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Reedsburg (5-2, 3-2 Badger North) vs. Baraboo (1-6, 1-4)

Coming off a near-upset of Waunakee, Reedsburg will have to shake off the disappointment of its heartbreaking loss to the Warriors as it looks to secure a playoff berth. The Beavers welcome rival Baraboo in the 132nd meeting of the state’s longest rivalry, looking to rebound from their second loss of the season, but also reclaim the Old River Jug. Given that their only two losses this year are to DeForest and Waunakee — two teams that are a combined 14-0 in 2019 and both ranked in latest large-division AP poll — the Beavers should be feeling pretty good about their chances of getting things back on track and clinching their first trip the playoffs since 2016. While Reedsburg had its three-game win streak snapped against Waunakee, it went toe-to-toe with the reigning Badger North champs. Sophomore Griffin Elder had a breakout performance, rushing for a team-high 168 yards, while leading rusher Casey Campbell (588 yards, eight TDs), had four scores and 58 yards. Defensively, the Beavers failed to stop the Warriors though, allowing 445 total yards. Though the Beavers don’t take to the air often, Campbell also has 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns on four catches. Standing in their way this week is Baraboo, a team that made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 last year but has taken a step back in 2019. The Thunderbirds slumped last week after their first win over Portage in Week 6, suffering a 49-14 loss to DeForest. Baraboo is scoring 12.7 points per game while giving up 33.9 points per content. Sophomore Luna Larson has been the brightest part of the T-Birds offense, posting 505 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. The team’s leading receiver is sophomore Riley Weyh, who has nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Sauk Prairie (4-3, 2-3) vs. Mt. Horeb/Barn. (1-6, 1-4)

Sauk Prairie is set to play its biggest game in years, as the Eagles are in position for their first WIAA playoff berth since 2007 with two games to go. A home win over Mt. Horeb/Barneveld (1-6, 1-4) on Friday will go a long way in the Eagles making just their eighth postseason appearance in program history. Sauk Prairie put itself in position with its 19-0 win over Portage last week. The Eagles offense got back on track after producing just a touchdown in last week’s 28-7 loss to Waunakee. Junior Tyler Uselman helped lead the way, piling up a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Senior quarterback Parker Breunig completed 5-of-6 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown on an 83-yard pass to senior Ben German, while senior Garrett Hertzfeldt added 69 yards on 17 carries. While the offense came to life, the Sauk Prairie defense was the star. The Eagles had seven sacks and allowed just 109 yards in their first shutout win since a 28-0 home victory over Portage on Sept. 12, 2008. Mt. Horeb/Barneveld will look to avoid making it two straight shutouts. The Vikings, who are averaging 8.1 points per game, have been shut out four times this season, including in three of their last four game. Mt. Horeb/Barneveld is coming off of a 26-13 home loss to Beaver Dam last week, but trailed throughout, scoring all 13 of its points in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nick Flaherty and receiver Ethan Steinhoff connected for 23- and 43-yard touchdown passes, with Flaherty completed 9-of-14 passes for 115 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while also carrying the ball 14 times for a team-high 41 yards.

Beaver Dam (2-5, 2-3) vs. DeForest (7-0, 5-0)

Perhaps the only thing the Golden Beavers have going in their favor this week is that the Norskies might — might — get caught peeking ahead to Week 9, when they’ll face off with archrival Waunakee (7-0, 5-0) in a likely clash for the Badger North Conference title between teams both ranked in the top 10 in the state. The Norskies have been a wrecking ball this year, destroying all comers to the tune of 47.8 points scored per game and 4.9 points allowed per game. And for perspective, 20 of the 34 points they’ve allowed this year have come in games that were well in hand. Quarterback Trey Schroeder has been virtually perfect, with a completion percentage of 71.6 for 876 yards (125.1 per game), 14 TDs and only one interception. Lane Larson has been Schroeder’s primary target, as the 6-foot-1 senior has 28 catches for 502 yards and six TDs, while Gabe Finley is the Norskies’ leading rusher with 650 yards (92.9 per game) and has five TDs. Meanwhile, Beaver Dam is coming off its second win of the year — a 26-13 road win at Mt. Horeb/Barneveld to spoil the Vikings’ Homecoming — and will try and use the momentum to put up a good fight against DeForest. The Golden Beavers are scoring 18.4 points per game while allowing 28.7, so on paper anyway they’re better than their record shows. Seniors Carter Riesen and Broden Boschert made more history last week, connecting for an 80-yard TD for the second-longest TD pass in the program’s 125-year history. The pair set the record with an 83-yard Riesen-to-Boschert strike in a 35-14 Week 4 win over Baraboo. Boschert has 32 catches for 544 yards (77.7 per game) and eight TDs while Riesen has a completion percentage of 52.6 for 907 yards (129.6 per game), eight TDs and three INTs. Ian Wendt-Utrie has been Beaver Dam’s X-factor, passing for 302 yards and three TDs, rushing for 408 yards and five TDs and catching five passes for 56 yards.

