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Black Hawk workhorse rushes for 200 yards and throws GW TD pass
Brody Milz
Black Hawk junior Brody Milz rushed for 200 yards on 37 carries and threw the game-winning TD pass late in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 2621 win at Highland.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.


Brody Milz, Jr., RB/LB, Black Hawk football

     Black Hawk’s winning-formula relied heavily on junior workhorse Brody Milz. Milz and Warriors played keep away to perfection in Saturday’s 26–21 victory to spoil Highland’s Homecoming.

     Milz earned this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week award after rushing 37 times for a hard-earned 200 yards and tossed the game-winning touchdown on a 50-yard halfback option to Jett Rufenacht with 5:06 to play to help clinch the five-point win, which secures the Warriors (5–3, 5–2 Six Rivers) their seventh straight playoff appearance. For good measure, Milz also had 12 tackles on defense.

     Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz was adamant about possession the ball and controlling the clock.

     “We needed to keep their defense on the field because [John Ross] Linscheid and [Drew] Hennessy are so explosive on the offensive end for Highland,” said coach Milz. “We had to run the football effectively between the tackles to maintain possession of the football. Highland has a very aggressive and quick football team. The strength of their defense is in their lateral pursuit and penetration. We knew that we would have to take its right at them in order to have any success.”

     Linschied and Hennessey showed their explosiveness with a 60-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the second half to cut the Highland definite to 18–14.

     The margin remained four points until Milz connected with Rufenacht midway through the fourth quarter to extend the Warriors’ lead to 26–14 with 5:06 to play. Highland answered with a 34-yard Linscheid to Bray Drury TD pass to make it 26–21 with 3:37 left, but Black Hawk was able to run out the clock.

     “This was a huge win for us in many respects,” said coach Milz. “Qualifying for the playoffs outright was very important to this group of kids. Many people had this circled as a non-playoff year for this team due to the fact that we only have four seniors. I am happy for these seniors and their teammates to keep the playoff streak alive.”

    Black Hawk has now made the playoffs 11 of the last 12 years. 


HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):

Clare Drefcinski, So., Platteville/Lancaster girls swimming

     Drefcinski was a three-event winner last Thursday’s to lead the Hillmen to a 99–68 none-conferece victory over visiting Lodi/Wisconsin Heights, Platteville/Lancaster’s first dual meet win of the season. Drefcinski broke 29 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle for the first time this year, winning the event by 0.19 seconds with a time of 28.78 seconds. She also won the 100 freestyle (1:05.13) and was a part of the winning 200 medley relay team (2:11.59).


Luke Fugate, Sr., RB/LB, Platteville football

     Fugate rushed for a game-high 240 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hillmen to a 38–0 shutout Homecoming victory over Dodgeville. He was also in on eight tackles on seven tackles as the Platteville defense recorded its second shutout of the year.


Trevor Johnson, Sr., RB/DB, Darlington

     Johnson helped get Darlington rolling in their Homecoming Game on Friday night by scoring four different ways in the first quarter to lead the Redbirds out to a 56–0 lead after one quarter of play. He returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for his first score, and then added a 35-yard interception return TD, a 25-yard rushing TD and a 57-yard punt return TD in the quarter.


Brooke Marcue, Sr., Lancaster girls golf

     The Lancaster senior followed up he co-Athlete of the Week performance with a fifth-place finish at Monday’s WIAA Division 2 Wisconsin Dells sectional at Trappers Turn to earn her first trip to the WIAA State Golf Meet. Marcue shot a 7-over-par 43 on the Arbor Course, then a 12-over-par 48 on the Lake Course to finish her 18-hole sectional round of 91.


Nick Payne, Sr., WR/DB, Seneca/Wauzeka football

     Payne caught four passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns in Seneca/Wauzeka’s 37–6 Homecoming victory over Boscobel. Payne caught TD passes of 24, 57 and 8 yards from sophomore QB Jared Payne in the route.


Madison Rizner, Jr., MH, Richland Center volleyball

     Rizner floored a match-high 20 kills and 6.5 blocks to lead the Hornets to a key 25–19, 22–25, 17–25, 25–20, 15–13 come-from-behind five-set victory over River Valley last Thursday night. Rizner and the Hornets (22–4, 6–0 SWC) remained unbeaten in conference play and pulled two games ahead of both River Valley and Platteville. Tuesday night, Rizner floored 12 kills to lead Center to a 25–18, 25–12, 25–16 sweep of Dodgeville. 


Ryan Roling, Sr., F, Platteville/Lancaster boys soccer

     The senior striker scored a hat trick and added an assist in a 7–0 shutout over visiting River Valley last Thursday, then scored two more goals in Platteville/Lancaster’s 3–0 victory over Richland Center on Monday. Rolling and the Hillmen (10–2–2, 8–1–1 SWC) blanked Dodgeville/Mineral Point 1–0 on Tuesday and will face SWC co-leader Prairie du Chien (13–1–1, 8–1–1) this afternoon (Thursday, Oct. 6) with the conference title hanging in the balance.  


Evan Straka, Jr., Lancaster football

     The junior quarterback flashed signs of the dual-threat the Arrows’ will need in the upcoming postseason when visiting Prairie du Chien tried to limit SWC leading-rusher Evan Gates’ touches. Straka responded with 78 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, and also completed 9 of 14 passes for 143 yards and another TD in the Flying Arrows’ (7–0, 3–0 SWC) 42–7 Homecoming victory over the Blackhawks.


Justin Tollefson, Sr., LB, Fennimore football

     The senior linebacker recorded 16 tackles, including a team-high six solo stops to lead Fennimore to a 13–6 victory at Iowa–Grant in the 47th annual Milk Can rivalry game. Tollefsen and the Golden Eagles defense have given up just six points in their last three games, after defeating Boscobel 56–0 on Sept. 16 and Southwestern 62–0 on Sept. 23. Fennimore improved to 5–2 overall and 4–1 in the SWAL.


Alex Traxler, Sr., WR/LB football

     Traxler made a team-high 10 tackles and an athletic diving interception in Platteville’s 38–0 Homecoming victory over Dodgeville last Friday night. He also caught a pair of passes for 46 yards, including a 15-yard first-quarter touchdown to start the scoring.