Game Audio: Sun Prairie 37, Madison West 7
Beloit Memorial 13, Janesville Parker 6: Beloit Memorial has won two games in a season for the first time since 2007, and only the second time since they won three games in 2001. It's been slow progress, but it appears that Rodney Wedig is starting to see the fruits of his ongoing challenge, to bring Purple Knights football back to the consistency they enjoyed in the 1990s. For Parker, the sixth loss eliminates any chance that the Vikings will make the postseason.
Janesville Craig 24, Madison Memorial 12: How about the Cougars jumping into the upper half of the Big Eight, with a rally to put them into playoff consideration? Craig will have to find a win against either Madison West or Verona, both teams who are 5-2 in the later stages of their seasons. For Madison Memorial, they now do not control their own playoff destiny, needing to win out over Parker and Beloit Memorial to even have a chance at the playoffs.
Verona 28, Madison East 7: It wasn't unexpected that Verona would beat the winless Purgolders, but in doing so, the Wildcats have clinched a playoff spot. Verona's schedule is a fight to the finish, with Sun Prairie looking for a conference championship next week and Craig looking for a playoff spot in the final game of the regular season.
Middleton 24, Madison La Follette 6: La Follette's path to the playoffs now takes an interesting turn: they will need to beat East and then upset Sun Prairie, as they did in last year's Level 1 of the playoffs, in order to clinch a playoff spot. For Middleton, these later-season games show how much the team is improving, and getting healthy at the right time.
Sun Prairie 37, Madison West 7: Sun Prairie will play Verona next week, and with a win, would clinch at least a share of the conference title, so this win was a big one for the Cardinals. For Madison West, they missed a few early opportunities, but won't have long to hang their heads. Janesville Craig is next, and the Cougars are seeking a win to clinch their own playoff spot.
*Sun Prairie 7-0
*Madison West 5-2
Janesville Craig 4-3
Madison La Follette 3-4
Beloit Memorial 2-5
Madison Memorial 2-5
#Janesville Parker 1-6
#Madison East 0-7
*Clinched Playoff Spot
Sun Prairie (7-0) at Verona (5-2): Sun Prairie can earn at least a share of a conference title with a win on Friday night. Verona could use the upset to get them in position to perhaps host a playoff game. Either way, this game has been circled on our schedules for an entire year. Get ready for a battle. The key will be whether Verona can kick their offense into gear against a dominant Cardinals defense. Now that Sun Prairie's offense has found its on switch, the Wildcats will also need a strong defensive effort to keep the game in reach.
Madison West (5-2) at Janesville Craig (4-3): Janesville Craig's playoffs begin now essentially, with difficult games remaining against West and Verona, and they need to split the contests at worst in order to make the playoffs. For the Regents, losses to Middleton and Sun Prairie shouldn't necessarily dampen the spirits of an incredibly talented group of seniors, who have to play all three phases and all four quarters because of the numbers. Expect a fun, physical game if you're at Monterey Stadium next week.
Madison East (0-7) at Madison La Follette (3-4): While East is out of the playoff hunt, they can play spoiler for La Follette at their old home of Lussier Stadium. The Lancers need to win out in order to get into the playoffs. If it doesn't happen this year, don't expect La Follette to be out of playoff contention very long. Several Big 8 coaches believe that the Lancers will be loaded in the next year or two.
Beloit Memorial (2-5) at Middleton (6-1): The Purple Knights need to win out to have even a shot at the playoffs, but it's a tall order against Middleton. The Cardinals have been on a roll, particularly on defense, since a Week 2 loss to Sun Prairie. Middleton will get a better game than recent years out of Beloit Memorial.
Janesville Parker (1-6) at Madison Memorial (2-5): Madison Memorial's playoff hopes are slim, but they can still win out and get in if not enough .500 or better teams are available. Parker had too much to replace from a year ago, but it won't be the case next year, when some of this year's experienced varsity players settle into those roles a year from now.
Madison La Follette (3-4) at Sun Prairie (7-0)
Janesville Craig (4-3) at Verona (5-2)
Beloit Memorial (2-5) at Madison Memorial (2-5)
Madison West (5-2) at Janesville Parker (2-5)
Middleton (6-1) at Madison East (0-7)