The WSN Team of the Week is back again for 2020. Voting is featured at the bottom of the article. Voting is open until Thursday at 4 p.m., so be sure to vote for who you feel is most deserving and spread the word (hint: Social Media is a great way to do so). Users may vote once per day.
Waterford shared the Southern Lakes Conference title with Wilmot last season, but Burlington was expected to make a strong push in 2020. Sure enough, the Demons strongly announced their presence with a 35-9 win over Waterford on Friday night. Despite the points scored, it was a challenge for Burlington's offense at times, as the team averaged just 3.1 yards per rush attempt, though Peyton O'Laughlin threw for 84 yards and two touchdowns, while Zach Wallace added a 46-yard halfback pass. The defense came to play in a big way. Two of the Demons' scores came via interception nreturns, as Brendan Welka did the honors in the second quarter and Danny Kniep capped things off late in the game.
Ellsworth has big plans in 2020, as the Panthers feel they are ready to challenge at the top of the Middle Border Conference. To do so means going through Saint Croix Central, who has been one of the top programs in the league the last several years. Twice trailing by nine points in the second half, Ellsworth stayed the course and rallied to claim a 26-22 victory when Mason Anderson hit Ryan Matzek for a four-yard score with 3:15 left in the game. Anderson finished with 283 yards and three touchdowns while completing 10-of-14 passes. Jack Janke hauled in six of those for 178 yards and two scores, while Shane Lange ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on just four attempts.
Menomonee Falls was scheduled to play Sussex Hamilton, but late in the week, it was determined that matchup would not occur. Falls was able to quickly secure a marquee matchup with Catholic Memorial, setting the stage for a #1 versus #1 showdown. Division 2 top-ranked Menomonee Falls controlled things throughout in a 34-7 victory, despite getting out-gained 279-203. The defense recorded three interceptions while holding CMH quarterbacks to 13-of-38 passing. Falls' own quarterback, senior Nate McLean, was outstanding, completing seven-of-14 passes for 112 yards and a score. Tyler Olejniczak ground out 70 yards on the ground, scoring three times.
The last time we saw the Stratford Tigers in 2019 they were walking off with a bittersweet Division 5 state runner-up trophy after a 22-13 loss to Lake Country Lutheran ended one of the most dominating seasons in state history. The Tigers started 2-0 this season, but got their first significant test in Week 3 with a game at Spencer/Columbus Catholic. The teams met twice each of the past two years despite being in different conferences, but this year they are both in the CWC-Large. It was a slugfest, as neither team scored in the first half. Stratford slowly chipped away and got the running game going in the second half, pulling away for a 28-0 win over the sixth-ranked team in Division 5. The third-ranked Tigers got 168 rushing yards from Beau Gross, as Max Vanderhoof added 104 yards and two touchdowns through the air as well. The defense limited Spencer/Columbus Catholic to just 85 yards of offense in the game.
The North Shore Conference is consistently one of the best in the state, and that is especially true once again in 2020. Hartford unseated Homestead as the top team last year, and after beating the Highlanders in Week 2, Hartford had a shot to consolidate power even more in Week 3 against fellow unbeaten Whitefish Bay, the top-ranked team in Division 3. The Blue Dukes would not have that, getting a nine-yard Grover Bortolotti touchdown run late in the first quarter, as the 7-0 score held up and sent Bay to the victory and first place in the league. Bortolotti would finish with 170 of the team's 221 rushing yards, while the defense limited Hartford to just 26 yards on the ground.
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.