Here's our Week 6 Recap!
* denotes a team that clinched a playoff spot
Janesville Craig 14, Beloit Memorial 7: First-year head coach Adam Bunderson collects a huge win over the Purple Knights, and puts the Cougars in striking distance for a playoff spot. Beloit Memorial has very slim postseason chances now, but they can only have a shot if they win out.
Middleton 42, Janesville Parker 0: Middleton clinches its 22nd straight playoff berth, one of the longest in the state. The Cardinals certainly appear to be gelling, and here's the kicker: Week 7 is when some of their injured players from camp were projected to begin returning. Parker had a tall order in replacing nearly its entire starting lineup from a year ago, but now they must win out in order to have even a slim shot at the playoffs.
Sun Prairie 50, Madison Memorial 0: The Spartans have now lost to the top four teams in the conference, but could still get into the playoffs with a three-game winning streak to close out the year. With East, Beloit, and Craig all on the docket, it's certainly plausible. Sun Prairie continues to dominate this year. The Cardinals have an important stretch of the schedule coming up with West and Verona.
Verona 41, Madison La Follette 18: After getting beat 31-10 by Middleton last week, the Wildcats got back on track and ended a two-game losing streak by sending the Lancers to their third straight loss. Verona probably doesn't have a shot in winning the conference, but their Week 8 game against Sun Prairie will be a big one in terms of the conference. La Follette can still make the playoffs, but to clinch, they'll have to take out one of the Cardinals, Middleton or Sun Prairie, in the final three weeks.
Madison West 40, Madison East 7: Madison West wins back-to-back city championships and does so convincingly. Now, a shot at a conference championship awaits the Regents this Thursday. East is now officially eliminated from playoff contention.
*Sun Prairie 6-0
*Madison West 5-1
Madison La Follette 3-3
Janesville Craig 3-3
Madison Memorial 2-4
Beloit Memorial 1-5
Janesville Parker 1-5
#Madison East 0-6
*Clinched playoff spot
Week 7 (All Games on Thursday)
Sun Prairie (6-0) at Madison West (5-1): Now that Sun Prairie and Madison West have secured their playoff spots, it's time to battle it out for the conference championship. A West victory here would open up the door for multiple conference champions, but if Sun Prairie wins, they have to clear Verona and La Follette to close out the regular season to finish as the lone Big Eight champions. We are doing this one as part of our Madison Taxi Game of the Week series.
Madison La Follette (3-3) at Middleton (5-1): Last year, La Follette got a big win over Middleton en route to a playoff bid. The same sort of setup exists this year. If the Lancers can upset the Cardinals, it will likely get La Follette into the playoffs. It won't be easy against a tough Middleton squad galvanized by adversity on and off the field, as the Cardinals have looked dominant in wins over very good teams like Verona and West.
Madison Memorial (2-4) at Janesville Craig (3-3): This is effectively a playoff game for both schools. A win greatly increases the chances for the victors in this one. Craig picked up a key win last week over Beloit Memorial, but a fourth win puts them on the bubble for a playoff spot. Memorial needs to win out to clinch a postseason berth.
Beaver Dam 20, Portage 12: Beaver Dam's path to the playoffs became much clearer by downing Portage on Friday night. Portage being in the mix this year wasn't entirely unexpected after a mostly down season last year, but now must win two of three to make it to the playoffs. Beaver Dam needs only one more win down the stretch to get their name on a bracket.
Waunakee 69, Sauk Prairie 6: The Warriors won Homecoming and it wasn't close, which also clinched a playoff spot for Waunakee. Sauk Prairie, however, will miss the playoffs after picking up their fourth conference loss.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 49, Reedsburg 7: With the win, the Vikings continue to rally from their Week 3 loss to Waunakee, doing so in convincing fashion over a playoff team from last year. Reedsburg's season is now on the brink, needing to beat Waunakee next week in order to make the playoffs.
DeForest 41, Baraboo 0: The Norskies are now one win away from the playoffs, while Baraboo has been eliminated from contention. DeForest will get a big game next week against Beaver Dam with a playoff spot on the line.
