ESPN Madision

D-IV State Championship Preview

Nov 14, 2012 -- 2:17pm

D-IV State Championship Features Big Foot vs. Somerset

            The road to Madison has finally come to an end for 14 teams that set off on a journey way back in August in hopes to raise that gold ball trophy at the end of the year.

            Both the Big Foot Chiefs and the Somerset Spartans will be fighting for the chance at immortality and everlasting memories on Thursday night at 7 p.m. from Camp Randall Stadium.

            Big Foot this year has completely dominated the competition week in and week out on the Chiefs way to a perfect 12-0 mark on the season.

            Much of the Chiefs success can be attributed to one young man, Mason Dixon, the Big Foot running back that was just named the Offensive Player of the Year Award winner in the state of Wisconsin and the Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch Award winner this week for the state’s top running back of the season.

            Dixon has racked up 2,080 yards and 40 touchdowns this season on only 168 carries for an average of 12.4 yards per carry. Another impressive stat, Dixon is averaging a touchdown every 4.2 carries, something defenses have become all too familiar with.

            But just like every elite running back has ever said, he gives all of his credit to the his offensive line that appears to be more like a collegian line than a high school offensive line.

            Just last week, against semifinal opponent Freedom, Dixon rushed for 289 yards on 38 carries and five touchdowns on the teams way to a 45-22 victory that punched the Chiefs ticket to Madison.

            Quarterback Carter Hehr has also had a fabulous season both passing the football, running when needed, and also in the return game where he has struck quickly on kick returns a handful of times this season.

            This offense all year long has not taken the foot off of the gas en route to scoring 49.2 points per game and having 19 touchdowns on 1,260 total passing yards and 63 total rushing touchdowns on 3,803 yards.

            The Chiefs defense is also an integral part to this team that makes them the favorite in this contest. Big Foot has allowed over 13 points in just five of 12 games this season and has allowed just one opponent, Freedom last week, to score over 13 points in the first half.

            Much of the points given up by this defense have in fact come in the second half of ball games when the contest is already well in hand. The Chiefs also add four shutouts to the teams resume and hope to add a fifth this Thursday night.

            On the other sideline, the Somerset Spartans have also had an impressive run to Madison this year.

            Relying heavily on the teams rushing attack, the Spartans have amassed 4,046 rushing yards on the season with 46 total touchdowns on the ground while averaging 33.6 points per game.

            Led by quarterback Tyler Ledbeter and running back Vernon Breault, the Spartans have perfected the wing-T option running game on offence en route to 11 wins and just one loss to Durand nearly a month and a half ago.

            Much like Big Foot, Somerset has blown out opponents this year and many of the teams games have been over by halftime. In 10 of the teams 12 games, the opposition has scored eight points or under in the first half, and in total the Spartans have had four shutouts of their own, matching the mark by the Chiefs.  The Spartans have also held opponents under 13 points seven times this year and in two other contests the opposition scored just 14 points.

            This matchup pits two teams very similar in style up against each other for the state championship. While the two run different offenses, they each rely heavily on the rushing attack to pile on the points and employ two of the top defenses in all of D-IV football to keep opponents out of the end zone.      

            With that being said, I still anticipate a lopsided affair in favor of Big Foot. This team all season has never apologized to anyone regarding the Chiefs dominance on the field and I do not expect them to hold back at all in this game.

            Dixon, a senior, wants yet another ring to add to the one he put on his hand in 2009 and to end his high school career both on top as a rusher, but also on top as a champion.

            Prediction:  Big Foot Chiefs: 48  Somerset Spartans: 21

                 ALSO, LOOK TO TUNE INTO THIS GAME ON OUR COUSIN STATION, ESPN FM 100.5 IN MADISON. GABE NEITZEL AND MYSELF WILL HAVE THE CALL STARTING AT JUST BEFORE 7 P.M. FROM CAMP RANDALL.

By: Tyler Zavadsky    Twitter: TylerZonESPN

ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter

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