2018 Week 2 High School Football Preview

posted by Jimmie Kaska - 

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⭐ Big Five Games - Week 2, 2018 ⭐

1. Middleton (1-0) at Verona (1-0) - Big 8 (🔊 Game of the Week Broadcast)

2. Madison La Follette (1-0) at #9 Madison Memorial (1-0) - Big 8

3. Oregon (1-0) at #8 Mount Horeb/Barneveld (1-0) - Badger Crossover

4. #3 Black Hawk (1-0, 0-0) at #4 Potosi/Cassville (1-0, 1-0) - Six Rivers

5. Jefferson (1-0) vs McFarland (1-0) (at Madison La Follette) - Rock Valley

Big 8 (Rankings are WSN Coaches Poll)

Middleton (1-0) at Verona (1-0): Our Madison Taxi Game of the Week. You can read more about this game by going here.

⭐ Madison La Follette (1-0) at #9 Madison Memorial (1-0): The winning team will be one of just two or three teams that will have a lead in the Big 8 after Week 2, and for Madison Memorial, they'll have to avoid a letdown after a long, emotional, and enthralling victory over Sun Prairie after Week 1. On the other side, La Follette will have to find a way to slow down the ground-and-pound attack of the Spartans, and get Kayvion James-Ragland into space to work against a very solid defense. It's also the Mike Harris Bowl, as new Memorial coach Mike Harris previously coached at La Follette.

Janesville Parker (0-1) vs Janesville Craig (1-0): It's only Week 2, but the Battle for Monterey Rock is here already. Craig's big win over Beloit Memorial in Week 1 was a big step towards a playoff return, and if they beat Parker in Week 2, they'll be in a three-way tie for first in the Big 8 heading into Week 3. Craig's win was a little eye-opening because Beloit Memorial was projected to be a playoff contender this year. Parker is looking to bounce back after a near-shutout loss against Verona in Week 1, in which Verona used a balanced offense to roll up 40 points and 400 yards on the rebuilding Vikings.

Beloit Memorial (0-1) at Sun Prairie (0-1): After a loss to Madison Memorial, Sun Prairie will return home for their first game since July's gas line explosion that devastated the community, and it'll be Pack The Pit night for the Cardinals as they honor first responders. Admission is free to the game, and donations will be taken for the Sun Prairie disaster relief fund. Beloit Memorial is coming off of an opening-week loss to playoff hopeful Janesville Craig, and they'll need a big game to take down the defending Big 8 champs.

Madison West (0-1) at Madison East (0-1): The intra-city rivalry is far from the least-interesting game in Week 2, but both teams are looking to bounce back after tough losses in the opening week of the season. For East, they're still looking for their first win for second-year coach Jeremy Thornton, who previously coached at West and played at East. For West, they'll need to collect a win here to stay in the hunt for a city championship, and possibly a playoff spot, given how tough their remaining schedule is with Middleton, Verona, Madison Memorial, and Sun Prairie all still to come.

Badger Crossover (Rankings are WSN Coaches Poll)

(Thursday) Baraboo (0-1) at #10 Stoughton (1-0): Baraboo's very difficult schedule continues as they'll take on Stoughton, a team with a massive offensive line and a solid front position group on defense as well. The Thunderbirds should be pretty well-tested after an opening-week loss to Badger South favorite Monona Grove, but they'll need to get more done on offense if they hope to hang with the Vikings, who piled on points in their own Week 1 game and a victory.

⭐ Oregon (1-0) at #8 Mount Horeb/Barneveld (1-0): Two Badger Conference challengers in their respective halves of the conference, both teams were challenged in their opening contests before settling in for wins. While it won't count for playoff contention, it's still a very interesting game between two of the teams picked to finish high in the conference standings. Oregon brings back depth and experience up the middle, while Mount Horeb/Barneveld boasts one of the top running backs in the state as well as big weapons on special teams.

