Big Saturday for three local teams

Big Saturday for three local teams


Big Saturday for three local teams


No matter what happens during the regular season, this is the time of year when Colby, Straford and Owen-Withee shine.

All three small school teams are alive and well in the third round of the WIAA playoffs and have shown no signs of slowing down. All three will also be playing matinee games on Saturday afternoon, with kickoff for all three games set for 1 p.m.

Colby (8-2), last year’s Division 5 state champion, is hosting Prescott (7-3) the fourth-place team from the Middle Border Conference.

The Hornets have been in the D5 title game three of the past four years and brought home two gold trophies, 2008, 2011.

Prescott reached the 2000 Division 4 title game and despite its modest 5-3 regular season, has already defeated the No. 2 and 3 seeds in the regional.

“They are bigger than anyone we’ve faced so far in the playoffs and they have some very talented players,” Colby coach Jeff Rosemeyer said. “They’re going to run the ball at us and they have a very formidable offense.”

Precott’s top running threat is Sam Smith, who has rushed for 903 yards and 11 touchdowns. Up front paving the way for him is lineman Nick Jacobsen, a 6-foot-5, 305 pounder, who has garnered interest from Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Nebraska, to name a few schools.

“He’s very good on both sides of the ball and we will have to block very well against Prescott,” Rosemeyer said. “We’ve been running much better since our Level 1 game against Stanley-Boyd. We didn’t run the ball that well the first time around, but our linemen have learned and are playing well now.”

Brandon Wickersham is the power behind the Hornets’ running game with 981 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Stratford (8-2)
at Amherst (10-0)

The Tigers have kept their season and career of outgoing coach Cal Tackes going.

Stratford has been dominant in its two playoff games, dispatching Marawood rival Aubundale 42-7 in the first round and Spencer/Columbus Catholic 33-15 last week.

The task this week is much more difficult when the Tigers travel to undefeated Amherst, the Central Wisconsin Conference-8 champion.

The Falcons have outscored their two playoff opponents 98-14 in trouncing Niagara/Goodman/Pembine and Marathon, to reach Level 3 for a second straight year. Last season Amherst lost to Brillion 14-7 in the third round.

Amherst has a double-threat quarterback in Chris Zblewski, who has a 70 percent completion percentage (107 of 151), throwing for 1,538 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 1,079 yards and scored 12 times on the ground.

Receiver Max Strand has caught 33 passes for 585 yards and seven TDs.

Travis Urlaub is the Tigers’ top offensive threat, running for 675 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Owen-Withee (9-1)
at Hilbert 10-0

The Blackhawks and the Wolves have proud football traditions, with five state crowns between them. Owen-Withee won titles in 1992 and 1999, while Hilbert has won three, the most recent coming in 1996. Hilbert was also the 2008 state runner-up.

Spencer Schultz and Austin Schaeffer have combined to rush for 1,402 yards and 27 touchdowns, while O-W’s Tommy Schuh has rushed for 1,052 yards and 18 touchdowns.


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