It was back-to-back classics in the Big 8, as Verona hung on to win 27-22 over Middleton. Madison Memorial stayed undefeated, as did Waunakee, Monona Grove, Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Lodi, and Stoughton, among others.
Sun Prairie, DeForest, East Troy, River Valley, Black Hawk, Lake Mills, Johnson Creek, Lakeside Lutheran, Cambridge, Bordhead/Juda, Edgerton, Belleville, and Edgewood all got victories as well on Friday night.
Waunakee and Lodi joined St. Mary's Springs and Bangor to extend state-long winning streaks to 16 games.
You can listen to our broadcast of Verona's win over Middleton below, plus Football Friday Night and all of week one's action below.
Verona 27, Middleton 22 (Madison Taxi Game of the Week): (LISTEN) (Coach Richardson Postgame) A wild game in Verona ended with the Wildcats sealing the win on an interception by Cole McCorkle in the final minute. Verona's Haakon Anderson had another three-touchdown game and added over 100 yards receiving, while Middleton's Kallion Buckner ran for over 200 yards in a losing effort. Verona's young team took a big step with the victory over the Cardinals on Friday.
Sun Prairie 35, Beloit Memorial 0: The Cardinals got a big win on an emotional night in Sun Prairie, as the program honored first responders with a packed-in crowd and ceremonies to help raise disaster relief funds for those affected in Sun Prairie by July's gas line explosion. Sun Prairie used three passing touchdowns, two of them to Cooper Nelson, and the defense tossed a shutout in the victory, allowing fewer than 100 yards.
Madison Memorial 37, Madison La Follette 13: Following their big win over Sun Prairie in Week 1, the Spartans took care of La Follette, pulling away in the fourth quarter after La Follette got within eight. Memorial stays atop the Big 8 along with Verona. Memorial's new pro-style offense helped them roll in a big cross-city rivalry game, as Spartans coach Mike Harris beat his old team, with Kam Marshall rushing for 180 yards and two scores while Jason Ceniti threw for one score and ran for another.
(Saturday) Madison West 32, Madison East 13: Both school shave seen the impacts of the Dane County flooding this week, as West has served as a temporary shelter while East is adjacent to parts of the isthmus currently dealing with ongoing flooding issues. That played a part in moving the game to Saturday at La Follette, where West bounced back from an opening-week loss to defeat East in the cross-city rivalry.
(Saturday) Janesville Craig 41, Janesville Parker 0: This game was moved due to the threat of severe weather on Friday night. Craig led 41-0 at halftime and never looked back in shutting out Parker. The Vikings have been outscored 81-2 in their first two games, and never really got their offense going against Craig's defense. Craig remains tied atop the conference and faces unbeaten Verona next week.
2-0 Madison Memorial
2-0 Janesville Craig
1-1 Madison La Follette
1-1 Madison West
1-1 Sun Prairie
0-2 Beloit Memorial
0-2 Janesville Parker
0-2 Madison East
*Clinched Playoff Spot
#Eliminated From Playoff Contention
Week 3 Games:
Verona (2-0) at Janesville Craig (2-0): The winner will be no worse than tied for first place in the Big 8 with only one other team (Madison Memorial, should they win), so there's plenty on the line in this Week 3 contest at Monterey Stadium. Craig's defense has been outstanding in the early going, and they'll have their hands full dealing with the misdirection and versatility of Verona's offense. Verona, meanwhile, will have to contend with another big line this week, and can't afford a letdown after a big win over Middleton in Week 2.
Middleton (1-1) at Madison West (1-1): The last time these teams met was in the second round of last year's playoffs, when West scored with 15 seconds left to upset the Cardinals 30-27. That may be a motivating factor for Middleton, fresh off of a tough loss at Verona in which the offense got into the red zone to put the game away in the fourth quarter, but got moved back due to a penalty and watched Verona go the other way for a 69-yard scoring drive to take the lead for good. If either team wants in on the conference title race, this is a must-win.
Madison Memorial (2-0) at Madison East (0-2): Madison Memorial continued their impressive start to the season by downing La Follette with a big fourth quarter, and now will get another Madison city foe as the Spartans gear up for East. A fast start will be the key in this one, as Memorial uses the full game to set up for big plays later on, while East could use some early momentum to keep them in against their cross-town counterparts and try to snap their skid.
Janesville Parker (0-2) at Sun Prairie (1-1): Sun Prairie's defense rebounded nicely after the opening-week loss to Madison Memorial by shutting out Beloit Memorial, and it comes at a great stretch of the schedule as the Cardinals work their way back into the Big 8 conference title race. It's not as fortunate for Janesville Parker, as the Vikings have struggled on offense against two very solid opponents to start the year, and they'll need to move the ball against Sun Prairie to have any kind of success in Week 3.
Madison La Follette (1-1) at Beloit Memorial (0-2): It's only the third week of the season, but for two teams with playoff aspirations, this one looms large as a potential turning point. If La Follette can get to 2-1, they're likely halfway to a playoff spot, while Beloit has to avoid an 0-3 start, which would require them to have to win four of their final six games to have a chance at the postseason. The Lancers survived a game against West to open the season, so that's at least one win on the board so far. La Follette had trouble against a big back in Kam Marshall against Memorial, while Beloit couldn't move the ball very well against Sun Prairie.
Playoffs: No one can clinch until Week 5
Badger North and Badger South (Crossover Games in Week 1/2)
(Thursday) Stoughton 28, Baraboo 14: After Baraboo took a 14-0 lead, Stoughton roared back, scoring before halftime to build some momentum and then reeling off 28 answered points total in their victory. Baraboo faced the top two finishers in the Badger South last year as part of the crossover and that should prepare them well for the Badger North, while Stoughton got three passing touchdowns from Adam Hobson and had a balanced offensive attack, rushing for 176 yards while throwing for 190.
DeForest 46, Monroe 0: A trio of backs scored two touchdowns rushing in DeForest's convincing win over Monroe, as the Norskies got it to running clock in the second quarter. DeForest bounced back nicely from their loss last week against Oregon, giving them a big win heading into conference play. Monroe fell to 0-2 and will face another tough test against Milton in Week 3, after only mustering one touchdown in their first two games.
Edgewood 21, Sauk Prairie 0: Coach Jesse Norris got his first win as head coach of the Crusaders, while also helping Edgewood avenge last year's loss to the Eagles. Edgewood scored once in the second, third, and fourth quarters while enjoying their first shutout victory since September 14, 2012, when the Crusaders blanked Oregon 33-0.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 41, Oregon 30: An interesting test of two of the primary challengers in each respective Badger Conference, a 22-point second quarter was too big of a swing for Oregon to make up, but the Panthers battled all the way to the finish, putting up 13 points in the fourth quarter but falling just short in their rally. Caden Lee hauled in two more touchdown passes and Ethan Post threw four of his own to up their two-week totals to the top of the state leaderboard in each category. The Vikings rolled up 626 yards on Oregon, while the Panthers countered with a 200-yard rushing effort from Keion Szudy, a near-100 yard night from Dylan DiMaggio, and a pair of touchdowns through the air. Mount Horeb/Barneveld's Malik Winston had 170 yards and a pair of scores on the ground.
Monona Grove 49, Portage 14: The Silver Eagles had 49 points by halftime, scoring 35 points during a second-quarter eruption in which Jalen Ostrowsky accounted for all five touchdowns (four rushing, one passing). While Monona Grove fell just short of 400 yards of offense, most of it came in the first half. Portage was able to get a pair of scores in the second half, but after playing two of the top teams in the Badger South, the Warriors will get back to their own conference in Week 3 with those experiences earned.
Reedsburg 6, Milton 0: As Travis Wilson of WisSports.net noted, this wasn't your typical 6-0 slobberknocker in the rain. Both teams piled up yardage but couldn't finish drives, and Reedsburg was able to score once in the fourth quarter to take the game and finish crossover play as one of three Badger North teams that are 2-0 to start the year. Milton, meanwhile, is 1-1, but has out-scored their opponents so far thanks to some solid defensive play.
Waunakee 37, Watertown 7: Waunakee got running clock in the third quarter and rolled behind Jarrett Wulf's four touchdown passes (three of them to Sawyer Maly) to victory. Watertown's offense managed to move the ball some, but couldn't find the end zone until the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. Last year, Waunakee bullied Watertown to the tune of a 63-0 defeat.
Beaver Dam 61, Fort Atkinson 8: Beaver Dam was apparently saving all of their scoring for the week after the Watertown game, putting up multiple scores in each quarter to blow out Fort Atkinson. Fort got their first touchdown of the season before halftime, but the defense had 60 points hung on them again for the second week in a row. Beaver Dam notched a hat trick from Parker Leisses on the ground, and Kendric Jimenez also had three touchdowns passing in the win. Beaver Dam hadn't scored 60 in a game since October 7 of 2011, when they beat Oconomowoc 60-33.
