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Spring Valley shared the Dunn-St. Croix title last year, and opened with a tough game against Lakeland-North favorite Unity. The game was close throughout, as the teams were never separated by more than one score. Unity tied the game early in the fourth quarter, but Nathan Fesenmaier would find the end zone from 39 yards out a short time later on what proved to be the game-winning score in a 28-21 Spring Valley victory. Fesenmaier finished with 22 carries for 195 yards and a touchdown, adding five tackles on defense.
Martin Luther was a run-dominant team last year, relying heavily on now-graduated All-State running back Darios Crawley-Reid. The Spartans broke out the passing game to great success in a 35-21 win last Thursday over Greenfield, a team expected to challenge for the Woodland-East crown. Junior Brady Hoppert saw his first significant time at the quarterback spot and was outstanding, completing 16-of-23 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, adding 23 rushing yards as well.
A third rematch in the state from last year's state semi-finals, Lake Country Lutheran took on defending Division 5 state champion Saint Mary's Springs on Saturday night at Fruth Field in Fond du Lac. Springs has knocked the Lightning out of the playoffs several times over the years, and been a thorn in the side of head coach Greg Brazgel and company. It was a perfect start to things for LCL, who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and would never trail in the game, going on to claim a 21-14 victory. Schumacher would add to the lead in the second quarter, catching a one-yard touchdown from Luke Haertle. The lead was 14 points at halftime, but just as they did in the first half, Lake Country Lutheran scored on the opening kickoff of the second half, this time when Springs fumbled and Schumacher scooped it up and raced 20 yards for a touchdown. Schumacher was all over the field on defense, recording 22 tackles, including 14 solo stops, to go with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. He also kicked all three extra points and punted four times for 140 yards.
Kiel, the champions of the Eastern Wisconsin Conference last year, traveled to defending MONLPC-Large champion Kewaunee for a game between a pair of teams ranked in the WSN off-season rankings. Hunter Scharenbroch impacted the game in every facet. He opened things with a 67-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then added two more long scores in the second, a 93-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard touchdown catch. Scharenbroch finished his day with a 28-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, as Kiel went on to win 49-21. He finished with three catches for 150 yards and three scores, two rushes for nine yards, one interception on defense, and 103 kick return yards with a score.
Medford has designs on challenging for the Great Northern Conference title this year, and they certainly made a statement with a 14-0 shutout of a Rice Lake team that has been to at least the state semi-finals in Division 3 the past three seasons. Senior running back Ean Wilson accounted for both Medford touchdowns, scoring on a pair of short runs in the first half. A returning Second Team All-Conference selection who led the league in rushing last year, Wilson finished with 139 yards and two scores on 31 carries. He added a ten-yard reception as well.
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