Hornets’ Clark is lethal
Markesan quarterback Carson Clark started slow in the first half of last Friday’s Trailways Large Conference matchup with Dodgeland. Stalled drives and a turnover led to a 7-6 halftime deficit, but the second half was an entirely different tale. Clark made easy work of the Trojans — who have finished second to Markesan in the conference standings both of the last two years — by tossing darts and running for 172 yards on 19 carries. Hornets head coach Travis Winkers said he told Clark at halftime he’s the best quarterback in the area and to play like it. With a dominant ground attack and going 10-for-18 passing for 98 yards, it’s hard arguing he’s not. Now he’ll look to build on that second-half performance with another stellar game against Orfordville Parkview, which is winless on the season.
Beaver Dam tries to wake up
Before the season started, Beaver Dam head coach Steve Kuenzi wanted his Golden Beavers to make a good impression on the other teams in the Badger North Conference. The Beavers lost non-conference games to Watertown in Week 1 (38-15) and Fort Atkinson in Week 2 (37-19) before starting Badger North play with a win over Baraboo in Week 3 (14-13) and a loss to Mount Horeb/Barneveld in Week 4 (49-7). Notice a trend? BD has yet to score 20 points in a game. The Beavers need to dust off the poor start and get going, and they’ll be trying to do so against a Reedsburg team that only has one win on the season as well. BD could use a confidence boost to remain competitive in the Badger North before games against perennial state title contender Waunakee and conference heavyweight DeForest, and a good showing against Reedsburg could be just the ticket.
Mayville atop the Flyway
After two seasons at the bottom of the Flyway Conference, Mayville is on the brink of official playoff eligibility in Tom Noennig’s second year of his second stint as the Cardinals’ head coach. They’ve beaten Lomira and Omro the last two weeks, so their next Flyway win will guarantee they finish no worse than .500 in conference play, the necessary mark for playoff eligibility. They’ll receive a forfeit win over North Fond du Lac in Week 9 so it’s going to happen sooner or later, but with games against Winnebago Lutheran Academy and Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs looming, this week’s contest vs. Laconia looks like the best bet before Week 9. Adding to the intrigue this week is Mayville and Laconia are both 2-0 in conference and the winner will remain squarely in the hunt for a top finish in the Flyway. (Springs is ranked No. 1 in the state in the Associated Press Small Schools division and is the conference favorite by a landslide.)
Dodgeland looks to bounce back
The Trojans held a 7-6 halftime lead against Markesan last week before the Hornets pulled away for a 28-7 victory. This week, Dodgeland plays a non-conference game against a Pittsville team that has outscored its opponents 143-47, with 26 points coming in a 27-26 win over Rib Lake/Prentice in Week 2. That means the Trojans — a run-heavy team — are going to have to inflict their will in this one lest they be forced to air it out to try to keep up. The stakes aren’t so high since it’s a non-conference game, but you can bet Dodgeland doesn’t want to be riding a two-game losing streak into Week 6.
Wayland showing signs of life
For a moment in last week’s 52-14 loss to Fall River, the Big Red had the Pirates right where they wanted them — Wayland led by a touchdown in the early going and looked like it was building toward an upset over a Fall River team that didn’t seem ready for the earlier 4:30 p.m kickoff. Then the Pirates snapped out of the daze. The ultimate takeaway, though, was that teams shouldn’t sleep on Wayland. The Big Red are looking more and more like a team that can play with the big dogs of the Trailways Small Conference. Still, Wayland’s first win of the year will be hard to come by this week against an Oshkosh Lourdes team that can really sling the ball around.