Big 8 Week 6 Preview
Madison La Follette vs. Beloit Memorial at Beloit Memorial High School
They won... They actually did it! The Beloit Memorial Purple Knights finally snapped one of the longest loosing streaks in the state of Wisconsin of 29 games in a row last week against Madison East. Congratulations Memorial. I sincerely mean that. Sometimes you have to be stuck in the mud and kicked around a little bit before you can become a contender. I was truly happy to see the end result of last weeks game and wish nothing but the best for Memorial moving forward. With that being said, this weeks game against La Follette may put them right back into that preverbal mud pit. La Follette may be 2-3 on the season, but those three losses were against arguably the conferences top teams in Madison West, Sun Prairie and Verona. The Lancers quarterback, Troy Teigen, is having a tremendous year throwing the football and sits in second place in the conference doing so. While Denzel Barnes may have earned Conference Player of the Week honors last week by throwing for three touchdowns and leading his team to victory, this weeks matchup will truly test Memorial’s medal as La Follette held conference top dog, Sun Prairie, to only 13 points this season in a 13-6 loss. In last years game, La Follette shutout Memorial in a 35-0 affair. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from Beloit Memorial High School.
Madison West vs. Madison East at Lussier Stadium
In a matchup of crosstown rivals, Madison West will travel down the road to take on Madison East in a classic East v. West showdown. In Last seasons contest, Madison East bested West, 14-6 so Alex Brown and his Regents will be looking for revenge come Friday night. Brown, has led the Regents back from a 1-8 record last season to a 4-1 mark so far this season. He is third in the conference in passing yards with 685 yards and nine touchdowns. To come off a season like the Regents had last year and respond in the fashion they have is a true testament to the young athletes and coaching staff that make up that team. West could finish near the top of the conference this year if the team continues to click, but will need a team like Middleton to knock off Sun Prairie this week and force a four or five team tie. On the other hand, with the loss last week to Beloit Memorial, it would appear that East may finish out the season winless, but another rivalry game win this season and the Purgolders would earn the teams first win of the season. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from Lussier Stadium.
Janesville Craig High School vs. Madison Memorial at Mansfield Stadium
In what very well could have been the shock of the week, Madison Memorial was shutout against Sun Prairie just seven days ago in a 35-0 loss to the Cardinals. While Sun Prairie is known for defense throughout the state, the fact that Memorial’s three headed monster of Joe Ferguson at quarterback, along with Jester Weah and Darius Fountain at wide receiver didn’t manufacture a single point last week was down right baffling. Ferguson leads the conference in passing yards with 1063 yards and nine touchdowns through the air, along with an additional eight on the ground. Weah and Fountain are two of the best pass catchers in the conference as well so I expect the Spartans to be angry and pile on the points against Janesville Craig in this contest. However, the Cougars may be able to keep up with the Spartans thanks to Craig quarterback Andy Miller, who is fourth in the conference in passing. Although the Cougars sit at just 1-4 on the year, the team would like nothing more than to earn its’ second victory of the season and make up for a 40-35 loss in last years game. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from Mansfield Stadium.
Verona Area High School vs. Janesville Parker at Monterey Stadium in Janesville
Verona sent shock waves throughout the Big 8 Conference last week with a 20-7 victory over first place Middleton. That victory created a three-way tie for second in the conference and if Middleton can rebound and beat Sun Prairie this week, there could be a four-way tie for first, more on that game in a minute. In that game, Dom Wise led the Wildcats to that victory a week ago and will look to put together another 150 yard plus night against the Parker Vikings. This game will feature two of the top rushers in the Big 8 in Wise and Dia-Von Vance-Jenkins. Vance-Jenkins sits at third in the conference with 578 rushing yards and Wise at fourth with 570 yards. The last time these two teams met, Verona rolled over Parker 52-28 last season. That game propelled Verona to take the conference crown later in the year and advance deep into the WIAA state playoffs. If the Wildcats continue to roll and win out, Verona could potentially win a share of the conference championship and regain what the team earned outright last season. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from Monterey Stadium in Janesville.
Sun Prairie vs. Middleton at Middleton High School
In the conferences unquestioned game of the week, the Sun Prairie Cardinals will take on the Middleton Cardinals in a battle of epic proportions. This bird-on-bird battle pits the conference’s top two teams against one another and if it were not for Middletons loss last week to Verona, this would be a battle of unbeaten teams poised to capture conference supremacy. Despite that loss last week, Middleton can still knock Sun Prairie off the high perch and force what could very well be a four-way tie in the Big 8 with these two teams, along with Madison West and Verona. That task will be as tough of one Middleton has ever faced as the Cardinals will take on the Sun Prairie Cardinals conference leading rushing attack headlined by Donte Starlin-Merriam. In last weeks game, Middleton struggled to slow down Dom Wise and the Wildcats throughout the game on the ground which led to the eventual victory by Verona. Starlin-Merriam leads the conference with 745 yards on the ground as well as eight touchdowns on the year so Middleton may suffer yet another loss if the Cardinal defense can’t stop this young man. Much like the Verona v. Parker game, which pits the third and fourth ranked rushers in the conference against one another, this matchup features the conferences top rushers in Starlin-Merriam and Jevarious Rockmore for Middleton, who has amassed 712 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. This years game could mirror last seasons battle, which ended 17-14 in favor of Middleton thanks to a fourth quarter field goal. With both offenses leaning heavily on the run for points, look for a close, grind it out style of a game with what ever team that wins the turnover and time of possession battle coming out victorious. Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. from Middleton High School. Also check back in to the Prep Corner page for the game recap article, along with player and coaches interviews as this game is featured as the Prep Corner game of the week.
By: Tyler Zavadsky
Prep Reporter ESPN 1380
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