Varsity football weekly update
By Paul Lecker
Both the Spencer/Columbus Catholic and Auburndale football teams clinched WIAA postseason spots with big road victories last week.
Marshfield was eliminated from playoff contention with a loss at Hortonville, and Stratford moved a step closer to the postseason with a win against Rib Lake/Prentice.
Here is a look at the local teams and their Week 8 matchups:
Stevens Point Panthers at Marshfield Tigers
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Beell Stadium, Marshfield Middle School
Records: Stevens Point 3-4, 1-4 Valley Football Association – South Division; Marshfield 2-5, 1-4 VFA South
Radio: WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
Last week: Marshfield led 21-20 late in the second quarter but couldn’t stop Hortonville, which racked up 565 yards of offense and rolled to a 55-27 victory at Hortonville High School. Nick Hoheisel had 84 yards rushing and a touchdown, and quarterback Derek Coffren had 68 yards rushing and a score. Coffren also tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Boson, and Isaac Cline had a touchdown run for the Tigers. Hortonville passed for 354 yards on just 15 completions, and Mitch Gerhartz had 159 yards rushing and four touchdowns for the Polar Bears. Stevens Point ended a four-game losing streak with a 35-0 rout of Wisconsin Rapids.
This week’s matchup: Stevens Point has been solid defensively this season, allowing more than 14 points just once—a 27-21 loss to Fond du Lac. Three of the Panthers’ four losses were by a touchdown, and the other was an 11-0 shutout at conference-leader Oshkosh North. Offensively, Ethan Clark and Victor Kizewski lead the rushing attack with more than 400 yards each. Kizewski is also the team’s top receiver with 419 yards and five touchdown catches. Marshfield will look to capitalize on the Panthers’ quarterbacks, Sam Hauser and Keith Hoffman, who have combined to throw 14 interceptions. Marshfield may have found its running back of the future in Hoheisel, a junior, who was effective in his first start last week.
Spencer/Columbus Catholic Rockets at Edgar Wildcats
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Edgar High School
Records: Spencer/Columbus 5-2 overall and in Cloverbelt Conference; Edgar 7-0, 6-0 Marawood Conference
Last week: Playing without its top three running backs on offense, Spencer/Columbus turned to Noah Zastrow and Hunter Luepke, who helped lead the Rockets to a 46-18 win at Altoona last Friday and clinch a WIAA postseason berth. Zastrow had 155 rushing yards and a touchdown; Luepke ran for 114 yards, two touchdowns rushing, and another receiving; and Zastrow added a punt return for a score. Elijah Welsh chipped in with 79 yards rushing as the Rockets piled up 351 yards on the ground. Quarterback Calvin Lenz threw for 136 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown as well. Edgar, ranked No. 1 in Division 6 in the WisSports.net State Coaches Poll, remained undefeated with a 36-0 win at Marathon last Friday.
This week’s matchup: The nonconference game looks to be a defensive battle. Edgar has allowed just 14 points all season, posting five shutouts during its seven-game win streak. The Wildcats use a bevy of running backs as five different ball carriers have more than 100 yards rushing this season, led by Wylie Frahm’s 444. Quarterbacks Matt Urmanski and Kaleb Wolf have combined for 556 yards passing and eight touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions. The Rockets have been stingy on defense as well, giving up 16 points a game. Spencer/Columbus also has a variety of weapons, with seven rushers topping more than 100 yards this season. Mitch Susa leads with the way with 406 yards and seven rushing touchdowns on just 40 carries. Susa, Tyler Voda, and Hunter Hildebrandt look to return to the backfield this week.
Auburndale Apaches at Stratford Tigers
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Tiger Stadium, Stratford
Records: Auburndale 5-1, 4-1 Marawood Conference; Stratford 4-3, 3-2 Marawood Conference
Last week: Auburndale clinched a spot in the WIAA playoffs for the second straight season with a 42-8 rout of Pittsville. Wyatt Weiler ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, and Matt Nikolay added 149 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown, for the Apaches. Auburndale trailed 8-7 after the first quarter before scoring five unanswered touchdowns. Stratford had 298 rushing yards and smashed Rib Lake/Prentice 36-6 last Friday at home. Jake Reif had 95 yards on only eight carries, and Kam Bornbach (73 yards), Taylor Krall (63 yards), and Jake Zuelke (60 yards) each had solid games carrying the ball for the Tigers.
This week’s matchup: Stratford looks to clinch a spot in the playoffs and a move into a second place tie in the conference with a win. Both teams rely on good rushing attacks. Stratford averages 179 yards a game on the ground, while Auburndale leads the Marawood Conference with 225 yards per game rushing. Defensively, the Apaches have the second-best defense in the conference, giving up just 172 total yards per game.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com).