Baraboo guns for first win
Baraboo suffered its third shutout loss on Friday, losing 62-0 to Waunakee. The T-Birds will be eager to bounce back this week when they welcome rival Reedsburg to town in a battle for the Old River Jug. Baraboo’s struggling offense was held to only 50 yards on the night against Wauankee, with Evan Vodak rushing 15 times for 25 yards, while Tyson Fry rushed seven times for 13 yards. Both backs will most likely find more success this week against Reedsburg, but the Beavers are coming off an impressive defensive performance in a 3-0 win over Portage last week. Baraboo might have to diversify its offense with more passing plays to keep up with the Beavers, who have defeated the T-Birds for five years running. Baraboo’s offense, which has seen several botched snaps and fumbles leading to turnovers this season, will have to minimize its errors as the team with fewer turnovers will likely win. While the quest to defeat their rivals is motivation within itself, the T-Birds are also looking to avoid their first winless season since 2009, which will make for good competition at Flambeau Field on Friday.
Beaver Dam looking
to play spoiler
Beaver Dam defensive back Adam Bird said the Golden Beavers made a statement last week by defeating Sauk Prairie to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Beavers needed the win because they have a daunting task this week against an undefeated Waunakee team that ranked No. 2 in the large school division of this week’s Associated Press prep football poll. Waunakee will be playing for the outright Badger North Conference title, but the Beavers are hoping to play spoiler, and after the outing quarterback Kendric Jimenez (9-of-19 passing for 114 yards) and running back Blaiz Firari (17 rushes for 122 yards and a TD) had last week, they very well could. Beaver Dam will also be looking to force more turnovers. In last week’s win over Sauk Prairie, the Beavers forced four of them. If the Beavers can hold onto the ball and the defense can play like it did last week, against a Waunakee team that is averaging 202.2 rushing yards and 168.6 passing yards per game, they will have a shot.
Reedsburg grabbed its second win of the season last week in thrilling fashion, with Mason McMillen kicking a 30-yard field goal in overtime, giving the Beavers a 3-0 win over Portage on their Homecoming night. Reedsburg is on its way to ending a disappointing season on the right note, and will look to keep the momentum going Friday when it travels to Baraboo. Reedsburg’s defensive line held strong against Portage’s rushing attack, which will be key against the T-Birds, who have shown to have spurts of a successful ground game as well. Jason Walls (12 carries for 40 yards) and McMillen (13-43) led Reedsburg in rushing last Friday and will most likely be the go-to backs against Baraboo’s shaky defensive line this week. The Beavers were able to minimize their turnovers against Portage, with only one fumble going the other way. Reedsburg will have to do the same on Baraboo’s home turf if it wants to keep the Old River Jug, the traveling trophy these two teams play for each season.
Sauk Prairie wants
to finish strong
Whether you make the postseason or not, every team wants to end its season with a win. Sauk Prairie is no different, but the Eagles will face a stiff test when they host Mt. Horeb/Barneveld on Friday. At the very least, the Eagles will look to end the season playing better than they did during last week’s 38-6 loss at Beaver Dam. Sauk Prairie committed four turnovers and 10 penalties in the loss, things they’ll need to clean up if they want to keep it close against Mt. Horeb/Barneveld. The Eagles have lost nine straight games against the Vikings, including a 35-0 home loss last season. An upset win would give Sauk Prairie its first three-win season since 2013.
Pride on line for Portage
Portage saw its playoff hopes dashed last week with a 3-0 overtime loss to Reedsburg. The defeat ensured the Warriors will miss out on the postseason for a 10th straight season. Poor conditions hindered the Portage passing game as the Warriors didn’t gain a single yard through the air. On the ground, life was just as tough as the soggy field kept the Warriors to only 117 yards on 41 attempts, led by the combined effort of senior running backs Justin Sankey (50 yards) and Dylan Golke (45). While it may seem like there’s nothing to play for in this week’s season finale against DeForest, there’s plenty of pride on the line. A win over the Norskies, who were edged by Mt. Horeb/ Barneveld 35-28 last week, will give the Warriors their best conference record since finishing 3-3 in 2007, and best overall record since finishing 3-6 in 2012. While that is a tough consolation pill to swallow, it would be a great notch in the belt for a program and senior class that has had its fair share of struggles.
Seeding still up in the air
While this year’s playoff participants from the Badger North Conference have been decided, that doesn’t mean this week’s games carry no weight. Waunakee, Mt. Horeb/Barneveld, DeForest and Beaver Dam can all pad their postseason résumés with a victory. Waunakee, who has secured at worst a share of yet another Badger North title, can enter the playoffs unbeaten if they can dispose of the Golden Beavers on Friday. A win for Beaver Dam would not only throw a wrench the conference title race, but also put quite a feather in the caps of the Beavers. As for the Vikings, they will look to build more momentum and put themselves in the conversation for a No. 1 or 2 seed with a win over Sauk Prairie. DeForest on the other hand will look to rebound with a win over Portage this week. A victory for the Norskies should put them in consideration for a home game in Level One. A higher or lower seed can make a team’s playoff road that much easier or harder so consider Friday’s contests a pre-playoff primer.