Waunakee (7-0, 5-0) vs. Portage (2-5, 1-4)

After getting blanked last week, Portage and its offense could be in for another rough night Friday as it makes the trip to Waunakee. The Warriors were shutout for the second time this season, suffering a 19-0 loss to Sauk Prairie. Portage’s normally strong ground attack, which averages 161.4 yards per game, mustered a paltry 15 yards on 26 carries, thanks in part to seven sacks. Senior Delnato Sheppard Jr. was kept in check, rushing for a season-low 50 yards on 15 carries. The Portage passing game had some bright spots as senior Brett Walker threw for 92 yards on 6-of-16 passes with an interception, but the Warriors failed to score. Defensively, Portage forced a pair of turnovers but failed to truly stop the Eagles. Sauk Prairie tallied 363 total yards in the win, including 238 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 44 carries. That should have Waunakee licking its chops as it looks to remain unbeaten ahead of its showdown with rival DeForest in a would be de facto Badger North Conference title game. Waunakee faced its toughest challenge of the season last week against Reedsburg, using a late fourth quarter touchdown pass from Caden Nelson to Isaac Schaaf to knock off the Beavers, 35-28. Waunakee’s ground game went toe-to-toe with Reedsburg’s run-heavy attack, rushing for 274 yards on 42 carries, including 140 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries from Nelson. The junior signal caller added 182 yards and three TDs through the air on 15-of-24 passing, bringing his season total to 955 yards and 20 TDs with just two interceptions. Both of Nelson’s picks came against the Beavers and takeaways will benefit Portage, but only if it can capitalize, a task that has proven too tall at times.

Reedsburg (5-2, 3-2 Badger North) vs. Baraboo (1-6, 1-4)

Coming off a near-upset of Waunakee, Reedsburg will have to shake off the disappointment of its heartbreaking loss to the Warriors as it looks to secure a playoff berth. The Beavers welcome rival Baraboo in the 132nd meeting of the state’s longest rivalry, looking to rebound from their second loss of the season, but also reclaim the Old River Jug. Given that their only two losses this year are to DeForest and Waunakee — two teams that are a combined 14-0 in 2019 and both ranked in latest large-division AP poll — the Beavers should be feeling pretty good about their chances of getting things back on track and clinching their first trip the playoffs since 2016.

While Reedsburg had its three-game win streak snapped against Waunakee, it went toe-to-toe with the reigning Badger North champs. Sophomore Griffin Elder had a breakout performance, rushing for a team-high 168 yards, while leading rusher Casey Campbell (588 yards, eight TDs), had four scores and 58 yards. Defensively, the Beavers failed to stop the Warriors though, allowing 445 total yards. Though the Beavers don’t take to the air often, Campbell also has 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns on four catches. Standing in their way this week is Baraboo, a team that made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 last year but has taken a step back in 2019. The Thunderbirds slumped last week after their first win over Portage in Week 6, suffering a 49-14 loss to DeForest. Baraboo is scoring 12.7 points per game while giving up 33.9 points per content. Sophomore Luna Larson has been the brightest part of the T-Birds offense, posting 505 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. The team’s leading receiver is sophomore Riley Weyh, who has nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Sauk Prairie (4-3, 2-3) vs. Mt. Horeb/Barn. (1-6, 1-4)

