NOTE: Each week, the swews4u.com sports editors; A.J. Gates (Grant County Herald Independent), Jason Nihles (Platteville Journal), Tom "Gunner" Gunnell (Republican Journal) and Erik Olson (The Richland Observer) will vote on the top prep gridiron performers of the week. Our combined vote will produce a weekly list of five "Friday Night Heroes." If you don't agree with our rankings or you feel we missed a standout performance, feel free to post a comment and plead your case.
WEEK 4's HERO OF THE WEEK -
Merik Meythaler, QB (Black Hawk, jr.) - The Warriors’ first-year signal caller put up video game-like numbers in a 35-8 Six Rivers Conference victory over previously unbeaten and then-ranked #12 Highland in South Wayne on Friday, Sept. 9. Meythaler completed 11-of-18 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He had TD pass of 80, 17, 25 and 26 yards in the game.
He spread the ball around to his teammates, connecting with six different receivers on the night and throw TDs to three of them. For the season, Meythaler has completed 37-of-64 passes for 745 yards with 12 TDs and five interceptions while leading the Warriors to a 3-1 record so far this season.
WEEK 4's OTHER FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
2.Troy Baker, RB (Lancaster, jr.) – touched the ball 18 times and accounted for 308 total yards and scored four touchdowns in Lancaster's 50-34 victory over Nekoosa. Baker had 11 rushing attempts for 93 yards and two scores, along with three receptions for 147 yards and two more scores. He also had four kick returns for 68 yards, for an average of 17 yards per return.
3.Keaton Kephart, QB/DB (Southwestern, sr.) – completed 8-of-10 pass attempts for 213 yards and three TDs, added two 2-pt conversions and a kicked a PAT in Southwestern's 49-8 victory over Boscobel. He also had a 35-yard interception return for his fourth score of the night.
4.Kory Stevens, RB/LB (Richland Center, sr.) – rushed for 232 rushing and three touchdowns and also caught an 11 yard TD pass in Richland Center's first win of the season and first win for new coach Greg Schoepp. RC topped Mauston, 33-0.
5.Zach Thorton, RB/LB (Prairie du Chien, sr.) – broke free for 224 yards and three scores on just 14 carries in Prairie du Chien’s 46-26 victory over Westfield. Thorton averaged 16.0 yards per carry and has now rushed for 661 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 carries.
Hayden Schliem, WR/DE (Black Hawk, sr.) – caught five passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns (80, 25) and registered a sack and a half in leading the Warriors over the Highland Cardinals, 35-8, in a showdown in South Wayne last Friday.
Brandon Hardyman, RB/DB (Darlington, sr.) – In the final five minutes of Darlington’s thrilling 28-26 SWAL victory over previously unbeaten and then-ranked #9 Iowa-Grant, Hardyman made three huge defensive plays to help preserve the victory for the Redbirds. The senior stopped an Iowa-Grant 2-pt conversion attempt with 4:42 to play to maintain the Redbirds’ 28-26 lead. Then, he made a touchdown saving tackle on Tucker Sarbacker after an interception by Sarbacker with under two minutes to play; and, with IG facing a key fourth down play with 53 second to play, he intelligently batted down a pass to seal the outcome in Darlington’s favor.
Logan Emendorfer, QB/DB (Platteville, sr.) – was nearly flawless in undefeated Platteville’s 41-0 victory over Wisconsin Dells. He completed 11-of-12 passes for 134 yards and four first-half touchdowns, then capped off his virtually unstoppable performance with a 13-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Brady Wilkerson, WR/DB (Southwestern, sr.) – the senior wide out hauled in four receptions for 157 yards and three TDs in a 49-8 SWAL victory over Boscobel. Wilkerson scored on pass plays of 40, 26 and 75 yards.