Friday Night Lights: What to Watch for and Where to Watch
SPORTSDESK – With only two weeks of the WIAA high school football season left we still have much to settle. Around the state, 28 teams have their eyes on the prize of a WIAA Gold Ball that only 7 of them will be able to earn.
Starting in Division 7, the Abbotsford Falcons are still in the hunt for their own gold ball. The Falcons will travel to Chippewa Falls, after defeating Clear Lake 50-14, to take on the Bangor Cardinals, champions the Scenic Bluffs Conference. The Cardinals won a state championship in 2015 and lost in Level 4 to the eventual champion Edgar Wildcats 29-6 in 2016. Abbotsford also made it Level 4 in 2016, as a Division 6 participant, before losing in the semi-final game to eventual champion Eau Claire Regis 22-14. You can watch the Abbotsford-Bangor game here
In Division 5, the Amherst Falcons will meet up with the Grantsburg Pirates at Forward Financial Field in Stanley, WI. Grantsburg was a #1 seed in the 2016 Division 6 bracket and eventually lost in a Level 3 thriller vs Eau Claire Regis, 21-20. Grantsburg has won the Lakeland North Conference 3 consecutive years and is looking to advance to the state championship game for the first time in their 101 year football history. As a #1 seed in 2017, the Pirates took down Elk Mound 40-7 in Level 3. While the Amherst Falcons have won the state title 3 times, including 2015 and 2016. The Falcons are looking to win their third state championship in 2017. Averaging over 51 points per game as a #2 seed in this year’s playoffs, they will be a tough a test as the Pirates will have faced all season. As part of the Falcon scorched earth formula, they beat red-hot Stratford in Level 3, 52-15. This just a week after cooling the Spencer/Columbus Rockets by a score of 49-18. You can watch the Amherst-Grantsburg game here
Other games of note in Level 4
In Division 1, Kimberly takes on VFA North rival Appleton North at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh, Kimberly will be looking to extend their state record win streak to 69 games, which includes winning four straight state titles from 2013-2016. Kimberly’s last loss was in Level Three of the 2012 playoffs. Kimberly beat Appleton North in the regular season 38-31 at Kimberly.
In Division 4, we have the lowest seed left in the playoffs as #6 seed Martin Luther from Greendale will face #1 seed Lodi at Waukesha North. Martin Luther who are 8-4 on the year finished third in the Metro Classic and have had an amazing run knocking off the #3 seed University School of Milwaukee, #2 Seed Kiel, and #4 Seed Two Rivers on their way to the state semifinals.
Also in Division 4 we have our third team trying to repeat as State Champions. The St. Croix Central Panthers will take on the Freedom Irish at Merrill. St Croix Central won the Division 4 State Title last year and would like to keep the Division 4 State Title in the Middle Border Conference, teams from the Middle Border have won the last three Division 4 State Titles (Sommerset in 2014, Osceola in 2015, and St. Croix Central in 2016).
In Division 6 we have our fourth, and last, team looking to repeat as the Eau Claire Regis Ramblers take on the Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbirds. Eau Claire Regis, the lone remaining Cloverbelt team in the playoffs beat Unity 21-8 last week, while Iola-Scandinavia beat Marathon 32-12.
Full list of State Semifinals Games
Kimberly vs Appleton North @ Titan Stadium – Oshkosh
Sun Prairie vs Muskego @ Arrowhead
Green Bay SW vs Waunakee @ Calder Field – Menasha
Waukesha West vs Brookfield Central @ Oconomowoc
Rice Lake vs Green Bay Notre Dame @ Stiehm Stadium – Schofield
New Berlin Eisenhower vs Whitefish Bay @ Kettle Moraine
St. Croix Central vs Freedom @ Merrill
Lodi vs Martin Luther @ Waukesha North
Amherst vs Grantsburg @ Stanley-Boyd
Lake Country Lutheran vs Cedar Grove-Belgium @ West Bend
Eau Claire Regis vs Iola-Scandinavia @ Goerke Park – Stevens Point
Markesan vs Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs @ Slinger
Abbotsford vs Bangor @ Chippewa Falls
Black Hawk vs Fall River @ Middleton