Middleton 31, Verona 10: After accounting for only 99 yards on offense in the first half, and getting their only score courtesy of a 72-yard punt return by Kevin Meicher, the Cardinals pounded the run game home in the second half in a big victory over Verona. James Pabst ran for 130 yards and three scores in the victory.
Here's our Week 5 Recap!
* denotes a team that clinched a playoff spot
Sun Prairie 41, Beloit Memorial 6: This wasn't an unexpected result. Beloit Memorial is a team improved upon from past years, but Sun Prairie might be alone in a class atop the Big Eight this season. The Cardinals rolled to clinch a playoff spot.
Janesville Craig 23, Janesville Parker 8: The Cougars win in the battle for Monterey, and keep their playoff hopes alive. For Parker, now with their fourth loss, need to win out in order to advance to the postseason.
Madison Memorial 47, Madison East 0: After a difficult early schedule, the Spartans are rolling. They still have the Janesville schools, Beloit Memorial, and Sun Prairie on the schedule (they'll play the Cardinals next week). East, meanwhile, will keep fighting for that first win, as they are now longshots to make the playoffs.
Madison West 14, Madison La Follette 7: The Regents follow up a big win over Verona with an impressive win against La Follette, and all of a sudden the Regents are very much a factor in the conference race, controlling their own destiny with a showdown against Sun Prairie in two weeks.
Middleton 31, Verona 10: See above, but Middleton wore down the Wildcats and picked up a key win to stay a game back of Sun Prairie in the Big Eight race. Verona has now dropped two straight.
*Sun Prairie 5-0
Madison West 4-1
Madison La Follette 3-2
Janesville Craig 2-3
Madison Memorial 2-3
Beloit Memorial 1-4
Janesville Parker 1-4
Madison East 0-5
*Clinched playoff spot
Verona (3-2) at Madison La Follette (3-2): Both teams have matching two-game losing streaks, so which one can stop the bleeding? And which team will drop three in a row? With the conference title now probably off the table, it's time to push for the playoffs for both squads.
Madison Memorial (2-3) at Sun Prairie (5-0): Despite an 0-3 start, the Spartans still have a shot at the playoffs if they sweep the Janesville schools and Beloit Memorial. Sun Prairie presents a formidable challenge, but Madison Memorial has faced some very good teams already. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have been absolutely rolling in every game.
Janesville Craig (2-3) at Beloit Memorial (1-4): This is going to be a good football game, because Beloit Memorial will get a good chance here to prove that they are indeed a team on the rise and one to watch perhaps into next year if they can get by the Cougars here and put together a few wins after going nearly four years without a conference victory. Craig, meanwhile, could get to .500 and put itself in a solid position to sneak into the playoffs, perhaps even clinch a spot.
Middleton (4-1) at Janesville Parker (1-4): Middleton's line play has been dominant in their past three games, after letting the Sun Prairie game slip away in the final 18 minutes or so back in week two. The Cardinals are on a tear. Parker needs to win out to clinch a playoff spot.
Madison East (0-5) at Madison West (4-1): Madison West's celebration of a past state title team might pale in comparison to the fact that the Regents could wrap up a playoff spot in week six, with their only setback a pasting at the hands of a surging Middleton Cardinals team that took apart Verona in the second half tonight. East will look to crash the party across town in this rivalry.
Waunakee 64, Portage 7: It was a battle for first place in the Badger North, but Waunakee dominated from the outset and won going away in a game that was 50-7 at halftime. Portage has lost to the three current undefeated Badger teams (as well as Stoughton and Monona Grove), but nothing to hang their heads about here ahead of a big game with Beaver Dam next Friday.
Beaver Dam 30, Reedsburg 20: If Warriors-Warriors in the previous game wasn't confusing, how about the Beavers vs. Beavers here? In the game itself, Beaver Dam rallied and picked up a huge win as it relates to postseason eligibility, while Reedsburg is in an unenviable position of playing Mount Horeb/Barneveld and Waunakee in back-to-back weeks next.
