Many high school football standouts in Wisconsin go on to big things at the college level and in the pros, and this is our spot to recognize those athletes each week and help you keep up with what is going down on some of your favorite players from the past. If you have alumni news, please send it to Colton Wilson by 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
November is here! With it has come daylight savings, college basketball, and football in the snow. This week seemed to a big bye week around college football as teams gear up for the second half of the season. The Division 2 and 3 teams therefore take center stage.
One place that didn’t see snow this past weekend, California. Not only did the Los Angeles Chargers utterly dominate our home state Green Bay Packers 26-11, but Wisconsin born Melvin Gordon broke out of his slump. Gordon, a graduate of Kenosha Bradford has had a rough go of it since coming back from his holdout earlier in the year. Sunday he took advantage of a sub-par Packer run defense, accumulating 80 rushing yards and two scores while adding 29 receiving yards. It was his first 100 yard game of the season.
The WIAC was loaded this weekend with huge performances throughout its four conference games.
First and foremost, UW-Whitewater established its dominance in the conference, staying undefeated with a 21-17 squeaker over UW-La Crosse. Wide receiver Ryan Wisniewski of Sparta High School made key catches throughout the day as he hauled in five catches for 111 yards. Ryan was named the WIAC Offensive Player of the Week.
UW-Oshkosh and UW-Platteville squared off attempting to stand alone in second place in the standings. Cumberland’s Kobe Berghammer both threw for and ran for over 100 yards, adding three total touchdowns to lead the Tritons to a 24-20 win. He threw the game winning touchdown to Waukesha West’s Peter Maccudden with 18 seconds remaining in the game. Defensively, Nick Noethe of Mount Horeb sacked the opposing quarterback twice.
Despite a 30-24 loss to UW-Stout, UW-River Falls had a pair of defenders combine for a whopping 31 tackles. Max Praschak of Somerset had a game high 16 tackles, while Ben Ertz of River Ridge recorded 15 tackles and two sacks.
Nevada Laabs didn’t have 16 tackles like Praschak did. He went above and beyond. Laabs, a Merrill High School grad, had a WIAC season high 24 tackles in Stevens Point’s 40-12 win over UW-Eau Claire. Nevada was named the WIAC Defensive Player of the Week. Donovan Lucas again was a game-changer at the returner position for the Pointers. The Brown Deer grad returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the second straight week, resulting in his second straight WIAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
South Dakota fell to Western Illinois 38-34 over the weekend, but a pair of Coyote tight ends found the end zone. Brett Samson of Oconomowoc had a team high six catches for 52 yards and a touchdown for the second straight week. Kiel’s Austin Goehring added his second ever touchdown reception for the Coyotes. On the other sideline, Beloit Turner’s Brandon Malkow has been a starter all year on the offensive line for Western Illinois.
Like the WIAC, the Northern Sun Conference was loaded with big play performances by in-state alumni over the weekend.
Bemidji State picked up a big 38-14 win over St. Cloud State behind the play of quarterback Emmett Enright and running back Makaio Harn. Enright, a Madison Memorial grad, completed 27 of 36 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns while Harn, a New London grad, rushed for 112 yards and a score. Anthony Carver of Wisconsin Lutheran hauled in 7 catches for 130 yards and a score for St. Cloud State.
Keagan Calchera got his first ever start at quarterback for Duluth as they shut out Minnesota Crookston 63-0. Calchera graduatead from Eau Claire Memorial and in his first start, threw for his first ever touchdown while adding a score on the ground, leading his team to a big shut out win.
Oak Creek’s Jakup Sinani went down with an injury in week three for Minnesota State-Moorhead and has missed the last six weeks of action. He took the reins back at quarterback and had a career day. Jakup completed 40 of 51 passes for 513 yards and four touchdowns. The completions and yards were both school records. The record breaking performance led to him being named the Northern Sun Offensive Player of the Week.
Winona State beat up on Southwest Minnesota State 41-13 over the weekend. Saint Mary’s Spring’s Clay Schueffner was making his third consecutive start and registered 11 tackles, one and a half for loss, and half a sack. Through his first three starts, Clay has 30 tackles at the linebacker position. Linebacking mate Nick Pridgeon one upped Clay on the day. The Wauwatosa East grad had a team high 12 tackles, two and a half for loss, and one and a half sacks. Nick’s performance earned him Northern Sun Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Ripon College finally busted out it’s offensive prowess in a 49-7 win over Beloit College. Almond-Bancroft’s Austin Bunders carried the ball 13 times for 143 yards and three scores while added a 69 yard receiving score. Laconia’s Cormac Madigan threw and rushed for a score while Badger’s Tyler VanDeVelde had a rushing touchdown. Defensively, Bennet Groves of Appleton West scooped up a fumble and returned it 41 yards for a defensive touchdown.
Lastly, Martin Luther has been mentioned many times this year with its rushing attack of Joshuah Kren of Wisconsin Lutheran and Austin DeNoyer of Lakeside Lutheran. This past weekend punter Micah Otto stole the show in the 49-0 win over Minnesota Morris. Otto, a Watertown Luther Prep grad, was four of four on PATs and booted three of his five kickoffs for touchbacks. The play that stole the headlines though came off of a broken play. Otto fumbled a snap on a punt midway through the third quarter and proceeded to take it around the left edge 49 yards for a score. Micah was named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week.