GAMES OF THE WEEK
Waunakee (12-0) vs. Brookfield Central (11-1)
at Oconomowoc, 7 p.m. Friday
In last year’s Division 2 final at Camp Randall Stadium, Brookfield Central controlled the first three quarters against Waunakee, taking a 13-0 lead into the fourth. But the Warriors used a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter — and a missed extra-point kick in the second quarter — to turn the tide and pull out a 14-13 victory. They will meet again on Friday night, and this time only one will make it back to Camp Randall.
Two weeks ago, Waunakee needed an 80-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Wulf to Sawyer Maly in the fourth quarter to pull out a 23-20 win over DeForest. But coach Pat Rice’s Warriors looked all but invincible last week, rolling to a 33-7 victory over previously unbeaten Monona Grove as Wulf threw for 269 yards and four touchdowns. That brought his season totals to 2,311 passing yards, with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions, on a 77.1-percent completion rate. Maly has caught 50 passes for 1,169 yards and 13 scores, and Will Ross has 760 yards rushing and 17 TDs. Defensive lineman Reed Ryan (6-4, 225) and Central lineman Alec Mejchar (6-6, 230) will do battle in the trenches.
Coach Jed Kennedy’s Brookfield Central team suffered a 28-22 loss in Week 6 to Division 1 semifinalist Milwaukee Marquette. Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing, with only two other games decided by less than 24 points. Senior quarterback Drew Leszczynski, back for a second year as the Lancers’ starter, has thrown for 1,554 yards and 17 touchdowns. Returning receiver Julian Banda has 50 catches for 760 yards. Central’s power attack produces more than 286 yards rushing per game, led by junior Rashad Lampkin (1,986 yards rushing; 28 touchdowns). Junior linebacker Peter Murray has 94 tackles and senior defensive back Connor Kolb has 90 stops for a defense that allows averages of 100 yards and 11 points per game.
Lakeside Lutheran (11-1) vs.
Racine St. Catherine’s (12-0)
at Waukesha North, 7 p.m. Friday
Lakeside, enjoying its deepest WIAA playoff run in 14 appearances, is out to earn its first finals berth, in Division 4. Coach Paul Bauer’s team lost in Week 3 to Division 5 finalist (and 2017 runner-up) Hartland Lake Country Lutheran, and rolled to a 45-14 win over Edgerton last week. Led by Casey Ponyicsanyi, the rushing attack has cranked out an average of 245 yards rushing per game, and Jack Monis has passed for 660 yards.
St. Catherine’s is trying to earn its first finals berth after semifinal losses in 2007 and 2014. The Angels cruised through the Metro Classic season with only one victory coming by a single-digit margin. Da’Shaun Brown rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 117 more yards and a score and returned a kick 90 yards for a TD in a 48-35 win over Greendale Martin Luther last week.
BEST OF THE REST
Kimberly (11-1) vs. Fond du Lac (12-0)
at UW-Oshkosh, 7 p.m. Friday
Kimberly beat Fond du Lac in a Division 1 quarterfinal last year 28-21 for the 68th victory in what became a 70-game winning streak when the Papermakers beat Sun Prairie in the title game. But when the teams meet on Friday night it will be a rematch of their non-conference season opener from this year. In that game, the Cardinals ended the Papermakers’ winning streak with a 32-29 victory on a field goal in the final seconds.
Muskego (12-0) vs.
Milwaukee Marquette (12-0)
at Hartland Arrowhead, 7 p.m. Friday
Muskego's run-oriented attack has produced a pair of 1,200-yard rushers (John Reiske and Alex Current) with 31 touchdowns between them. Marquette survived four close calls during the Greater Metro Conference season and has gotten 1,657 yards rushing and 24 TDs from Daeleon Brown-Williams and 1,454 passing yards from Leo Briscoe.
Waukesha Catholic Memorial (11-1)
vs. New Berlin Eisenhower (12-0)
at Wales Kettle Moraine, 7 p.m. Friday
Eisenhower stopped Catholic Memorial 7-0 in a Division 3 quarterfinal last year on its way to a runner-up finish to Rice Lake (which will take on West De Pere in the other Division 3 semifinal). The Lions’ defense has yielded averages of 7.1 points and 152 yards per game. Catholic Memorial is looking for its fifth finals berth since 2010, led by 2,081-yard passer Luke Fox.
Lancaster (9-3) vs. Racine Lutheran (10-2)
at Elkhorn, 7 p.m. Friday
Lancaster, which played in four consecutive state finals from 2011 to '14 and won in '14, is back for more. The Flying Arrows avenged a season-opening loss to Fennimore with a 21-14 win last week. Racine Lutheran, which knocked off previously unbeaten Cambridge 41-21 last week, has gotten 1,847 yards rushing from Tyler Tenner.
Bangor (11-1) vs. Black Hawk (11-0)
at Middleton, 7 p.m. Friday
Last year, Bangor wrapped up a perfect season by rolling to a 37-14 victory over Black Hawk in the Division 7 championship game. This year, Bangor doesn’t seem quite so invincible, thanks to a 21-6 loss to Potosi/Cassville in Week 7, but the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by a combined 169-21 since then. Black Hawk has beaten Potosi/Cassville twice this year, by a one-touchdown margin each time.