DeForest 53, Sauk Prairie 16: The Norskies were in a fight early but pulled away big-time for a win over the Eagles to join three other teams in second place in the Badger North. Sauk Prairie now needs to win out to make the playoffs.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 45, Baraboo 0: Another win for the Vikings, while Baraboo continues to look for their first victory of the 2017 season. MH/B has bounced back nicely after the week 3 setback against Waunakee.
Waunakee 3-0 (5-0)
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 2-1 (4-1)
DeForest 2-1 (3-2)
Beaver Dam 2-1 (2-3)
Portage 2-1 (2-3)
Reedsburg 1-2 (1-4)
Sauk Prairie 0-3 (1-4)
Baraboo 0-3 (0-5)
Portage (2-3, 2-1) at Beaver Dam (2-3, 2-1): The winner of this game will be a step away from the playoffs, and should be a fun battle for the teams separated by 40 miles of Highway 33.
Reedsburg (1-4, 1-2) at Mount Horeb/Barneveld (4-1, 2-1): While the Vikings continue to rebound nicely from their loss against Waunakee, Reedsburg has struggled a bit this season. Reedsburg needs to win one of their two games against the Vikings or next week against Waunakee to stay eligible for the postseason.
DeForest (3-2, 2-1) at Baraboo (0-5, 0-3): Baraboo needs to win out to make the playoffs, while DeForest has come on strong since an early-season loss to Oregon (and a setback against Waunakee).
Sauk Prairie (1-4, 0-3) at Waunakee (5-0, 3-0): If Sauk Prairie wants to make the playoffs, they'll need to pull a huge upset of the Waunakee Warriors to start that playoff run. Waunakee will clinch a playoff spot with a victory.
Watertown 31, Edgewood 29: A wild, wild finish had the Goslings eking out a win over Edgewood, in which the Crusaders asserted themselves extremely well after getting blown out by Monona Grove and Stoughton in back-to-back weeks. Watertown stays a game back of Stoughton and Monona Grove, and controls their own conference title destiny if they can keep winning since they play both the Vikings and Eagles near the end of the season.
Stoughton 18, Monroe 0: Stoughton coach Dan Prahl told us this week for all the talk about their offense, the Vikings pride themselves on defense, and pitched a shutout against the defending conference champions. Monroe picked up their second conference loss and falls to a tie for fifth, likely ending any hopes of a repeat conference title bid.
Oregon 41, Milton 6: Milton's 3-0 start is distant memories at this point. Oregon blasted the Red Hawks to move into a tie for third place, one game back of the conference leaders. It just so happens Oregon will play Stoughton, one of those leaders, next week. Milton will get a chance to regroup against Watertown next Friday.
Monona Grove 46, Fort Atkinson 7: Another game, another Silver Eagles blowout. Monona Grove lost virtually everything up front from a year ago, plus some of their top receivers and defensive backs, but have re-loaded to the tune of a 5-0 start. Fort Atkinson now needs to win out to make the playoffs.
Monona Grove 3-0 (5-0)
Stoughton 3-0 (5-0)
Oregon 2-1 (3-2)
Watertown 2-1 (3-2)
Milton 1-2 (3-2)
Monroe 1-2 (2-3)
Fort Atkinson 0-3 (1-4)
Edgewood 0-3 (0-5)
Oregon (3-2, 2-1) at Stoughton (5-0, 3-0): Our Madison Taxi Game of the Week, Oregon looks like it has come all the way back from an injury-marred 2016 campaign. After an impressive win over Milton, the Panthers will get the undefeated Vikings. Stoughton has used stellar defense and an offense with some real home-run threats to take down all five opponents thus far, and with a win would clinch a playoff spot.
Monona Grove (5-0, 3-0) at Monroe (2-3, 1-2): Last year, one of the oft-cited facts of the Silver Eagles' run to state was that they didn't win their own conference. Don't think that won't be a motivating factor in this one. Monroe lost a tough one against Stoughton last week, but will have a different sort of challenge in Monona Grove this week amidst a difficult stretch of schedule. Monona Grove clinches a playoff spot with a win.
