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8-Player Football Weekly Spotlight: September 6

09/06/2023, 11:15am CDT
By Travis Wilson

Every Wednesday during the regular season we will highlight the 8-Player Football game with a spotlight article on 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.

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Looking Back

It was another 8-player football week full of intrigue, as not only did the new top-ranked team go down, but so to did the two-time defending state champion.

Let's start with the lone matchup last week between ranked teams, as number one Thorp traveled to ninth-ranked McDonell Central. Thorp led 20-6 at halftime, but the second half belonged to McDonell Central, who got a couple third quarter touchdown runs from Dawson Moulton to go ahead and an insurance touchdown run by quarterback Grant Smiskey to seal a 30-20 victory. Moulton finished with 171 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while Smiskey threw for 227 yards in the win.

The only Saturday game on the holiday weekend schedule saw two-time defending champion Newman Catholic try to get back on track after an opening loss to Three Lakes/Phelps. A home game against Florence didn't go much better, as the Bobcats won 32-6 to send Newman Catholic to 0-2 on the season. Quarterback William Kelley accounted for 186 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in the win.

On Thursday night, Algoma and Wausaukee played a barn-burner, with Algoma rallying a couple times in the fourth quarter for a 46-44 win. More on this one in a bit.

Friday, Belmont got in the win column for the first time this year as the last year's 8-player runners-up defeated Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 38-20. The Braves ran for 354 yards as a team.

Alma Center Lincoln's Jace Paul threw for 224 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 132 yards and a score as the Hornets topped Cornell 74-0.

Clayton stayed hot to open the season, beating Phillips 38-6 without attempting a pass. The Bears ran it 37 times for 380 yards, with both Landon King and Tannar Lewis going over 100 yards.

Looking Ahead

No Thursday games on the schedule this week and just a couple on Saturday, so there's lots of traditional Friday night contests in 8-player.

There's a huge matchup of top five teams as fourth-ranked Owen-Withee hosts third-ranked McDonell Central. McDonell can't have any letdowns after defeating former number one team Thorp last week.

Speaking of Thorp, after suffering a loss last week, the Cardinals have a home game against New Auburn on Friday night.

Valley Christian (Oshkosh) is in its first year as a standalone program and the Warriors are off to a 2-0 start. They'll look to remain unbeaten on Saturday with an afternoon home game against Wonewoc/Weston.

After an exciting come-from-behind win over Wausaukee last week, Algoma gets a tough one on the road against unbeaten Gibraltar.

In an undefeated matchup, Three Lakes/Phelps will travel to Port Edwards.

Two-time defending state champion Newman Catholic is trying to get things going in the right direction after a 0-2 start, with the Cardinals traveling to Wabeno/Laona this week.

Star of the Week: Grant Vandervest, Algoma

Algoma trailed 22-0 and 36-8 in the first half of Thursday's matchup against Wausaukee, but the Wolves wouldn't go away. Four straight scores put Algoma up in the fourth quarter, but Wausaukee got a touchdown to pull ahead once again. However, Algoma would score a 46-44 win when Grant Vandervest found Tyler Challis from 13 yards out, and Vandervest connected with Parker Liscka on the ensuing two-point conversion to secure the victory. Vandervest finished with 219 passing yards and four touchdowns with another 215 yards and two scores on the ground, as he had a hand in every Algoma score. He also threw three, two-point conversions and ran for another.

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the 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)

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