Caden Nelson wasn’t going to miss this Friday night fun.
After spending much of last week’s game on the sideline with an injury, the Waunakee senior quarterback ran for a pair of touchdowns and completed four passes to lead the Warriors into the semifinals of the WIAA Division 2 state football playoffs with a 49-21 victory over previously unbeaten Hartford.
Nelson opened the scoring with a 25-yard run and added a 7-yard TD run in the second quarter, helping the Warriors (11-1) open a 21-14 halftime lead over the host Orioles (11-1).
Cole Mobley also ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and Quentin Keene threw for 76 yards and a score for Waunakee, which will meet Waukesha West (9-3) next week.
Hartford’s Jacob Frantl threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns, completing 22 of 39 passes, and also ran for an eight-yard score in the third quarter.
DeForest 52, Monroe 14
In a Division 3 quarterfinal at McFarland, the Cheesemakers (7-5) opened a 14-7 lead over the Norskies (12-0) on Nick Bansley’s second touchdown of the night, but DeForest scored twice before halftime and went on a 31-point tear in the second half to advance to a semifinal against New Berlin Eisenhower (11-1).
Alex Endres broke a 56-yard scoring run with 4:12 left before halftime, and quarterback Trey Schroeder scored from 4 yards out with 11 seconds before halftime. Monroe tried an unsuccessful onside kick to open the second half, and Endres scored on a 41-yard run.
Devin Magli then scored on a 54-yard punt return, Lane Larson ran an end-around for a 10-yard score, Trace Grundahl returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown, and Gabe Finley scored his second and third touchdowns of the game on runs of 49 and 43 yards.
River Valley 28,
Lakeside Lutheran 14
In Division 4, Brandon Springer ran for a 95-yard touchdown to break a fourth-quarter tie and the Blackhawks (10-1) added a score on a 14-yard run by quarterback Will Bailey to put away the visiting Warriors (6-5).
Logan Pampel tied the game for Lakeside Lutheran with a 1-yard run earlier in the fourth quarter.
Bailey finished with 118 yards on 15 carries and was 9-for-21 passing. Lakeside Lutheran quarterback Matt Davis scored the game’s opening touchdown but finished 12-for-30 passing with a pair of interceptions.
Lake Mills 14
In a Division 4 quarterfinal at Carroll University, the L-Cats (10-2) drew within 21-14 in the second quarter, but Alex Oechsner scored his second of three receiving touchdowns to make it 28-14 at halftime and the Crusaders (10-2) rolled.
Adam Moen threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Matthew Johnson and scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter. Oechsner caught TD passes of 69, 12 and six yards, and Allen Obacoso ran for two second-half scores for Memorial.