Watertown (3-2, 2-1) at Milton (3-2, 1-2): When it comes to the playoff race, this one will loom large for each team. Watertown has higher aspirations, as they still face the conference's leading teams and could, by winning out, earn no less than a share of the conference championship, but they'll have to take care of business against a traditionally difficult Red Hawks program.
Fort Atkinson (1-4, 0-3) at Edgewood (0-5, 0-3): One team will be eliminated from playoff contention next Friday. Edgewood looked better in their close loss to Watertown last week. Both teams have been blown out by Monona Grove. This could be a fantastic game. Plenty on the line.
Lodi 55, Lake Mills 25: Widely regarded as one of the top games in the entire state, Lodi pulled away in the second half to win probably the biggest game they will play until Level 2 or 3 of the playoffs, which may again be Lake Mills. With the win, Lodi appears to be the favorite in the Capitol North, if not one of the top contenders in all of Division 4. Lake Mills, meanwhile, can't wallow too long. Luther Prep is 4-1 and is the next game.
Luther Prep 36, Columbus 0: It's apparent graduation has indeed hit the Cardinals hard. The Phoenix took control from the start and never relented. With conference play only having just begun, there's a long way to go for both teams.
Lakeside Lutheran 62, Poynette 0: In a loaded Capitol North with four teams either 4-1 and 5-0, Lakeside Lutheran didn't quite stand out from the pack, but after a pasting of Poynette, they're on the radar now.
Lodi 1-0 (5-0)
Lakeside Lutheran 1-0 (4-1)
Luther Prep 1-0 (4-1)
Lake Mills 0-1 (4-1)
Poynette 0-1 (2-3)
Columbus 0-1 (1-4)
Lodi (5-0, 1-0) at Lakeside Lutheran (4-1, 1-0): Lodi will return to Lake Mills to take on one of the area's most underrated teams in Lakeside Lutheran. Although the Blue Devils have played a difficult schedule, this one looms as a crucial contest as Lakeside Lutheran might be the prime challenger to the Capitol North title.
Lake Mills (4-1, 0-1) at Luther Prep (4-1, 1-0): Luther Prep's loss was to St. Mary's Springs, so you can forgive them for having a blemish on their record. It's no time for Lake Mills to wallow in defeat either, since the trip to Watertown will represent a difficult challenge for the L-Cats. With only five games on the Capitol North schedule, a second loss would put Lake Mills into do-or-die mode the rest of the way.
Poynette (2-3, 0-1) at Columbus (1-4, 0-1): One of these teams will get back on track this week. Poynette is certainly hoping to get one past the Cardinals, who were 11-1 last year. The losing team will have to win out to make the playoffs.
-Not counting crossovers, the Capitol South is 12-3 in non-conference games this season
Belleville 21, New Glarus/Monticello 0: Belleville picks up its biggest win in years by taking down last year's conference champion, and after a 5-4 season last year, is now one win away from the playoffs.
Cambridge 41, Waterloo 20: Down goes last year's #2 team in the Capitol South. Cambridge, who didn't win a conference game last year, takes the first step towards a playoff return.
Mineral Point 28, Marshall 12 (non-conference): Marshall now enters the final four weeks of the season in games that all will count towards playoff eligibility, and to keep their long playoff appearance streak alive.
Belleville 1-0 (4-1)
Cambridge 1-0 (4-1)
Marshall 0-0 (2-3)
New Glarus/Monticello 0-1 (2-3)
Waterloo 0-1 (2-3)
Waterloo (2-3, 0-1) at Belleville (4-1, 1-0): Belleville can become playoff eligible (and likely in to the playoffs) with a win over last year's second-place team in the conference. Waterloo, by falling to 0-2, would need to win their final two conference games to be playoff eligible.
New Glarus/Monticello (2-3, 0-1) at Marshall (2-3, 0-0): It goes without saying that every conference game looms extremely large with no room for error: one loss means you need to win out to clinch a playoff spot. Marshall opens conference play against last year's conference champs.
Darlington (0-5) at Cambridge (4-1, 1-0): Darlington, fresh off of four straight trips to Camp Randall Stadium, is now clinging to shreds of hope for a playoff berth. Cambridge, meanwhile, is dedicating the home field to Bob Nodolf, their longtime football coach, in this game. It should be a big event regardless of the records.
