Big 8 Playoff Recap From Round 1
#8 Madison Memorial Spartans @ #1 Sun Prairie Cardinals
In the only matchup featuring two Big 8 teams squaring off in round one of the playoffs, the Sun Prairie Cardinals continued to assert dominance into the playoff push. The final score of 45-20 is not necessarily a true indication of how this game went. By the midway point of the third quarter, the score stood at 45-0 as the Cardinals sent in both the second team offense and defense to close out the game. Three unanswered scores late in the game by the Spartans erased the Cardinals hopes for a round one shutout but by all intensive purposes, the Cardinals essentially earned that feat. The game started out with a Donte Starlin-Merriam 12-yard touchdown run, followed by a safety on a muffed punt by the Spartans, and then Sun Prairie added another touchdown run by doing their best Chicago Bears impression by sending big defensive tackle Craig Evans into the game and handing the ball off to him for a one yard touchdown to make the score 16-0 early in the game. Then two touchdown runs by Aaron Fischer and one touchdown run by both Vernon Mems and James Stewart later, the game was well in hand for the Cardinals at 45-0. The Spartans added the three late scores on pass plays of 68-yards, 62-yards, and 60-yards to close out the Memorial season. Joe Ferguson struggled all game long against the state’s stingiest defense but eventually found the end zone with his first touchdown throw of the night to Daurice Fountain for the 68-yard score. Then Ferguson found Ra Quan Cunnigan for the 62-yard score followed by the 60-yard touchdown to end the game to Jester Weah. Sun Prairie advances to the second round of the Wisconsin State Playoffs and will face Madison West this Friday evening.
#5 Mukwonago Indians @ #4 Madison West Regents
The Madison West Regents faced the first non conference opponent of the year in round one of the playoffs as the Mukwonago Indians came into Madison. West was unfazed by the lack of familiarity and sent the Indians home early in the playoffs with a 22-7 victory. Quarterback Alex Brown accounted for three touchdowns in the game and started the evening off with a 29-yard touchdown run to get things going. Brown then continued to play exceptional football and found Christian Graf for two touchdowns through the air. Both touchdown passes came in the second quarter, with the first coming on a 12-yard pass and the second coming on a 25-yard throw down the sidelines to Graf in the end zone. A field goal by Jonathan Moralles in the third quarter put the game at 22-0 but the Indians would add a late fourth quarter score on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Nixon to Kyle King. The game would end with the final score of 22-7 as the Madison West Regents will advance to take on the #1 ranked team in the bracket, the Sun Prairie Cardinals, this Friday night.
#6 Middleton Cardinals @ #3 Sussex Hamilton Chargers
The Middleton Cardinals had no answer for one of the top rushers in the state as Hamilton running back Drew Patterson and the Chargers completely dominated the helpless Cardinals, 44-9. Patterson, who is fourth in the state in rushing yardage with 1,797 rushing yards, finished this contest with 299 yards rushing and three touchdowns before the game was over. All together, the Chargers finished with 455 rushing yards as a team and completely controlled the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively. Two of Patterson’s touchdown runs came on plays of 60-yards or longer. The second of three touchdown runs for the Charger was a 61-yard run late in the third quarter to extend the Hamilton lead to 37-9 with just over a minute remaining in the quarter. Patterson’s final score was an 81-yard rush with five minutes remaining in the game that effectively nailed the coffin shut on the Cardinals playoff run and season. Middleton all year long struggled against teams that focused on running the ball and playing sound defense, something the Cardinals themselves struggled to do at times. Middleton started the season 4-0, but closed the season out with a 1-4 record including this loss in the playoffs and will have to live with this embarrassing loss throughout the winter. Hamilton advances to the second round of the playoffs and will have to travel to Verona to take on the Wildcats this Friday to face a team that is very similar in style of play.
#7 Oconomowoc Raccoons @ #2 Verona Wildcats
In the closest contest in the first round of the playoffs featuring a Big 8 team, the Verona Wildcats jumped on the Oconomowoc Raccoons early and often to take a 23-0 lead into the fourth quarter, where Oconomowoc added two late scores. Wildcat quarterback John Tackett had the first touchdown of the game on a 14-yard keeper for the score but the extra point would fail. Derrick Witte added a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter and the score after one was 9-0. Verona running back Dom Wise finished the game with 199 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns as well. The first of his touchdowns came in the second quarter on a two-yard run to extend the lead for the Wildcats to 16-0 at the half. The second Wise touchdown was a 27-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and was the final Verona score of the game. The ‘Coonies did not give up however and scored two late touchdowns on two Chris Church touchdown runs, one of five-yards and one of six-yards. The game would end in a 23-13 victory for the Wildcats thanks in large part to the dominance this team exhibited on the ground. Verona out gained Oconomowoc 367-95 yards rushing while also forcing two key interceptions in the game to win the all important turnover battle. Verona will now advance on to face Sussex Hamilton in a battle that may be one of the more exciting contests throughout the entire state of Wisconsin in round two of the playoffs this Friday.
Look for the round two preview article later on in the week right here on espn1380.com on the Prep Corner page.
By:Tyler Zavadsky Twitter: @TylerZonESPN
Prep Reporter ESPN 1380
Return to: Prep Corner Blog