GAME OF THE WEEK: (Aug. 27–Sept. 2)
Prep Football: Lancaster (1–0) at Cuba City (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m. at Cuba City High School, 97.7 WGLR
The defending Division 5 state champion Arrows travel to Cuba City in an early-season non-conference battle between former conference rivals. The Arrows and Cubans played every year dating back to the 1950s in the old SWAL, the Southern 8 and the SWAL I, until Cuba City left the SWAL I in 2003 and the conference officially split in 2005.
Graduation took a toll on Lancaster following last year's run to the D5 state title (the seventh in program history), but the Arrows still managed to have enough returning talent to defeat Fennimore, 21–13, in Friday's season opener. Senior halfback Nic Wood caught a 50-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Drew Reuter and returned the opening kickoff of the second half 85 yards for a key touchdown in the win. Sophomore fullback Evan Gates rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries. Reuter completed 5 of 9 passes for 80 yards, but was intercepted twice and held to 20 yards on 18 rushing attempts.
Cuba City is fresh off a 48–0 beatdown of Viroqua last Friday night. Mitchell Splinter rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns in Friday's win and Kordell Stillmunkes rushed for a pair of TDs and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Bass in the win. The Cubans defense was equally impressive holding the Blackhawks (0–1) to just 21 yards in the shutout.
"They're athletic and pretty quick, though it's really tough to gauge them against Viroqua," said Lancaster head coach John Hoch, who has led Lancaster to five straight SWC crowns and four consecutive trips to the D5 state title game.
Something's gotta give in Friday's game at Cuba City. Can Lancaster get its traditionally high-flying offense back on track with its new cast of starters, or will the Cubans defense stymie the Arrows attack like it did against Viroqua just a week ago?
OTHER AREA FOOTBALL GAMES OF NOTE:
Cassville (1–0, 1–0 SIx RIvers) at Potosi (0–1, 0–1 Six Rivers), Friday, 7 p.m.
Doug Fure's Cassville Comets laid waste to shorthanded Shullsburg 70–22 last Saturday in a season-opener at the Six Rivers Jamboree at UW–Platteville's Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. Defending Six Rivers champion Potosi struggled in a 38–0 season-opening loss to Pecatonica/Argyle also at Pioneer Stadium.
Coach Mark Siegert's can not afford another loss in conference play if they hope to have any shot at defending their conference title, a crown Potosi has worn six of the past seven seasons. The Chieftains struggled to run the ball Saturday against the much larger Vikings, gaining just 101 rushing yards on 33 attempts. Potosi must find a way to bolster its offensive line which was without two starters, including 6-foot-3, 230-pound right tackle Nick Groom, who dislocated his kneecap in last Wednesday's practice and may or may not return this season.
Meanwhile, the Comets piled up 485 yards of total offense (333 rushing, 152 passing), most of it in the first half, and led 64–6 at halftime. Senior Caleb Dashe rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns and also returned a kickoff 70 yards for a fourth TD late in the second quarter. Senior Cam Jensen complete 3 of 4 passes for 152 yards and a pair of long touchdown passes to Dylan Johll (78 yards) and TylerTorstenson-Harris (55 yards).
The question remains, was Cassville that good? Or was Shullsburg that bad? We should find out Friday when the Comets tangle with the defending Six Rivers champs on their home turf.
"I thought it was going to be a lot closer than that," said Fure of Saturday's rout of Shullsburg. "I didn't perceive that happeneing, but we kind of jumped on them early. The biggest thing is getting them to refocus now and not think about last week because last week is over."
Iowa–Grant (1–0) at Pecatonica/Argyle (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m. at Pecatonica
Senior running back Brayden Johnson burst onto the scene with 202 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns in last Friday's 43–21 non-conference win over visiting Richland Center. Junior quarterback Caleb Hill completed 9 of 16 passes for 198 yards and two TDs and rushed for a third in his first start. Coach Gary Allen's Panthers will look to keep their early-season momentum going when they travel to Pecatonica/Argyle for a challenging non-conference matchup. The Vikings posted an impressive 38–0 win over defending Six Rivers champion Potosi last Saturday at the Six Rivers Jamboree. Pec/Argyle has a talented halfback in Riley Ostby and enormous offensive and defensive lines, with three players weighing more than 280 pounds. Allen's Panthers will have their hands full.
OTHER WEEK 2 PREP FOOTBALL MATCHUPS
Richland Center (0–1) at Fennimore (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Platteville (0–1) at Holmen (0–1), Friday, 7 p.m., Xtreme 107.1, WPVL FM
Mayville (0–1) at Prairie du Chien (0–1), Friday, 7 p.m.
River Valley (1–0) at Nekoosa (0–1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Mineral Point (1–0) at Dodgeville (0–1), Friday, 7 p.m.
New Glarus/Monticello (0–1) at Darlington (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Boscobel (1–0) at Wisconsin Heights (0–1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Southwestern (0–1) at Beloit Turner (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Riverdale (1–0) at Brookwood (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Highland (1–0, 1–0 SRC) at Belmont (0–1, 0–1 SRC), Friday, 7 p.m.
Shullsburg (0–1, 0–1 SRC) at Black Hawk (1–0, 1–0 SRC), Friday, 7 p.m.
River Ridge (0–1, 0–1 SRC) at Benton/Scales Mound (1–0, 1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Kickapoo/La Farge (0–1) at Hillsboro (1–0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Platteville (2–3) at UW–Whitewater Invitational, Friday 3 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.
The Platteville Hillmen return to action Friday afternoon with four pool-play games at the 20-team, two-day UW–Whitewater Invitational. Platteville will play Sussex Hamilton, Burlington Catholic Central, Randoloh and Whitewater in Friday's opening-round of pool play action. The Hillmen and new head coach Lindsay Neal opened the season by going 2–3 at Tuesday's six-team Watertown Invitational. The Hillmen defeated Kaukauna, a Division 1 sectional qualifier a year ago, and Waupun, a Division 2 state qualifier last year. Platteville suffered a 2–1 loss to Division 1 Hartland Arrowhead and was swept by Division 1 Westosha Central and host Watertown. The defending SWC co-champion Hillmen open conference play Thursday, Sept. 9 at home against Prairie du Chien.
River Ridge (0–0) at Benton (0–0), Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.
The defending Six Rivers West champion Timberwolves take on the Zephyrs, who have high hopes to contend in 2015, in Tuesday's Six Rivers West opener for both teams. The Timberwolves return first-team all-conference outside hitter Bridgett Myers from last year's team that went 17–6–2 overall, 11–1 in the Six Rivers West and won a Division 4 regional title. River Ridge opens the season Saturday at the Monticello Six Rivers Tournament, while Benton opens the year Saturday at the Highland Six Rivers Tournament along with Argyle, Belmont, Cassville, Dodgeville, Potosi, Southwestern.
Cuba City at Janesville Cougar–Viking Classic, Friday, 9 a.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m., at Janessville Craig
The defending SWAL champion Cubans open the new volleyball season at the two-day Janesville Cougar–Viking Classic. Cuba City went 11–1 and finished second a year ago at the Janeville tournament on their way to a 33–6 season under long-time coach Keri Lawson. The Cubans open conference play next Friday at Mineral Point.
Prep Cross Country:
Ryan Zimpel Memorial Boscobel Cross Country Invitational, Saturday, 10 a.m.,
The Bulldogs host the season-opening Boscobel Invitational Saturday morning at the Ryan ZImpel Memorial Cross Country Course.