STEVENS POINT – There are only two central Wisconsin football teams playing in the WIAA state championships, Amherst and Spencer/Columbus, and they’re playing each other.
The Falcons (13-0) and Rockets (13-0) square off at 4 p.m. Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium with the Division 5 title on the line.
Both teams cruised to their respective conference championships, Amherst winning its second straight Central Wisconsin-8 title and S/C its first Cloverbelt crown.
With two undefeated conference champs locking horns, something has to give. Here are some arguments from Gannett Central Wisconsin sports reporters Mark Massoglia and Scott Williams on the case for each team.
Massoglia thinks that it could be a first-time-is-a-charm win for the Rockets, as Amherst won in its first trip to Camp Randall in 2012. Plenty of other area teams have won in their first trip to state so why not S/C.
Williams counters with the experience of the Falcons. This is Amherst’s third finals appearance in four years and the Falcons have a group of seniors who want to go out on top after finishing as the 2014 runner-up to Lancaster. Nearly all 15 seniors for Amherst have either started or seen significant action since their sophomore year.
When it comes to offense, the Rockets are effective running the Pistol Wing T, in which they can run read option, veer, jet sweep and belly players. With Calvin Lenz under center, S/C is a threat to pass as well. When running the ball Hunter Luepke gives the Rockets big punishing back, and Noah Zastrow is the elusive speedster.
Amehrst’s Garrett Groshek has passed and run for more than 1,000 yards at quarterback, and Brandon Piotrowski is another 1,000 yard rusher for the Falcons. Joshua Cisewski is the top receiver with 651 yards and 12 TDs.
Two reporters can speculate all they want, but this game will be decided on the field by two very talented teams.