*Waunakee 4-0 (6-0)
Mount Horeb/Barneveld 3-1 (5-1)
DeForest 3-1 (4-2)
Beaver Dam 3-1 (3-3)
Portage 2-2 (2-4)
Reedsburg 1-3 (1-5)
#Sauk Prairie 0-4 (1-5)
#Baraboo 0-4 (0-6)
*Clinched Playoff Spot
Beaver Dam (3-3, 3-1) at DeForest (4-2, 3-1): The winner will clinch a playoff spot, and also root for an upset of Waunakee down the stretch as they stay a game back of the Warriors in the Badger North conference championship race. Beaver Dam's defense was highly regarded coming into the season, while DeForest has overcome a season-opening setback against Oregon and a loss to Waunakee to put themselves in a position to wrap up a playoff spot by Week 8. Easily one of the area's best games in Week 7.
Mount Horeb/Barneveld (5-1, 3-1) at Portage (2-4, 2-2): MH/B can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Portage Warriors. The Vikings project to be a difficult team to contend with in Division 3. Portage needs the win to avoid a win-out scenario, but it's a tall order this week. Portage will have to win two of its final three games to make the playoffs.
Waunakee (6-0, 4-0) at Reedsburg (1-5, 1-3): Reedsburg's playoff hopes rest on pulling the upset in this rivalry, while Waunakee chases the undefeated season heading into the playoffs. If Reedsburg loses, they are eliminated from playoff contention.
Baraboo (0-6, 0-4) at Sauk Prairie (1-5, 0-4): With playoff hopes extinguished, now's the time to send the seniors out on a high note and pick up a conference victory. Baraboo has been close in some of its games, but hasn't quite earned that first victory yet. Sauk Prairie won over Edgewood back in Week 2.
Stoughton 30, Oregon 27: Likely the best team Stoughton has played all year, the Vikings were able to hold off Oregon on Homecoming in a back-and-forth affair. With a playoff spot now in tow, Stoughton can set its sights on a conference championship next. Oregon's loss is far from the end of the road for the Panthers. They have to win two of their final three contests to make the playoffs, however. Stoughton still has a very difficult stretch of games to navigate, with more pass-happy offenses the next two weeks.
Fort Atkinson 42, Edgewood 17: The Crusaders hung around early, but Fort Atkinson was able to pull away as the game progressed, ending Edgewood's hopes for a playoff spot while simultaneously saving the season for the Blackhawks. Fort Atkinson still needs to win out in order to get into the playoffs.
Watertown 27, Milton 20: Sure seems like the Goslings find themselves in some real battles every week, doesn't it? Watertown's path to a playoff spot and possible conference championship continues. For Milton, they have dropped three straight after starting the year 3-0, and now must win out to make the playoffs, starting this week with Monona Grove.
Monona Grove 42, Monroe 0: Eventually, the Silver Eagles will get tested, but this wasn't the week for it, as Monona Grove shut down the defending conference champions. Monroe, in order to make the playoffs, will need to win out their final three games. Monona Grove also clinched a playoff spot with a win.
*Monona Grove 4-0 (6-0)
*Stoughton 4-0 (6-0)
Watertown 3-1 (4-2)
Oregon 2-2 (3-3)
Milton 1-3 (3-3)
Fort Atkinson 1-3 (2-4)
Monroe 1-3 (2-4)
Edgewood 0-4 (0-6)
Stoughton (6-0, 4-0) at Watertown (4-2, 3-1): After seeing some run-dominant teams the past few weeks, Stoughton now hits the road to take on the aerial assault of the Goslings. Oregon's pass game was able to play effectively on Homecoming, but the challenge is greater now for the Vikings. Watertown controls their own destiny for a conference championship, and it starts this week with that in mind as well as a playoff spot if they win.
Milton (3-3, 1-3) at Monona Grove (6-0, 4-0): Milton needs to win out to keep their playoff hopes alive, but it's going to be a challenge taking on the Silver Eagles, on the road. Monona Grove appears on course for a collision with Stoughton in Week 8, but have to take care of business first against the Red Hawks.
