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 8's HERO OF THE WEEK -
Zach Thorton, RB/LB (Prairie du Chien, sr.) – The Blackhawks lost to Richland Center, 28-25, but Thorton wasn't the problem. He finished the night with a career-high 332 yards on 44 carries and score all four Prairie du Chien TDs on runs of 44, 1, 24, 2. Three missed PATs were the difference. Unfortunately Throton’s career-day wasn’t enough to key Prairie du Chien’s postseason hopes alive. The loss dropped the Blackhawks to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference and knocked them out of playoff contention.
WEEK 7's OTHER FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
2.Brandon Wedig, RB/DB (Belmont, jr.) – ran for 266 yards on 22 carries with four TDs (23, 5, 10, 6) and a two-point conversion run in a 56-6 win over Shullsburg on Friday. He also had a fumble recovery early in the game that led to a TD. The monster effort put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season and kept the Braves’ playoff dreams afloat. Belmont must win Friday’s regular season finale at winless River Ridge (0-8, 0-7) to become postseason eligible.
3. Jase Udelhofen, RB/DB (Potosi, jr.) – turned Bloomington’s Usgaard Field into his very own personal playground by scoring four touchdowns in the first quarter of last Friday night's game against River Ridge. He finished the night with 156 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just six carries, and also toke a hook-and-lateral from Hunter Leibfried the distance for another score. He also had an interception in the game.
4.Trae Mezera, FB (Lancaster, jr.) – proved that if a defense focuses too much attention on stopping Lancaster's outside running game, the fullback can do a lot of damage up the middle. Mezera ran for 232 yards and four TDs on 22 carries in Lancaster’s 51-0 victory over Dodgeville. The unbeaten Arrows (8-0, 4-0) can claim a sixth SWC title in the past seven years with a win over fellow unbeaten Platteville this Friday night.
5.John Alanis, RB (Seneca, sr.) – turned in another fine day at the office for the state's third-leading rusher with 32 carries for 283 and two TDs (5, 4) in a 39-6 win over Weston that assures the Indians a WIAA playoff berth. Alanis has rushed for 1,950 yards this season and is sixth in the state with 23 TDs.
A.J. Day, QB/DB (Lancaster, jr.) – filled in at QB for injured senior Justin Hore on Friday night and led the Arrows to a 51-0 win over Dodgeville by directing Lancaster’s true-read option offense and contributing two long TD runs of his own, 56 and 32 yards.
Kyle Walters, QB (Black Hawk, jr.) – like Day, Walters was filling in at quarterback for the first time as a starter this season and he ran the offense well in a 46-0 Homecoming victory over North Crawford. He attempted only two passes, but both went for TDs- one a 31-yarder to Hayden Schliem to open the scoring and the other a 39-yarder to Cory Rupnow one play after the Warriors had a long TD run called back by penalty to make it 27-0.
Trevor Koch, QB (Ithaca, jr.) - completed 10-of-19 passes for 125 yards and two TDs and ran for two more scores in a 33-27 overtime victory over Wauzeka-Steuben, which may have secured the Bulldogs a playoff berth. Koch's 7-yard TD pass to Garrett Huffar in overtime handed the Bulldogs the win on the road.
Logan Emendorfer, QB/DB (Platteville, sr.) - completed 14-of-23 passes for 242 yards, including a 93-yard second-quarter TD pass to Dylan Tranel in Platteville’s 23-7 victory over visiting River Valley. Emendorfer also scored on a 7-yard run in the first quarter as the Hillmen improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the SWC. Emy and his mates can claim an outright SWC title with a victory over fellow unbeaten Lancaster this Friday night.