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 9 HERO OF THE WEEK:
Trae Mezera, Jr./RB (Lancaster) – In the area’s biggest game of the week, Mezera ran for 272 yards and four TDs on 21 carries to lead the Lancaster Flying Arrows to their sixth SWC championship in the past seven years. He also returned a kick 75-yards for his fifth TD of the game, as Lancaster (9-0, 5-0) handed the host Hillmen of Platteville (8-1, 4-1) a convincing 49-21 loss. The Hillmen entered the game giving up an average of just 10.4 points per game.
WEEK 9’s OTHER FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
Seth Rowe, Sr./RB (Darlington) – The senior fullback led the Redbirds to their third straight SWAL championship by rushing for 314 yards on 35 carries and scoring six TDs in a 55-25 victory over Fennimore. The performance put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. In seven SWAL games, Rowe gained 1,028 yards and scored 17 TDs for the 7-0 Redbirds.
Franki Carlborg, Jr./RB (Benton-Scales Mound) – Carlborg ran for a season-best 366 yards and six TDs on 53 carries in the Zephyrs’ 50-21 victory over Shullsburg. At 6’0”, 215 pounds, Carlborg proved to be to be a tough runner to stop for the Miners defense. He also finished the game with a two-point conversion run, four tackles and one interception on defense.
Keaton Kephart, SR/QB (Southwestern) – Kephart led the Wildcats to a Division 6 playoff bid in a winner-take-all SWAL contest with Mineral Point. He and the Wildcats collected a thrilling 27-25 victory over the Pointers, thanks in most part to his offensive production. The senior quarterback completed 13-of-24 passing attempts for 245 yards, two TDs and no interception. He also ran for scores of 19 and three yards in the win.
Jeremy Richardson, David Stoney and Brandon Wedig (Belmont) These three players were all over the field on both offense and defense, as the Braves locked up a playoff berth with a 38-14 win over River Ridge. Richardson, a junior, rushed for 160 yards on 18 carries with a TD and a two-point run, and led the defense with 16 tackles. Stoney, a senior, added 123 yards on 15 carries with a TD and a conversion run along with 10 tackles and a sack. Wedig ran for 59 yards on 14 carries with two TDs and two conversion runs, caught two passes for 86 yards and another TD, and made nine tackles and added an interception on defense.
Todd Wienkes, Sr./QB (Richland Center) Wienkes was a perfect 4-for-4 passing for 67 yards and three TDs in the Hornets’ 56-32 win over Dodgeville. He also kicked four PATs and added a two-point conversion pass, as well as returned a kick 97 yards for a TD.