WIAA Level 4 Football Playoffs Recap

The State Championship field is set

SPORTSDESK – We start in Division 5 as the Amherst Falcons and the Grantsburg Pirates went into halftime at Forward Financial Field in Stanley, WI, both teams could still see Camp Randall on the horizon. Even though the Pirates trailed 14-0, they had played the Falcons tough and Amherst had to be a bit concerned with the relatively slim margin.

Amherst Head Coach Mark Lusic celebrating a 4th straight trip to the Division 5 State Title Game

The second half kickoff put a knocked out most hope Grantsburg had of a comeback as the Amherst squib kick was recovered by the Falcons at the Pirate 46 yard line. From there, the Falcons had all the momentum. Bryce Holderman claimed a 3-touchdown, his third in the game, before leaving the game with an apparent shoulder injury. Marcus Glodowski put the final score in running past Pirates and running into the end zone.

Amherst now will challenge Lake Country Lutheran, who beat Cedar-Grove Belgium 16-14, at Camp Randall in Madison. That game is Thursday, November 16 at 4pm. Amherst, no stranger to Camp Randall, will go for their 3rd straight championship. “It’s special, this group of seniors will now have been to the state championship 4 straight years”, said Falcons Coach Mark Lusic. “We did a good job on offense protecting the ball, the defense caused 3 turnovers. We had short fields in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, we made plays”, said Lusic. When asked about a short week of practice, Lucsic remarked, “these guys are focused, they’re ready to go”.

Abbotsford Quarterback Ean Rau throwing a touchdown to Cody Friedenfels

In Division 7 the Abbotsford Falcons had a tough night as they just could not quite put everything together against the Bangor Cardinals loosing 30-7. Abbotsford showed moments of great play throughout the game but until their last possession could not score. The defense played valiantly in the first half holding the high flying offense of Bangor to only 8 points, and even had a chance to get on the board at the end of the half with an impressive drive that stalled out at the Bangor 20 and ended with a missed field goal as time expired.

In the second half the Abbotsford defense wore down and Bangor, lead by Luke Reader, just kept pounding away on the ground. Bangor sealed the deal in the middle of the fourth quarter with a 12 play 94 yard drive that culminated in a touchdown on a run by quarterback Drew Johnson for the final Bangor score. Abbotsford would get on the board late in the 4th Quarter with in impressive catch by Cody Friedenfels on a pass from Ean Rau. Abbotsford ends their season 10-3.

Other Notes from Around Level 4 

In Division 1 where Kimberly just keeps rolling, they took down Appleton North 31-14. This marks the 69th win in a row for Kimberly, they can make it an even 70, and 5 straight state titles, with a win over Sun Prairie in the State Title game Friday. Sun Prairie beat Muskego 26-21.

In Division 4 the 2016 State Champion St. Croix Central will have a chance to defend their crown as they defeated Freedom 42-21.

Lodi will be St. Croix Central’s opponent in that State Championship game as they ended the run of #6 seed Martin Luther of Greendale 17-0, Martin Luther had been the lowest seed left in the playoffs.

In Division 6 the Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbirds ended Eau Claire Regis’s defense of their 2016 State Title as the Thunderbirds came back from a 18-13 halftime deficit and defeated the Ramblers 27-16. Iola-Scandinavia will face powerhouse Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs in the Championship Game, St. Mary’s Springs defeated Markesan 21-9.