Milton (1-0) at Reedsburg (1-0): Both programs aren't that far removed from deep playoff runs, and both are working towards postseason berths in 2018 after winning their openers. Expect plenty of running in this one. Milton had a hot start last year, going 3-0 including a win over the Beavers, and finished 3-6; Reedsburg struggled and finished 2-7. While the games don't count towards playoff positioning, a 2-0 start isn't a bad thing for two schools trying to get back into the playoffs after short absences.

Watertown (1-0) at #2 Waunakee (1-0): Last year, Waunakee won this game going away, after the pre-game billing had it as one of the state's premier games on the schedule. After the Warriors' dominating win in Week 1, it doesn't have quite the same gleam as 2017 going in either, but it'll be interesting from the aspect that Watertown brings back plenty of players who experienced last year's drubbing in this contest, and in addition to a packed playbook of pass plays, the Goslings displayed some run ability last week too. Waunakee managed to re-load and blew out Fort Atkinson to open the season.

#9 Monona Grove (1-0) at Portage (0-1): Monona Grove got two road games in the crossover this year, and this week they'll face Portage. The Silver Eagles got a big game from Jordan Bishop, and the defense threw a shutout last week. Meanwhile, the Warriors, like Baraboo, are playing the top two teams from the Badger South last year, which ups their strength of schedule considerably. Portage was trending up last year after competing in most of their games, but an unforgiving Crossover schedule might hide the progress the program has made in the past two seasons here in the early going.

Fort Atkinson (0-1) at Beaver Dam (0-1): Fort Atkinson will have to face another tough defense to start the year, as the Blackhawks work with a very young lineup. Fort lost big to Waunakee last week, and sometimes film on a team during a game like Fort's last week can be hard to prepare with, so it'll be interesting to see how things go against the young Blackhawks. Beaver Dam will get a chance to evaluate from a tough loss to Watertown on a short week, since their game got pushed to Saturday due to flooding at Watertown.

Monroe (0-1) at DeForest (0-1): Both teams made the playoffs last year, but lost their opening game, and in the final non-conference game before the conference season begins, it'll be one of the more intriguing match-ups to see who can emerge with a win and who will have to start their path back to the playoffs with an 0-2 start to the season. Monroe is again working to establish their dominant run game, but they'll have to do it against a solid DeForest defense that will be happy to grind it out in this contest.

Edgewood (0-1) at Sauk Prairie (0-1): Edgewood was able to move the ball against Mount Horeb/Barneveld, which makes the crossover game against Sauk Prairie interesting from the aspect that Sauk Prairie won this game a year ago, and this year's version of the match-up could be exciting. The Eagles are seeking a win to get some momentum heading into conference play, while also gaining experience for their wave of new players getting big roles on Friday night for the first time.

Capitol Non-Conference Games (Rankings are WSN Coaches Poll)

Lake Mills (0-1) at New Glarus/Monticello (1-0): An intriguing match-up for two 2017 playoff teams, Lake Mills will get another strong test against the Glarner Knights as the L-Cats' difficult schedule plays out. For NG/M, they'll get to see a solid defense, and a chance to see what Lake Mills will try at quarterback heading into Week 2 after rotating two players against Menomonie. This is the lone Capitol Crossover of the week.

Wisconsin Dells (1-0) at #2 Lodi (1-0): As the Chiefs try to build their program, they'll get a good measuring stick when they take on the defending D-4 state champs. Lodi will try to continue working in some of their new starters after a tough challenge in a week one win.

Cambridge (1-0) at Cochrane-Fountain City (0-1): This should be a solid contest as C-FC lost to one of the better small-school programs in Wisconsin at Pepin/Alma. Cambridge will try to build on a big week one victory ahead of conference play which begins in a few weeks.

Lakeside Lutheran (1-0) at Elkhorn (0-1): A pretty solid match-up, as Elkhorn narrowly lost to New Berlin West to open the season and will tune up for the difficult Southern Lakes. Lakeside Lutheran will try to continue their 

Columbus (0-1) at Platteville (1-0): Platteville won their opener against Cuba City and figures to be a strong team again in the Southwestern Conference, so it'll be another solid test for Columbus as they gain experience leading up to conference play.

