Every Wednesday during the regular season we will highlight the 8-Player Football game with a spotlight article on WisSports.net. We'll look back at the action and big stories from the previous week, look ahead at the coming week's big match-ups, and select a Star of the Week.
8-Player coaches, please enter player stats on WSN so that we can continue having the necessary information to produce this weekly spotlight of your game, and feel free to send any news or information to us as well.
The 8-player football season got underway last week, with most of the top teams taking care of business. The top five teams in the initial WisSports.net Coaches Poll all won, including top-ranked Gilman, who shutout Tri-County 41-0 on Thursday.
Several teams experienced their first-ever 8-player action in Week 1. Both Thorp and Lake Holcombe are new to the group this year, and the teams played an uncharacteristically low-scoring game for 8-player, as Thorp won 6-0. Elsewhere, Athens showed they will be one of the best teams in the state with a 36-0 shutout of Owen-Withee.
There were a couple one-score games on Friday night, including Clayton defeating Wausau East 29-28. Greenwood was a 17-16 winner over New Auburn.
The best game of the week might have been the only Saturday contest, as Saint Mary Catholic/Valley Christian rallied from a 34-12 fourth quarter deficit to defeat Wisconsin Heights 36-34.
One game was even bumped to Monday due to storms on Friday night, with Flambeau topping Almond-Bancroft 32-30.
There are no ranked matchups in Week 2 of the 8-player season, though there remain some very compelling matchups.
Perhaps chief among them is Wisconsin Heights at Belmont. While Heights lost in Week 1 to Saint Mary Catholic, the Vanguards were the top-ranked team that played in the spring. Belmont was the top-ranked team that played in the fall.
Action actually gets underway Thursday with ten games on the docket. Wabeno/Laona started its Week 1 game with Green Bay NEW Lutheran/Oneida before having to cancel due to storms. The Rebels give it another shot for their first game with a home contest at Wabeno against Gillett.
Friday night, Greenwood will look to improve after narrowly getting past New Auburn in Week 1. The Indians travel to McDonell Central this week. Shell Lake and Chequamegon is another quality matchup on the schedule.
Saint Mary Catholic found itself down 34-12 entering the fourth quarter against Wisconsin Heights, the state's top team from the spring season. The Zephyrs did not flinch, however, and it paid off big-time. After throwing a pick-six earlier in the game, junior quarterback Danny Griffith was clutch in the fourth quarter, throwing three touchdown passes (with two, two-point conversion throws and a two-point run as well) to rally Saint Mary Catholic for a 36-34 win. For the game, Griffith completed 25-of-31 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns, adding a team-high 50 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.