Monroe (2-4, 1-3) at Fort Atkinson (2-4, 1-3): The losing team's playoff dreams end after this game, so expect some craziness. After winning the conference last year, Monroe has found tougher sledding in 2017, as they graduated tons of talent from last season. Fort Atkinson has found some contributors across the board, in a more balanced approach from a year ago, but that will be tested against a solid Cheesemakers front seven.
Edgewood (0-6, 0-4) at Oregon (3-3, 2-2): Oregon gets its second rivalry game in a row, this time against the Crusaders. Edgewood won this game last year thanks to two scoop-and-score touchdowns that went nearly the length of the field. Oregon has dropped its two games to Monona Grove and Stoughton, who both are undefeated.
Columbus 21, Poynette 19: The Cardinals' season didn't start out perhaps the way they wanted, but with a conference victory under their belt, they still can make the playoffs with victories in two of the final three weeks. Poynette needs to win out if they want to return to the postseason.
Lake Mills 41, Luther Prep 28: Lake Mills got back on track with a win over a very good Phoenix squad; the L-Cats can pile up points. Luther Prep's first conference loss puts them at 1-1, with big games against Lodi and Lakeside Lutheran yet to come. They'll have to win one of those two games, at the very least, to make it to the playoffs.
Lodi 42, Lakeside Lutheran 10: Lodi has asserted their place as a team to watch heading into the playoffs, as they have shut down arguably the two other best teams in the Capitol North. One more win and the Blue Devils are back to the playoffs, and will be one of the area favorites heading in to a field that will also likely include Turner from the Rock Valley.
Lodi 2-0 (6-0)
Lake Mills 1-1 (5-1)
Lakeside Lutheran 1-1 (4-2)
Luther Prep 1-1 (4-2)
Columbus 1-1 (2-4)
Poynette 0-2 (2-4)
Lakeside Lutheran (4-2, 1-1) at Lake Mills (5-1, 1-1): A huge game in the cross-town rivalry seemingly ever year, the winner stays on track for a playoff spot while the losing team will need to win its final two games to make the playoffs. Both teams have the ability to score at will, so it could be a shootout in Lake Mills on Friday.
Columbus (2-4, 1-1) at Lodi (6-0, 2-0): For several years, this has been one of the best games in the entire state. The match-up loses some luster this season because of the graduation losses suffered by Columbus, but there's a ton of history at play here. Lodi can wrap up a playoff spot with a win.
Luther Prep (4-2, 1-1) at Poynette (2-4, 0-2): Poynette needs to win out to make the playoffs, but their task is difficult as a very good Luther Prep team comes to town. The Phoenix have playoff intentions but will need to win on the road to continue that journey.
-Not counting crossovers, the Capitol South is 12-4 in non-conference games this season
Darlington 15, Cambridge 13: Cambridge couldn't secure the win over winless Darlington on the night their home field was dedicated to Bob Nodolf, but the Redbirds are hardly your typical 0-5 (now 1-5) team. Darlington has made four straight state title games, but must win out to make the playoffs. Cambridge has to bounce back in a hurry, with a surging Belleville squad coming to town.
Belleville 28, Waterloo 0: Belleville has now matched its win total from last year and assured themselves of a winning record, as well as playoff eligibility. Belleville hasn't made the playoffs as a standalone program in 35 years (they made it three times as a co-op with Albany from 2002-2007). Waterloo needs to win out to get playoff-eligible, sans the result of their non-conference game later this year.
New Glarus/Monticello 47, Marshall 24: In a match-up of teams with some solid two-way talent, the Knights were able to right the ship. Marshall, meanwhile, still has three conference games left to go, and needs to win at least two of them to make the playoffs.
^Belleville 2-0 (5-1)
Cambridge 1-0 (4-2)
New Glarus/Monticello 1-1 (3-3)
Marshall 0-1 (2-4)
Waterloo 0-2 (2-4)
*Clinched a playoff spot
Belleville (5-1, 2-0) at Cambridge (4-2, 1-0): Capitol South supremacy is on the line in this battle. Cambridge lost a tough one to Darlington last week, but will be playing in one of the bigger contests in recent memory. Belleville, as noted above, has become playoff-eligible, and as a standalone program has not made it to the playoffs since 1982. A win here for Belleville would guarantee themselves a playoff spot, and clinch a share of the conference championship. For the first time ever, a Madison radio station will be broadcasting from Cambridge. It's our Madison Taxi Game of the Week on Friday night.
