DeForest (8-2) at Waunakee (10-0) - 6:45pm Friday on 1070 AM and iHeartRadio
Last Year: Waunakee raced out to a 28-0 lead by the early part of the second quarter and went on to win 48-12, holding DeForest to 158 yards of offense. The lone player returning from either team that scored a touchdown last year in this game is DeForest's Evan Armstrong, who had an 8-yard touchdown run in the Norskies' loss last year. He leads DeForest in rushing this season with 231 yards and also has three touchdowns... Earlier this season, Waunakee held off DeForest, 31-7, pulling away down the stretch. The Norskies kept it close but couldn't finish a couple of second-half drives.
Last Week: DeForest battled Holmen to a 35-28 win in Level 1. DeForest scored in the fourth quarter to go ahead 35-28 after Holmen rallied to tie it in the third and fourth quarter. Trey Schroeder had four rushing touchdowns, including the go-ahead score, in the win... Baraboo gave Waunakee all they could handle for at least one half, but as has been the case in the more difficult challenges for the Warriors this season, their depth won out in the second half, turning a 7-0 halftime lead into a 27-0 win in Level 1.
Season To Date: Both teams are on lengthy winning streaks. Waunakee has had the more notable run, which includes a state title, and currently has won 24 games in a row. They've allowed only 34 points this year, which has been the real key: their defense. Meanwhile, following DeForest's loss in Week 4 to Waunakee, the Norskies haven't lost since, racking up six wins in a row, including one-score victories over Mount Horeb/Barneveld and Holmen.
Coaches' Corner: Waunakee has had to develop talent on the fly this year, after graduating the bulk of their contributors from last season, including 10 on defense (Reed Ryan the lone holdover). Pat Rice says there's no magic formula, and that the Warriors probably have a much thinner margin for error than anyone would believe despite 24 straight wins and a 10-0 start to this season. Waunakee has reached double-digit wins in every season but one since 1997... DeForest had missed opportunities in the first meeting, and after surviving a first-round challenge by a strong Holmen squad, the Norskies will have a chance at redemption. Mike Minick says the key will be up front, and if running back Evan Armstrong has a good game, the team will do well, too.
Three Keys: 1. Neither team got a running back over 100 yards, and neither offense really got going as the big battles were on the front lines. If either team can establish the run or pass, it'll go a long ways in deciding the game. 2. If the game comes down to special teams, Waunakee has the edge. Reece Marek has missed only a handful of extra points this season, while connecting on two short field goals. DeForest is making extra points at a 75% clip, but hasn't made a field goal this year. 3. Waunakee's most difficult challenge this season was the first DeForest game, in which the final margin belied how competitive of a contest it was. If Waunakee can get to 20 points, though, it might be enough, since their defense has only allowed multiple scores once this year.
Five Players To Watch: Reed Ryan, Sawyer Maly, and Jarrett Wulf were all named to WisSports.net's Senior Awards Finalist lists for their respective positions. For DeForest, Evan Armstrong and Trey Schroeder pace the offense.
Listen to the game this Friday night at 7pm on 1070 AM and thebig1070.com/listen!