The Marawood Conference accounted for three of the top 11 teams in the Small Division of this week’s Associated Press state poll.
Two of them — Stratford and Marathon — meet Friday in Marathon in a Week showdown between the undefeated conference opponents. Stratford was ranked 10th in the AP poll this week, one spot ahead of Marathon. Undefeated Edgar was ranked No.1.
Marathon and Stratford have split the last two regular season matchups with the Tigers winning 21-13 in Stratford last year.
The Week 3 schedule also includes D.C. Everest at Wausau West, Wausau East at Appleton West, Merrill at Lakeland, Mosinee at Rhinelander, Tomahawk at Northland Pines, Edgar at Pittsville, Athens at Gilman, McDonell Central at Newman Catholic and Wittenberg-Birnamwood at Shiocton.
Here are five games that highlight the Week 3 schedule. All games begin at 7 p.m.
STRATFORD (2-0) AT MARATHON (2-0)
Last meeting: Stratford 21, Marathon 13 (2014)
About Stratford: Taylor Krall is averaging 9.3 yards a rushing attempt through two weeks and part of a Stratford run game that has totaled 640 yards and eight touchdowns so far. The Tigers have not allowed a point in the first half and surrendered 484 total yards.
About Marathon: Ryan Gassner is rushing for an average of 127.5 yards per game and has scored a team-high four touchdowns. The Raiders have outscored their two opponents 87-0 and have allowed a total of 209 yards.
D.C. EVEREST (0-2) AT WAUSAU WEST (0-2)
Last meeting: Wausau West 21, D.C. Everest 0 (2014)
About Everest: Stephen Paoli rushed for 210 yards against Marshfield last week, roughly half of which came in the fourth quarter. Everest is off to an 0-2 start for the second straight season, despite being outscored by nine points so far this year.
About West: The Warriors have been held to a total of 24 points through two games, with all but a field goal being scored in the first quarter. Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids combined to rush for nearly 600 yards against West.
WAUSAU EAST (0-2) AT APPLETON WEST (1-1)
Last meeting: Wausau East 33, Appleton West 12 (2014)
About Appleton West: Ethan Herbst passed for 197 yards and Patrick Ourada rushed for 141 yards as the Terrors downed Oshkosh West after falling to Hortonville in the season opener. West has been held to 44 points, 21 of which have come in the fourth quarter.
About Wausau East: Levy Treinen and Chad Simon have combined to rush for 267 yards for the Lumberjacks. Thomas Dunbar is averaging 18.9 yards a reception. East has been held to 21 points.
MCDONELL CENTRAL (1-1) AT NEWMAN CATHOLIC (1-1)
Last meeting: McDonell Central 38, Newman Catholic 33 (2014)
About McDonell Central: The Macks rolled up more than 350 yards of offense in a 38-8 win over Gilman last week after losing to Owen-Withee in the season opener. McDonell Central is allowing 209.5 yards rushing per game so far.
About Newman Catholic: The Cardinals are averaging 33.5 points per game, and quarterback Jake Gajewski has rushed and thrown for a combined 10 touchdowns in two weeks. The Cardinals have rushed for 361 yards this season and allowed 324 yards on the ground.
MERRILL (1-1) AT LAKELAND (2-0)
Last meeting: Merrill 70, Lakeland 6 (2014)
About Merrill: The Bluejays, the returning Great Northern Conference champions, head into conference opener coming off a 35-0 win over River Falls. Quarterback Drew Hoff has rushed for a team-high 229 yards and four touchdowns. The Bluejays have been held to 13 points in the second half.
About Lakeland: The Thunderbirds have averaged 33 points a game in wins over Rhinelander and Bloomer to open the year. Sam Jaeger and Sam Killian have rushed for 257 and 201 yards, respectively, so far. Lakeland, which returned nine starters this year, is allowing an average of 53.5 yards per game rushing.
—Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731 or at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @timmyjo11