Clinton 32, Jefferson 6: Clinton has answered the bell every week, and this week did it against a highly-regarded Jefferson defense. Now that they have a playoff spot in the bag, they can focus on their next goal, which is a Rock Valley title. As luck would have it, they will get to play the team currently tied for first with them next week. Jefferson meanwhile will need to regroup and get after East Troy next week in what should be a fantastic battle of some great linemen in the area.
Turner 46, Big Foot 28: The Trojans piled it on down the stretch and clinched a playoff spot in the process, the second post-season trip for Turner since 1992. Big Foot's season is suddenly on the brink after high aspirations early in the year, as they now need to win out to clinch a playoff spot.
Brodhead/Juda 28, McFarland 27: The quarter-century-long playoff streak still has a chance to continue, as the Cardinals avoided a costly fifth loss and got into the win column for the first time this season. McFarland, meanwhile, after a solid start to the season, has dropped two in a row and will need to win three of their final four to clinch a playoff spot.
Evansville/Albany 38, Edgerton 6: After losing to Clinton, Jefferson, and Turner, many had the Blue Devils written off for the rest of the season. Much like Madison Memorial in the Big Eight, however, Evansville/Albany has already faced most of the top teams in the league so far this year, so not only are they tested, but they will have ample opportunities to continue to pick up wins.
East Troy 17, Whitewater 7: A lower score than most expected, managed to pick up the road win against a Whippets team that sports some solid underclassmen talent, players that are racking up varsity experience for the years to come.
East Troy 4-1
Big Foot 1-4
*Clinched playoff berth
Clinton (5-0) at Turner (5-0): Clinton plays in nothing but big games, but has rolled past the top competition in the Rock Valley so far. Turner, meanwhile, has achieved a big goal in clinching a playoff spot. Now, they stand as one of the last teams to deny a conference title to Clinton, while looking to possibly secure one for themselves. Easily one of the biggest games in the area, if not the entire state.
Jefferson (4-1) at East Troy (4-1): How about this one for a Rock Valley undercard: one of these squads will clinch a playoff spot with three weeks to go. Jefferson just got a taste of Clinton's incredible run game, and now will see East Troy's version of it this week. East Troy will need to grind it out like they did against Whitewater to pick up a huge victory late in the season.
Big Foot (1-4) at McFarland (2-3): If either team has playoff hopes, this game will either put them a step closer to their goal, or put them nearly on the outside looking in. Big Foot was pegged as a conference title contender, but has played some difficult teams early on. McFarland is on a two-game losing streak, having narrowly lost last week to a desperate Brodhead/Juda team.
Brodhead/Juda (1-4) at Edgerton (1-4): The losing team will not be guaranteed a playoff spot, so for Brodhead/Juda, with their 25-year playoff appearance streak on the line, this game looms large. Edgerton has been feisty in their games so far, but with much of their talent still in the sophomore and junior class, it may be next year before they can go from fun to contender.
Evansville/Albany (2-3) at Whitewater (0-5): Evansville/Albany has some battle scars courtesy of tangling with three of the top four teams in the conference, but has played Clinton the closest of anyone so far and even at 2-3 won't be taken lightly. Whitewater held East Troy to 17 points last week, which, while a moral victory, shows that the Whippets haven't rolled over. Their slim playoff chances will be exhausted with a loss here.
Markesan 52, Parkview 13: Parkview will need to win out to become playoff eligible.
Lourdes 70, Wayland Academy 12: It's been a rude welcome back to full-time 11-player football for the Big Red so far, who drop to 0-3 and need to win out to make the playoffs.
Johnson Creek 46, Rio 12: A playoff spot and control of the Trailways-Small awaits next week in a match-up of the two 3-0 teams in the conference when Johnson Creek heads to Fall River.
Abundant Life/St. Ambrose vs Lake Forest Academy (IL): Saturday 12:00pm
Phillips vs Wisconsin Heights: Saturday 3:00pm
Football Friday Night recaps the biggest games in the state: