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Aquinas has certainly gotten a boost this year with the move from the Mississippi Valley Conference, where they were a quarter the size of some schools, to the SWAL. A 14-0 shutout of D6 #6 Darlington has the Blugolds at 5-1 on the year and unbeaten in league play. Aiden Lee opened the scoring for Aquinas with a 12-yard run in the first quarter, as Gavin Wetzel hit Mason Viner in the fourth to ice it away, and the defense did the rest in the shutout win. Aquinas has clinched its first playoff berth since the 2012 season.
Cumberland remained in the hunt for a Heart O'North Conference title, handing Bloomer its first loss of the year. While the Beavers led a couple different times in the first three quarters, Bloomer would take a 28-20 lead in the fourth quarter. Cumberland would tie things up at 28 when Milan Monchilovich scored from nine yards out, and the teams would head to overtime. There, Jack Martens caught a nine-yard scoring pass from Maddux Allen for the game-winner in a 34-28 victory. Allen would complete 24-of-29 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the game, though he did throw a pair of interceptions as well. Martens hauled in 19 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Martens' 19 receptions ties for second-most in state history, as he now leads the state this season in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Hartford slayed the dragon that is the Homestead Highlanders, eeking out a 21-18 victory in a game that ended close to midnight after a lengthy weather delay. Jacob Frantl threw three touchdown passes and the defense recorded a pair of interceptions to do just enough to outlast the Highlanders. With the win, Hartford is alone in first place in the North Shore Conference with three games to play, and has a shot to end Homestead's 18-year run of securing at least a share of the league title.
In a matchup of unbeaten, ranked Division 7 teams out of the Trailways-Small, the Lourdes Knights raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back in a 38-21 victory over Randolph to take control of the league race. The Knights offense was nearly perfect, as quarterback Joshua Bauer completed seven-of-nine passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns and the running game churned out 362 yards and three scores on 47 rush attempts. The defense was excellent, limiting the Rockets to 223 yards of offense, as Randolph scored twice in the final minute of the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Racine Park made a big-time statement and took a big step towards ending a ten-year playoff drought with a 12-0 shutout of crosstown rival Racine Horlick. Horlick has been one of the Southeast Conference's best teams over the last few years, advancing to Level 3 of the playoffs last year and beating Park 41-6 in last season's head-to-head meeting. This time around, Park's defense was up to the challenge, as senior Northern Illinois recruit Raishein Thomas recorded three sacks while Ricky Canady had a team-high 13 tackles with an interception. While Canady threw three interceptions, he also led the team with 56 rushing yards and scored the only offensive touchdown, as the other Panthers' score came on the opening kickoff when Terry Gamble returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.
Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.
For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.