NOTE: Each week, the sports editors of swews4u.com; 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 5's HERO OF THE WEEK -
Mitch Ricco, RB (Ithaca, jr.) – piled up 298 yards and six touchdowns as the Bulldogs pounded host North Crawford 47-14 last Friday night. He scored on runs of 18, 62, 8, 58, 47 and 1 as Ithaca improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Ridge and Valley conference. Ricco’s 298 yards rushing was the fourth highest total in the state last week. The junior has now rushed for 916 yards and 15 TDs on 128 carries this year.
WEEK 5's OTHER FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
2.Tyler Bollant, RB/LB (Iowa-Grant, sr.) – carried the 29 times for 171 yards and all three Panther touchdowns in Iowa-Grant’s crucial Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League 21-13 victory at Mineral Point. Bollant also made five tackles from his inside linebacker position and helped keep Mineral Point star halfback Brady Tibbits (19-115) out of the end zone. The win kept I-G (4-1, 2-1 SWAL) in the race for the conference title and just a game back of league leaders Cuba City (3-0) and Darlington (3-0).
3.Todd Wienkes, QB (Richland Center, sr.) – gave league-leading Platteville’s defense fits, especially in the second half, by completing 13 of 19 passes (9-of-12 in the third and fourth quarters) for 247 yards and three TDs without and interception as the Hornets nearly pulled off the upset losing 35-27. Wienkes also kick three extra points in the game.
4.Dallas Bernhardt, RB/LB (Cassville, sr.) – rushed for 173 yards and a pair of scores as Cassville defeated host Shullsburg 20-6 last Saturday afternoon. Many of his yards came after contact and his running and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the game away for a big win for the Comets. Bernhardt was also part of a defensive effort that limited to Nate Carrier, the league’s leading rushing to just 88 yards in the game.
5.Tyler Kleist, RB/LB (Highland, sr.) – scored all 16 points in the Cardinals 16-14 victory over River Ridge last Friday night. Kleist gained 172 yards on only 12 carries, for an average of 14.3 yards per carry, scored both of Highland's TDs and a two-point conversion run in the two-point win.
Hayden Schliem, WR/DE (Black Hawk, sr.) – had a big week for the second consecutive Friday night. Schliem caught seven passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner – a 4-yard slant – in double overtime to lead the Warriors to a 34-28 victory at Belmont.
Mitchell Brant, WR/DB (Benton/Scales Mound, sr.) – made five catches for 112 and two TDs while leading the Zephyrs to a 27-15 Homecoming victory over Weston last Saturday afternoon.
Colton Piefer, LB (Black Hawk, jr.) – was all over the field getting in on 23 total tackles (five solos) in Black Hawk’s double OT victory over Belmont.