A year ago, the Amherst football team had to travel only 15 miles west for a WIAA state semifinal game at Community Stadium in Stevens Point.
The trip this season will be a little longer.
Amherst (11-1), the defending Division 5 state champion, will play Stanley-Boyd (12-0) in a state semifinal matchup at 7 p.m. Friday at Stiehm Stadium in Weston hosted by D.C. Everest.
The winner advances to the state championship game at 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison against the winner of the other semifinal pitting defending state runner-up Lancaster against Kewaunee.
After grinding out a 21-7 win over Stratford in the state quarterfinals a week ago, Falcons coach Mark Lusic had this to say about the prospect of facing Stanley-Boyd for a berth in the state championship game.
“They are a spitting image of us on offense,” said Lusic while savoring a win over the Tigers. “We’ll see if they have the same defense as us.”
Runners-up in the Central Wisconsin Conference-8 behind unbeaten Shiocton, the Falcons stayed alive with a 21-7 win over Stratford in the state quarterfinals Nov. 8.
Stiehm Stadium is located at 1000 Machmueller St. in Weston.
Fans interested in attending the game should take Highway 39 north to Hwy 29 east. Take the 171 exit onto E. Grand Avenue and head north and take a right on Jelinek Ave. contniue for a block and take a right on Machmueller St. The field is on the left.
Amherst High school will be sponsoring a spectator bus for the game at a cost of $3. Tickets for admission are $5 and also must be purchased as part of the bus trip.
All students who sign up for the bus trip must have a permission slip from a parent or legal guardian to make the trip north.
The buses are scheduled to leave the school at 5:20 p.m. Friday.
The Orioles, who won the Cloverbelt Conference, advanced with a 28-3 win over Bloomer in the state quarterfinals last Friday. Stanley-Boyd averages 35.5 points a game.
Heading into the matchup, the teams have one common opponent — Colby.
Stanley-Boyd handed the Hornets their only regular season loss 37-7 in Week 6. The Falcons opened the WIAA playoffs with a 42-10 victory over Colby on their home field.
Amherst claimed its first state championship in 2012 with a 19-7 win over Lancaster, while the Orioles won state titles in 1991 and 1995, and finished as state runners-up in 1986 and 1996.