Final Crossover Tally: Both Conferences tied at eight wins apiece
Week 3 Games:
Mount Horeb/Barneveld (2-0) at Waunakee (2-0): Like last year, this contest has Badger North championship implications about it. MH/B hung with Waunakee for most of last year's game before the Warriors pushed through in the fourth quarter to put down the Vikings. Despite the graduation losses on both sides, this appears to be one of the biggest games in the state in Week 3, with Waunakee piling up 103 points in two weeks while Mount Horeb/Barneveld has etched some names atop the state leaderboards in offensive production.
Reedsburg (2-0) at DeForest (1-1): As far as undercards go, this is a pretty solid one. DeForest bounced back from an opening-week loss to a pretty good Oregon team by blowing out Monroe, who Reedsburg defeated 28-7 in the opening week. Both teams have demonstrated they can move the ball at will, especially on the ground. It'll be up to the defenses, both of which shut out opponents last week, to answer the bell again.
Beaver Dam (1-1) at Baraboo (0-2): The Golden Beavers blew the doors off of Fort Atkinson after being frustrated in Week 1 against Watertown, and their opponent will be Baraboo, as the Thunderbirds nearly stole a win on the road against Stoughton, but lost as the Vikings rallied to score 28 unanswered in a 28-14 loss for Baraboo. Both teams seem improved this year, however, and have solid senior classes. This may end up being a playoff eligibility-deciding game down the road, so there's plenty at stake for both squads.
Portage (0-2) at Sauk Prairie (0-2): Portage had a brutal Crossover schedule, getting both Monona Grove and Stoughton (like Baraboo did as well). If those experiences served them well, they'll be pretty well prepared for Sauk Prairie, as the Eagles were shut out last week by Edgewood. A win here is an important first step if either program hopes to return to the playoffs.
Oregon (1-1) at Monona Grove (2-0): Madison Taxi Game of the Week: Monona Grove's Badger South title defense begins against Oregon, winners over DeForest, but coming off of a tough 41-30 loss to Mount Horeb/Barneveld and their explosive offense. Speaking of explosive offenses, that'll be the case again this week, as the Silver Eagles seem to score at will. Both teams can put up points, so which defense can limit the damage better in this big conference battle to start the conference season?
Stoughton (2-0) at Edgewood (1-1): After a scare from Baraboo, Stoughton will take on the Edgewood Crusaders, fresh off of their shutout win last week, their second win in their past three games dating to last year after a long losing streak. While last year's result was fairly one-sided, this could be a much more interesting game, as both teams appear to be healthy heading into conference play, as injuries were a major issue for both programs in 2017.
Milton (1-1) at Monroe (0-2): This could be a defensive battle in some regard, although both teams are capable of moving the ball well. Milton has out-scored opponents by eight points this year, falling last week to Reedsburg 6-0. Reedsburg topped Monroe 28-7 in Week 1, so there's common opponents in this match-up.
Watertown (1-1) at Fort Atkinson (0-2): It's hard to read too much into the results of a game against Waunakee, but Watertown has now faced the Warriors in Crossover play the past two years and been outscored 100-7. If you toss those results aside, the Goslings have been one of the most productive offenses in either Badger conference, and this year there's some indication the run game could be a nice supplement to the spread attack. Fort Atkinson is playing through heavy graduation losses, but got their first touchdown of the season last week. It'll be something to build upon after two blowout losses to begin the season, but the second season starts on Friday.
Playoffs: No one can clinch until Week 6.
Capitol Conference - North and South (Non-Conference)
Not counting crossovers, the Capitol Conference is 11-7 in non-conference games this season (North 6-4, South 5-3)... the Capitol North leads crossover games 2-0
Lake Mills 35, New Glarus/Monticello 0: Lake Mills was a Level 3 participant last year in D4, coming off of an opening-week loss to one of the top programs in D2, so NG/M had their hands full in this one coming in. Still, an impressive win for the L-Cats, as the defense appears to be the real deal and the offense is beginning to come around. For NG/M, the Knights get dealt a bit of adversity, but still have a long ways to go until the Capitol South season begins.
Lodi 40, Wisconsin Dells 0: Lodi extended their state-long winning streak to 16 (tied with Waunakee, St. Mary's Springs, and Bangor), as the Blue Devils start out 2-0 despite graduating a good chunk of their state championship team.
Lakeside Lutheran 35, Elkhorn 20: Jack Monis and Cameron Paske form an impressive quarterback-receiver duo, and it worked to great effect in picking up another win to start the year, scoring two touchdowns in the combo. Monis added a rushing touchdown as well in the win.
Poynette 16, Adams-Friendship 6: Christian Bault is second in the state in interceptions with three, leading the back end of a solid Pumas defense with two picks and helped Poynette earned a big win for the program in a Friday night Capitol North sweep. Bault added a 30-yard field goal for good measure. Sawyer Moll ran for 160 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Luther Prep 31, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 16: Luther Prep led 24-0 at halftime and got their first win of the season.
(Saturday) Platteville 34, Columbus 14: After Columbus went up 14-0, Platteville roared back and took a convincing win over the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
Belleville 46, Parkview 6: The Wildcats roared for 371 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, following their big offensive line to a runaway win. This was Parkview's season opener.
Cambridge 35, Cochrane-Fountain City 14: The Blue Jays got out to a 35-0 lead behind 164 rushing yards from Riley Olson and begin the season 2-0.
Stanley-Boyd 34, Marshall 0: Marshall lost the battle of the birds, as the Cardinals couldn't keep up with one of the top programs in the state in a shutout loss to the Orioles.
Palmyra-Eagle 56, Waterloo 13: This was a 6-0 game a season ago, so what a difference a year makes. 543 yards on offense for Palmyra-Eagle did the trick in winning this non-conference game.
Week 3 Games:
Columbus (0-2) at New Glarus/Monticello (1-1): Each team is looking for a rebound after big losses last week in this lone Capitol crossover of Week 3. Columbus is the larger school, but is a fairly young team, and NG/M brings back loads of experience. Should be an interesting game regardless.
(Thursday) Belleville (2-0) at Wisconsin Dells (1-1): Belleville has had a big start thanks to a bevy of returning players and a solid front lines, and that'll be tested this week against Wisconsin Dells. The Chiefs were shut out by defending D4 champs Lodi last week.
(Thursday) Waterloo (0-2) at Wautoma (1-1): Both teams suffered running clock defeats last week, but Wautoma did score 34 points in their opener. Like all three of this week's Capitol South vs. South Central match-ups on Thursday, there's some disparity in divisions as the South Central teams are primarily D4-sized, while the Capitol South is solidly D5/D6. Wautoma is the defending champ of the South Central.
(Thursday) Adams-Friendship (0-2) at Marshall (0-2): Both teams ran into excellent defenses last week, but one of these programs will get off the mat with their first win of the season this week.
Lake Country Lutheran (2-0) at Lakeside Lutheran (2-0): This is one of the most interesting statewide match-ups this week. Lake Country Lutheran looks every bit the part of a program intent on returning to Camp Randall, bringing back plenty of their team from last year's runner-up effort in D5, while Lakeside Lutheran is working behind a strong senior class and one of the favorites in a D4-laden conference as well as good position for a deep playoff run.
Horicon/Hustisford (2-0) at Cambridge (2-0): A fascinating match-up, the Marshmen have scored 71 points in two games, and are a high-powered D4 coming into a game against a sturdy D6 opponent. Cambridge is stocked with excellent two-way athletes, so this could be a fun one at Bob Nodolf Field this Friday.
Mauston (2-0) at Lake Mills (1-1): Another excellent Week 3 non-conference match-up, Mauston has only given up eight points in two games. Lake Mills has played a difficult schedule so far, playing last year's Big Rivers and Capitol South champs so far, and now gets last year's South Central runner-up and conference favorite for this year.
Poynette (2-0) at Nekoosa (0-2): It's like old times again for Poynette, playing a South Central foe, but the Pumas bring a tested defense to this match-up and intentions of stealing a playoff spot in one of the state's deepest conferences, the Capitol North.
Westfield (0-2) at Luther Prep (1-1): Luther Prep has had two winning seasons but no playoff appearances in the past three years. Another good run through non-conference play could be important for finally breaking through in a tough Capitol North, although it didn't work in those afore-mentioned seasons.
Saint Viator (IL) (0-1) at Lodi (2-0): Lodi will defend its 16-game winning streak against a playoff team from the northern suburbs of Chicago, Saint Viator, as the Lions led 13-6 last week but lost 28-13 in their opener.
Playoffs: No one can clinch until Week 7
Edgerton 25, Evansville/Albany 12: Edgerton scored all 25 points unanswered in the second half to take down their rivals from down Highway 59 as Jaden Johnson scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to clinch the game for the Tiders. Evansville/Albany finds themselves in a big hole after the first two weeks like last year when they went 0-3 to begin 2017.
