

Turner 42, Brodhead/Juda 19: The Trojans are having some of the best success they've ever enjoyed across multiple programs, both boys' and girls', at the school. Football rides the wave this year with the return of star Juan Reyes and a 4-0 start to the year, putting the Trojans only one game out of a playoff spot. Brodhead/Juda, meanwhile, could see their quarter-century playoff streak come to an end if they lose any more games, as they are now 0-4.

Evansville/Albany 41, McFarland 16: It seems as though the Blue Devils dumped their frustration of three straight close losses to three presently-unbeaten teams in the Rock Valley on McFarland. After a back-and-forth early battle, Evansville/Albany took over in the second quarter and never looked back in picking up their first victory.

Edgerton 14, Whitewater 7: Mike Gregory's Tiders get that first taste of victory in 2017. Whitewater's season is on the brink with a fourth straight loss to start the season, but for Edgerton, after some exciting early games, they finally have that win to build upon.

Clinton 4-0
Jefferson 4-0
Turner 4-0
East Troy 3-1
McFarland 2-2
Big Foot 1-3
Evansville/Albany 1-3
McFarland 1-3
Brodhead/Juda 0-4
Whitewater 0-4

Jefferson (4-0)* at Clinton (4-0)*: I'm going to have a hard time deciding whether this one or Lodi-Lake Mills is the game of the week for the area. The winner gets a playoff spot, the loser chases the winner the rest of the season for a conference title. Plenty at stake in an already important game here. Jefferson's got the defense to contend with anyone. Clinton has been rolling as of late. Going to be a great one.

Turner (4-0)* at Big Foot (1-3): For the Chiefs, with the season in the balance, they'll have to take down the upstart Trojans in order to avoid a run-the-table scenario. For Turner, playing a good team with their backs against the wall will be a new sort of challenge. Turner clinches a playoff spot with a victory.

McFarland (2-2) at Brodhead/Juda (0-4)#: While five losses doesn't mean automatic elimination, the Cardinals' playoff streak is in serious jeopardy at the midway point of 2017. They overcame it a season ago. For McFarland, picking up a win over a team that's made the playoffs for a quarter century would signal a huge mark that they are on their way. Maybe not this year, but with the strength of the program in the under-classes, it could herald some good things to come.

Edgerton (1-3) at Evansville/Albany (1-3): Immensely important for either team to get back into the playoff race, Edgerton will make the short hop down 59 for a fun evening in Evansville. Both teams are fairly young but sport excellent quarterbacks.

East Troy (3-1) at Whitewater (0-4): If games are won in the trenches, Whitewater will face one of its greatest challenges this week in the Trojans, who pile up 400 rushing yards with ease.

Other results:

Montello/Princeton/Green Lake 28, Parkview 20: Parkview's quest for its first victory will have to wait another week. They'll play at 3-1 Markesan next week.

Fall River 52, Wayland Academy 14: Wayland's second game of the season didn't go as intended, and they'll face Lourdes in their third game.

Johnson Creek 46, Cambria-Friesland 0: Johnson Creek showed why they're ranked and moving up the lists as one of the top teams in small school football. They'll get 1-3 Rio next week.

(8-player) Oakfield 54, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 12: A convincing win for the Oaks over the Resorters. Oakfield is in the receiving votes category for small-school football in the AP, which includes all 11-player and 8-player teams in the state. They're currently second in the WSN coaches' poll.

Statewide results:

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