Big 8 Round 2 Review
#4 Madison West Regents @ #1 Sun Prairie Cardinals
In the second round contest between two Big 8 opponents, the Sun Prairie Cardinals continued to assert dominance on the conference and defeated the Madison West Regents, 40-21. Early in the contest, the game was up for grabs but the conference champion, and number one ranked team in Group C of the D-I playoffs, took over in the second quarter and never looked back. Cardinal defensive tackle Craig Evans did his best impersonation of William “The Refrigerator” Perry and ran for two scores in the ball game. The first score came on Sun Prairie’s opening drive when Evans punched it in from one yard out that finished off a methodical, dominant drive in which the Cardinals completely controlled the line of scrimmage on every play of the drive.
The Regents would respond with a score of their own on a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Brown to wide receiver Terrell McFadden who executed a magical double move that left the cornerback in the dust. The score was tied after touchdowns by both teams but Sun Prairie would quickly begin to establish a lead that would not be relinquished throughout the contest.
Sun Prairie answered the Regent touchdown pass with two back-to-back scores on a 63-yard touchdown connection between Ryan Curran and Michael Marchese and on a three-yard touchdown run by running back Donte Starlin-Merriam to extend the Cardinal lead to 20-7 with eight minutes to go in the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff after the Starlin-Merriam touchdown, Regent return man Marquise Pollard gave Madison West the teams second score of the game on a 97-yard kickoff return after reversing field several times during the run back. But in classic Cardinal fashion, Sun Prairie would eventually answer back a few possessions later on the second Evans touchdown run, this time from two yards out. Heading into the half, Sun Prairie led 27-14.
The second half was ruled by the Cardinals as Curran added two more scores through the air as he found Starlin-Merriam on an eight-yard touchdown pass and Devan Ziegel for a five yard score through the air as well. After three, the Cardinals led 40-14 and the game was all but over.
West would not give up however and added one last score on a 41-yard touchdown run by Brown on a quarterback draw up the middle but the Cardinals would run down the clock to end the game shortly after.
Now, Sun Prairie will advance to the third round of the playoffs and play the Verona Wildcats for the second time this season this Friday evening at home.
#3 Sussex Hamilton Chargers @ #2 Verona Wildcats
This second round game featured two of the best rushers in the entire state of Wisconsin. Dom Wise of Verona and Drew Patterson of Hamilton duked it out all night long, albeit not directly against one another, for the win as Wise and his Wildcats would advance on in the playoffs after a 35-28 victory over the Chargers.
Wise finished the game with 279-yards on 33 carries along with four touchdown runs while Patterson ran for 172-yards on 36 carries and two touchdowns while also adding a touchdown on a 99-yard kickoff return as well.
Sussex Hamilton opened with the first score of the game on one of Patterson’s touchdown runs but Wise and the Wildcats would answer right back with a 27-yard score. These two teams went back and forth all night long as every Hamilton score prompted a Verona score right afterwards. At the half, Hamilton led 28-21 as Patterson rushed for 126-yards and his 99-yard kickoff return in the first half to give the Chargers the lead. But in the second half Verona held Patterson to just 46-yards on 14 carries which ended up to be the difference in the ball game.
In the second half, Verona did all the scoring with the final two of Wise’s four touchdowns on the night with one coming in each of the third and fourth quarter on a 58-yard run and a 17-yard run respectively.
Hamilton would get one last chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter after the Wildcats took the 35-28 lead, but Verona recovered a fumble in the final minutes of the game and ran the clock out for the win. The Wildcats will now take on the Sun Prairie Cardinals, a team that defeated Verona 27-7 in week one this season en route to capturing the conference crown which the Cardinals took away from the Wildcats this year.
Look for the preview article featuring the Verona Wildcats traveling to Sun Prairie to take on the Cardinals in round three of the Wisconsin State Playoffs later in the week.
By: Tyler Zavadsky Twitter: @TylerZonESPN
Prep Reporter ESPN 1380
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