Beloit Turner 47, Big Foot 15: Kenny Draeving threw three touchdowns and ran for another in helping Turner pile up 400 yards of offense in a big win. Logan Eischeid had two touchdown passes for Big Foot in the loss.
Brodhead/Juda 20, Clinton 6: Brodhead/Juda beat last year's conference champs convincingly and looks set to start a new playoff appearance streak at this rate after taking down the two most recent Rock Valley champs.
East Troy 45, Whitewater 13: Jake Desssert ran for 351 yards, three scores, and threw another touchdown as the Trojans piled up 506 rushing yards in the win.
(Saturday): McFarland 35, Jefferson 7: After Jefferson went up 7-0 in the second quarter, McFarland scored 35 unanswered to make a big statement in the Rock Valley.
Beloit Turner 2-0
East Troy 2-0
Big Foot 0-2
*Clinched playoff berth
Week 3 Games:
McFarland (2-0) at Beloit Turner (2-0): With how things are looking in the Rock Valley, this one has conference title implications written all over it. McFarland officially arrived by beating up Jefferson in Week 2, whereas Turner has been hovering near the top of the standings for the past few years (minus an injury-filled season a couple years back). A win for either team not only puts them one win away from a likely playoff spot, but puts them ahead as one of the favorites to win the league in 2018.
Brodhead/Juda (2-0) at Edgerton (1-1): A fascinating match-up in that the Cardinals have faced two teams that lost a ton to graduation the past two years, and this will be the first game in which they face one of the up-and-coming programs in the Rock Valley. For Edgerton, a victory puts them on track for a playoff return, perhaps a little ahead of schedule given how many sophomores and juniors are in their lineup.
Evansville/Albany (0-2) at Jefferson (1-1): For the past several years, this was a crucial game in conference title hopes. While it still may play out that way, Evansville/Albany has yet to face the projected top finishers in the conference such as East Troy and Turner, so their margin for error is fairly small moving forward. Jefferson is coming off of a loss as well, and both teams are looking to regain their form from the past several years and get back into the Rock Valley title discussion.
Big Foot (0-2) at East Troy (2-0): East Troy's ability to score points and pile up yardage is a concern here because Big Foot has given up plenty of yards and points already in two games to start the year. However, the Chiefs have also been tested by a couple of the better teams in the league already, and that should be valuable experience against the Trojans.
Whitewater (0-2) at Clinton (0-2): Clinton's conference title defense is off on the wrong foot, and they'll likely have to win out in order to clinch a share of the conference crown to extend their streak. However, the goal before that is to become playoff-eligible, and while it may only take four wins to get there, there's only seven weeks left to do it for the Cougars, who were hit hard by graduation losses. Whitewater could pick up a huge win over the defending conference champs to spur along their rebuilding.
Playoffs: No teams can clinch until Week 5.
Other Area Results
Brookfield Academy 27, Deerfield 0 - non-conference
Lake Country Lutheran 42, Darlington 0 - non-conference
Johnson Creek 54, Shoreland Lutheran 18 - non-conference
Mauston 42, Laconia 0 - non-conference
Mineral Point 24, Dodgeville 8 - non-conference
Lancaster 41, Cuba City 14 - non-conference
Fennimore 54, Richland Center 0 - non-conference
River Valley 32, Nekoosa 6 - non-conference
Wauzeka/Seneca 14, Iowa-Grant 6 - non-conference
Southwestern 19, North Crawford 0 - non-conference
Riverdale 40, Boscobel 6 - non-conference
New Lisbon 32, Wonewoc/Weston 16 - non-conference
Hillsboro 20, Kickapoo/La Farge 8 - non-conference
Pecatonica/Argyle 43, Ithaca 0 - non-conference
Black Hawk 14, Potosi/Cassville 7 - Six Rivers
Highland 26, Shullsburg 22 - Six Rivers
Select Week 3 Area Matchups
Trailways-Small: Lourdes Academy (2-0) at Fall River (2-0): A huge game in conference play, Fall River got the better of a pretty solid Wild Rose program last week. Next up is conference favorite Lourdes Academy, in a game that could go a long ways in deciding the winner of the Trailways-Small.
Trailways-Small: Johnson Creek (2-0) at Deerfield (0-2): The conference season kicks off with a showdown between two schools separated by a few miles of County Highway B. Deerfield's had a pair of tough opponents to start the year, while Johnson Creek is piling up points at an alarming rate so far this year.