EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Grant Smith, Sr., WR/S, North Crawford football
PLATTEVILLE – Senior Grant Smith’s three touchdown receptions helped rally North Crawford from an early deficit, but it was his two interception returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter that sealed the Trojans’ 38–29 victory over Belmont at the 2018 Six Rivers Football Jamboree last Saturday.
Smith finished with four catches for 126 yards and three touchdown receptions (30, 20, 63) on offense and had four interceptions and returned two for touchdowns (22, 54) on defense.
Smith’s five-touchdown day was just too much for the Braves (0–1 overall) to overcome as they fell to the Trojans (1–0) in a hard-fought season opener on a hot and humid afternoon at UW-Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.
Despite turning the ball over three times in a span of five and a half minutes early in the fourth quarter, the Braves were still in position to pull out a late come-from-behind victory when they took possession at their own 41-yard line with 2:33 trailing 32–29.
However, Smith picked off a tipped Ethan James pass on the second play of the Braves’ ensuing drive at midfield and raced 54 yards to pay dirt to put the Trojans into a 38–29 lead with 1:52 remaining. Smith intercepted his fourth pass of the day just 17 seconds later, and then fellow senior Brent Jelinek swiped another James pass in the closing for the Trojans’ seventh turnover of the game to lock up the win.
Colby Argall, Sr., RB, Black Hawk football
Argall was dazzling with the ball in his hands all day, rushing six times for 170 yards and two scores (61 and 63 yards), returning the opening kickoff of the second half 86 yards for another score, and adding 55 yards on three punt returns and 20 yards on one catch to finish with over 300 all-purpose yards in the Warriors' 56-6 non-conference victory over Southwesternat the 2018 Six Rivers Football Jamboree on Saturday, Aug. 18. The senior also had a long punt return for a TD called back due to a penalty in the second quarter.
A.J. Barner, RB/DB, Platteville football
Barner rushed for a team-high 103 yards and three touchdowns, caught a team-high seven passes for 77 yards and intercepted a pass on defense in Platteville’s 28–14 season-opening win at Cuba City last Friday night.
Will Bierman, Sr., QB, Potosi/Cassville football
Bierman completed 9 of 12 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chieftains (1–0) to a 52–6 season-opening win at Benton/Scales Mound last Friday night. The three-year starter connected with junior running back Ben Udelhofen on a 13-yard touchdown pass on the team’s first offensive possession. He later added a 7-yard TD pass to senior tight end Mason Infield and a 90-yard touchdown strike to senior Brady Curtis late in the third quarter.
Blake Crubel, Sr., RB/LB, River Ridge football
Crubel rushed for a game-high 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 23 carries, and made a team-high 13 tackles to lead the Timberwolves to a key 33–14 Six Rivers Conference victory over visiting Shullsburg in last Friday’s season opener. Crubel scored on first-quarter runs of 51 and 7 yards while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Friday’s win was key to the Timberwolves’ goal of a second straight playoff appearance.