Adams-Friendship (0-1) at Poynette (1-0): The Pumas are trying to start 2-0 behind their excellent defense, and they'll get a South Central Conference opponent to work against in their second of four non-conference games.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran (0-1) at Luther Prep (0-1): Both teams are looking to bounce back after opening-week losses. KML didn't get a win last year, so they're trying to snap the streak against a solid Phoenix squad.

Waterloo (0-1) at Palmyra-Eagle (1-0): The Pirates will try to get their first win for new head coach Aaron Erickson against Palmyra-Eagle, playing their second Capitol South team in as many weeks.

#7 Stanley-Boyd at Marshall (0-1): One of the top programs in Wisconsin will make the trip to Dane County. Marshall views a game like this as an opportunity to compete against a top program to get ready for conference play.

Parkview (0-0) at Belleville (1-0): Parkview cancelled their first game of the year due to numbers, while Belleville rolled to a big win to start the year.

Rock Valley (Rankings are WSN Coaches Poll)

⭐ Jefferson (1-0) vs McFarland (1-0) (at Madison La Follette): Both teams put up over 50 points last week, and you can expect that the clock operators at Lussier Stadium will be busy again this week, as both offenses are explosive and stocked with talented players across the board. It would be surprising if the team that won this game didn't eclipse 30 points. This game is being played at La Follette because McFarland is still in the process of installing their turf field.

Beloit Turner (1-0) at Big Foot (0-1): Turner scored over 50 in week one and Big Foot allowed over 50 in the opening week. That's hardly the way to look at this match-up, of course, but the Chiefs will face another great running back in Kyle Hanaman this week. For Turner, it's a chance to get off to a hot start like they did in 2017 en route to a 7-2 third-place RVC finish.

Clinton (0-1) at Brodhead/Juda (1-0): Brodhead/Juda has a chance to take on the defending conference champs. A win would give them a huge leg up in getting back to the playoffs. For Clinton, it's an opportunity to bounce back from a loss against the conference favorite and get back on track.

East Troy (1-0) at Whitewater (0-1): The conference favorites will make the short trip to Whitewater to take on the Whippets, who only won one game a season ago. Whitewater's got two all-conference players back on defense, but it'll be a challenge to stop the powerful Trojans offense.

Edgerton (0-1) at Evansville/Albany (0-1): A short drive down Highway 59, this one is very interesting given the high-flying Edgerton offense as they work against one of the better defenses, at least on paper, in the conference. E/A started 0-3 last year and is trying to avoid the same fate in 2018.

More Southern Wisconsin Games (Rankings are WSN Coaches Poll)

⭐ Six Rivers: #3 Black Hawk (1-0, 0-0) at #4 Potosi/Cassville (1-0, 1-0): Both teams had blowout wins in week one, scoring over 50 points, and they'll lock horns after Black Hawk swept the season series (two games, including the playoffs) last year by a combined 58 to 26 margin.

Non-Conference: #3 Lake Country Lutheran (1-0) at #9 Darlington (1-0): Both teams earned dominating Week 1 victories last week. LCL is looking like they're primed for another run to state behind some talented seniors, while Darlington got a win with their new head coach, Travis Winkers, and displayed some new offensive looks (and a hurry-up offense) in a shutout over Glenwood City. 

Non-Conference: #7 Pecatonica/Argyle (1-0, 1-0) at #6 Ithaca (1-0, 0-0): Both teams went 7-3 last year, and both teams exited in Level 1 of the playoffs. A great early-season non-conference contest between teams with intentions on making it further in the postseason this year.

Non-Conference: #5 Fall River (1-0) at Wild Rose (0-1): These teams split their two meetings last year, with Wild Rose winning 27-12 in the regular season, but Fall River winning the rematch in Level 3 of the playoffs 8-7. 

(8 Player) Great 8: Port Edwards (0-1, 0-0) at Wisconsin Heights (0-1, 0-0) (Thursday/6pm): It'll be the conference opener for both teams, although each team has two forfeit wins courtesy of AL/SA's decision to cancel their season. Wisconsin Heights is using the game as a community fundraiser to raise money for the relief efforts of the major flood damage that Mazomanie and Black Earth sustained this week.

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