Friday night featured some key matchups with teams grappling to clinch or gain footing on a playoff berth.
It was a huge swing week for local Division 1 teams, as D.C. Everest, Marshfield, Stevens Point Area Senior High and Wisconsin Rapids all had opportunities to increase their chances for a playoff berth. Everest entered play unbeaten in the VFA-North, while the other three entered play with 2-2 VFA-South records.
SPASH and Rapids matched up in a pivotal game and SPASH grabbed a key 38-14 win.
Meanwhile, Everest’s defense made a statement — and they needed the stout effort. The Evergreens shut out Appleton East 17-0. They are one victory away from clinching a postseason spot and likely will against Kaukauna, although they are playoff eligible as the win guarantees the Evergreens an over .500 conference record.
The D.C. Everest defense has been balling all season and during the Evergreens’ four-game win streak has not allowed a team to reach double digits. Everest is allowing just over five points per game in that stretch.
Marshfield, meanwhile, held a lead for more than three quarters until a late Hortonville touchdown put a dent in the Tigers’ postseason hopes with a 14-10 final.
SPASH can clinch a playoff spot next week with a victory over Marshfield.
In the Marawood Conference, Edgar and Marathon earned dominant wins with the latter clinching a playoff berth, as the Wildcats already had a playoff bid wrapped up and are still undefeated. Auburndale picked up a 42-6 win over Phillips and sits at 3-3 overall, but has matchups with Stratford and Marathon still on the docket.
Stratford improved to 2-2 in Marawood play with a win over Chequamegon and has an easy schedule down the stretch. The Tigers’ opponents down the stretch are a combined 4-14.
One team not sweating Friday night were the Athens Bluejays, as Athens defeated Chippewa Falls McDonell 40-15 on Thursday, clinching a spot in the postseason for the seventh consecutive season. Owen-Withee, also in the Cloverwood Conference, guaranteed an opportunity to defend its Division 7 title crown with a 49-0 thumping of Gilman.
Friday night didn’t end things for Week 6, as all three of the local prep football games Saturday are sure to be high-quality matchups.
Unbeaten Spencer/Columbus travels to perennial power Regis (4-1), Loyal and Assumption is a battle of 4-1 teams and should be a defensive affair, and Merrill and Antigo will battle for possession of first place in the Great Northern Conference.
Mitchell A. Skurzewski can be reached at 715-898-7006, email@example.com or on Twitter @Mskurzewski
Week 6 scores
D.C. Everest 17,
Appleton East 0
Wausau West 7
Wausau East 7
Wisconsin Rapids 14
Newman Catholic 21
Rib Lake/Prentice 6
Wild Rose 0
Port Edwards 14
Chippewa Falls McDonell 15•
Antigo at Merrill
Loyal at Assumption
Spencer/Columbus at Regis
BIG PLAYS, KEY UPDATES
•Ethan Kramas busts loose for a 73-yard touchdown run as Abbotsford takes a 14-7 lead over Wausau Newman Catholic late in the first quarter.
•Shout out to Wausau West who is battling No. 1 ranked Kimberly. Score is 10-7 with halftime approaching.
•Brandon Bauman with interception to end Marshfield drive in Hortonville territory and keep Polar Bears within 10-7 with 22 seconds left in third quarter. The turnover leads to a Polar Bear touchdown.
•Austin Bunders has racked up over 200 yards rushing and the third quarter isn’t over as Almond-Bancroft leads Wild Rose 35-0.