Waterloo (2-4, 0-2) at Marshall (2-4, 0-1): A Waterloo loss means the Pirates will be watching the postseason, one year after finishing second in the league. Marshall rebounded last year from two conference losses to make the playoff field at 2-2 in league play. A big game for both schools.
Iowa-Grant (4-2, 2-2) at New Glarus/Monticello (3-3, 1-1) (Non-Conference): Another SWAL opponent heads over to the Capitol South this week, this time Iowa-Grant. NG/M has played some solid competition out of conference and it appears they'll get another good one this week.
Clinton 7, Turner 6: It doesn't get any closer than this between undefeated teams. Turner's ascension this year was proven in holding the Cougars to one score. Clinton did get the win however, and are in the driver's seat all alone after a tremendous stretch of games against the other top Rock Valley teams. Not that the Cougars will relax, but it appears the most challenging part of the regular season is over. For Turner, despite the loss, they can continue to push towards a deep playoff run having proved to be one of the top teams in the league. No letdowns either, with Jefferson up next.
Jefferson 42, East Troy 28: Jefferson grabbed a playoff spot in a prime showdown with the Trojans. Two of the biggest contests in the conference happened in back-to-back weeks. Jefferson's similarly faced some tough opponents as of late, but they still have to complete the gauntlet against Turner this week. East Troy is still a win short of a playoff spot, and play in a huge game next week against Evansville/Albany.
Brodhead/Juda 50, Edgerton 21: The Cardinals look to keep their state-long 25-year playoff streak alive, having now won two in a row after a tough stretch of games to start the year. Edgerton needs to win out in order to have any shot of getting in.
Big Foot 28, McFarland 22 / OT: McFarland has had back-to-back heartbreakers, but those losses should fuel the team the rest of the year and into next year. Big Foot keeps their playoff hopes going, avoiding a costly fifth conference loss.
Evansville/Albany 41, Whitewater 6: After whipping the Whippets, the Blue Devils have worked their way back to a .500 record after starting 0-3. A big game looms with East Troy next. Whitewater is officially eliminated from playoff contention.
East Troy 4-2
Big Foot 2-4
*Clinched playoff berth
Turner (5-1) at Jefferson (5-1): The winning team stays a game back of Clinton, and should the Cougars stumble, be in position to get a conference championship tie. Both teams have made the playoffs, and are working towards higher playoff seeds come October. It will be interesting to see Jefferson's defense against the size and speed of Turner.
East Troy (4-2) at Evansville/Albany (3-3): If East Troy wins, they'll have a playoff spot wrapped up. For Evansville/Albany, they need to win twice in the final three weeks to clinch a playoff spot. Plenty at stake here for each team. A three-game winning streak for the Blue Devils will be tested against the impressive running game of the Trojans.
McFarland (2-4) at Clinton (6-0): The Spartans have lost a pair of very tough football games, but have to get back up to attempt a take-down of the conference leaders in order to keep their playoff chances alive. McFarland needs to win out to guarantee a spot. While a loss doesn't necessarily keep them out, a win would obviously be preferential here, to ensure a shot at the playoffs. Clinton's coming off of a big 7-6 win over Turner, and looking to lock up the conference in the coming weeks.
Edgerton (1-5) at Big Foot (2-4): The Chiefs continue their quest towards the playoffs. A loss by either team either eliminates them from the postseason conversation, or in the case of Big Foot, takes the process out of their hands for the final two weeks.
Whitewater (0-6) at Brodhead/Juda (2-4): A 25-year playoff streak hangs in the balance for the Cardinals, but if they can win at home over winless Whitewater, they can dream for one more week, ahead of a big Week 8 showdown with Evansville/Albany.
Dodgeland 41, Parkview 20: Parkview is eliminated from postseason contention.
Fall River 15, Johnson Creek 6: Fall River clinched a playoff spot with a win over playoff-eligible Johnson Creek.
Football Friday Night recaps the biggest games in the state: