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Darlington phenom rushes for 301 yards and 6 TDS
Hunter Johnson AOW
Darlington senior Hunter Johnson had rushed for 655 yards and a state-best 14 touchdowns in three games this season.

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

     Hunter Johnson, Sr., RB, Darlington football

     Darlington’s Johnson and Johnson backfield ran wild again last weekend in a 56–12 non-conference victory over eighth-ranked Lake Mills. This week it was senior Hunter Johnson’s turn to lead the way. The future University of Wisconsin walk-on rushed for 301 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Redbirds and earn this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week award. 

     Johnson gave the second-ranked Redbirds (3–0) the lead for good on the first play from scrimmage, racing 56 yards to pay dirt just 96 seconds into the game. Johnson answered Lake Mills’ first score with a 33-yard TD run with 4:37 remaining in the first quarter.

     He added a 9-yard TD jaunt a midway in the second quarter to make it 28–6, then ripped off a 58-yard touchdown touchdown run with 23 seconds remaining in the half to make it 42–12 at the half. Johnson scored from nine yards out in the third quarter then found his way into the end zone for a sixth time for the second week in a row later in the period.

     Johnson now leads the state with 14 touchdowns and has rushed for 655 yards, good for fourth-best in Wisconsin, in three games. He also eclipsed the 4,000-yard rushing mark for his career, becoming the first Darlington back to every do so.

     Darlington opens SWAL play at Mineral Point (2–1, 0–1 SWAL) on Friday at 7 p.m.


HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):

Ben Ertz, Sr., C/LB, River Ridge football

     Ertz was all over the field in last Friday’s 42–0 win at Belmont. The senior linebacker returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter and recorded 15 tackles to lead the Timberwolves’ defense to shutout victory. Ertz, who played quarterback as a junior, also started at center and helped Rigde pile up 371 yards of total offense, including 317 yards rushing.


Drew Hennessey, So., Highland football

     Hennessey did a little bit of everything to lead the Cardinals to a 43–22 victory at Potosi last Friday night. The sophomore sensation caught a four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown and hauled in pair of two-point conversions, recorded a team-high 18 tackles and returned a fumble 58 yards for another score, and helped Highland win the field position battle with a pair booming punts.


Dan Iselin, Sr., Platteville cross country

     Iselin ran to a seventh place overall finish (out of 167 runners) at last Saturday’s Verona Invitational with a time of 16:22.59. Iselin’s performance helped the Hillmen boys finish second out of 10 teams in the Division 3 competition. Iselin is a two-time state qualifier and he finished third at last year’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference Championships.


Trevor Neuroth, Jr., WR/DB, Fennimore football

     Neuroth caught seven passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in Fennimore’s 21–20 SWAL victory over Mineral Point. Neuroth’s 85-yard TD reception from senior Jordan Williams (11-20, 235 yards, 3 TDs) in the second quarter gave the Golden Eagles a 14–0 lead.  


Brady Peat, Jr., RB, Iowa–Grant football

     Iowa–Grant’s Brady Peat is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the southwest part of the state. Last Friday, the junior halfback rushed for a career-high 269 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 48–6 blowout victory over host Boscobel to open conference play in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League. Peat has already rushed for 525 yards and six touchdowns on 48 carries in three games for the Panthers (2–1) this season. Iowa–Grant will return to action Saturday at Tomahawk High School against Lake Ludden–Hubbell (Mich.) in a non-conference matchup.


Madison Rizner, Jr., OH, Richland Center volleyball

     Rizner floored a team-high 40 kills to lead the Hornet (8–3, 1–0 SWC) to a second-place finish at Saturday’s Richland Center Tournament. Rizner had 10 kills and 2.5 blocks in a 25–23, 25–16 sweep of Verona in the semifinals. Rizner again led the Hornets with seven kills and 13 digs in an 18–25, 16–25 loss to Stoughton in the championship match. Richland Center defeated Brookwood, La Crosse Logan and Belleville in pool play to open the tournament.   


Kordell Stillmunkes, Jr., QB, Cuba City football

     Stillmunkes made the switch from halfback to quarterback midway through the Cubans’ week 2 loss to Lancaster. This week he shined in the new role. Stillmunkes rushed for 268 yards and four TDs and also completed 4 of 9 passes for 51 yards in a 51–7 rout of host Southwestern as Cuba City (1–2, 1–0 SWAL) opened conference play with its first win of the season. Stillmunkes’ 95-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter made it 18–0. He also scored on runs of 4, 80 and 1 yard in the victory.