Sauk Prairie is set to play its biggest game in years, as the Eagles are in position for their first WIAA playoff berth since 2007 with two games to go. A home win over Mt. Horeb/Barneveld (1-6, 1-4) on Friday will go a long way in the Eagles making just their eighth postseason appearance in program history. Sauk Prairie put itself in position with its 19-0 win over Portage last week. The Eagles offense got back on track after producing just a touchdown in last week’s 28-7 loss to Waunakee. Junior Tyler Uselman helped lead the way, piling up a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Senior quarterback Parker Breunig completed 5-of-6 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown on an 83-yard pass to senior Ben German, while senior Garrett Hertzfeldt added 69 yards on 17 carries. While the offense came to life, the Sauk Prairie defense was the star. The Eagles had seven sacks and allowed just 109 yards in their first shutout win since a 28-0 home victory over Portage on Sept. 12, 2008. Mt. Horeb/Barneveld will look to avoid making it two straight shutouts. The Vikings, who are averaging 8.1 points per game, have been shut out four times this season, including in three of their last four game. Mt. Horeb/Barneveld is coming off of a 26-13 home loss to Beaver Dam last week, but trailed throughout, scoring all 13 of its points in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nick Flaherty and receiver Ethan Steinhoff connected for 23- and 43-yard touchdown passes, with Flaherty completed 9-of-14 passes for 115 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while also carrying the ball 14 times for a team-high 41 yards.

Beaver Dam (2-5, 2-3) vs. DeForest (7-0, 5-0)

Perhaps the only thing the Golden Beavers have going in their favor this week is that the Norskies might — might — get caught peeking ahead to Week 9, when they’ll face off with archrival Waunakee (7-0, 5-0) in a likely clash for the Badger North Conference title between teams both ranked in the top 10 in the state. The Norskies have been a wrecking ball this year, destroying all comers to the tune of 47.8 points scored per game and 4.9 points allowed per game. And for perspective, 20 of the 34 points they’ve allowed this year have come in games that were well in hand. Quarterback Trey Schroeder has been virtually perfect, with a completion percentage of 71.6 for 876 yards (125.1 per game), 14 TDs and only one interception. Lane Larson has been Schroeder’s primary target, as the 6-foot-1 senior has 28 catches for 502 yards and six TDs, while Gabe Finley is the Norskies’ leading rusher with 650 yards (92.9 per game) and has five TDs. Meanwhile, Beaver Dam is coming off its second win of the year — a 26-13 road win at Mt. Horeb/Barneveld to spoil the Vikings’ Homecoming — and will try and use the momentum to put up a good fight against DeForest. The Golden Beavers are scoring 18.4 points per game while allowing 28.7, so on paper anyway they’re better than their record shows. Seniors Carter Riesen and Broden Boschert made more history last week, connecting for an 80-yard TD for the second-longest TD pass in the program’s 125-year history. The pair set the record with an 83-yard Riesen-to-Boschert strike in a 35-14 Week 4 win over Baraboo. Boschert has 32 catches for 544 yards (77.7 per game) and eight TDs while Riesen has a completion percentage of 52.6 for 907 yards (129.6 per game), eight TDs and three INTs. Ian Wendt-Utrie has been Beaver Dam’s X-factor, passing for 302 yards and three TDs, rushing for 408 yards and five TDs and catching five passes for 56 yards.

Waunakee (7-0, 5-0) vs. Portage (2-5, 1-4)

After getting blanked last week, Portage and its offense could be in for another rough night Friday as it makes the trip to Waunakee. The Warriors were shutout for the second time this season, suffering a 19-0 loss to Sauk Prairie. Portage’s normally strong ground attack, which averages 161.4 yards per game, mustered a paltry 15 yards on 26 carries, thanks in part to seven sacks. Senior Delnato Sheppard Jr. was kept in check, rushing for a season-low 50 yards on 15 carries. The Portage passing game had some bright spots as senior Brett Walker threw for 92 yards on 6-of-16 passes with an interception, but the Warriors failed to score.

Defensively, Portage forced a pair of turnovers but failed to truly stop the Eagles. Sauk Prairie tallied 363 total yards in the win, including 238 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 44 carries. That should have Waunakee licking its chops as it looks to remain unbeaten ahead of its showdown with rival DeForest in a would be de facto Badger North Conference title game. Waunakee faced its toughest challenge of the season last week against Reedsburg, using a late fourth quarter touchdown pass from Caden Nelson to Isaac Schaaf to knock off the Beavers, 35-28. Waunakee’s ground game went toe-to-toe with Reedsburg’s run-heavy attack, rushing for 274 yards on 42 carries, including 140 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries from Nelson. The junior signal caller added 182 yards and three TDs through the air on 15-of-24 passing, bringing his season total to 955 yards and 20 TDs with just two interceptions. Both of Nelson’s picks came against the Beavers and takeaways will benefit Portage, but only if it can capitalize, a task that has proven too tall at times.

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