The Dave Krieg Award is given annually to the state's top senior quarterback as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards. The award is named after former D.C. Everest and Milton College athlete Dave Krieg, who went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL and still ranks in the Top 15 all-time in most passing categories.
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 18 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
Dave Krieg Award Finalists:
Max Alba, Franklin - Alba has started full-time the last two seasons after seeing his first action as a sophomore. He led the Sabers to a state runner-up finish last year, throwing for 2,544 yards and 29 touchdowns in 11 games. He's been just as good this season, with 2,259 yards and 25 touchdowns, adding six rushing scores. A Division 1 prospect on the gridiron, he chose to sign with North Carolina for baseball. "I think he is the best quarterback in the state," said head coach Louis Brown.
Ben Dunkleberger, Lake Mills - A four-year varsity performer, Dunkleberger played primarily as a receiver his first two years before switching to quarterback last season. He posted one of the most prolific seasons in state history, passing for 3,246 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 792 and 18 scores. Somehow he's increased his production this season, with 2,777 yards and 36 touchdowns in 11 games, adding 1,416 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground. Dunkleberger holds offers from Western Illinois, Navy, Bemidji State, and Minnesota State.
Cade Garcia, Whitefish Bay - Garcia stepped in as the starter last year, putting up big numbers en route to First Team All-Conference recognition. As a junior, he threw for 2,558 yards and 26 touchdowns, with a 99.1 passer rating. He's been even better as a senior, completing 60.7% of his passes for 2,547 yards and 30 touchdowns 11 games, with a passer rating of 117.5. He's added 399 yards and five scores on the ground. "Cade is the best quarterback I have been around," said head coach Jake Wolter. "Not only does he have all the required skill to be a dominant player, he possesses a collegiate mindset when preparing and analyzing our opponents. Cade has full command and control of the offense."
Jonah Kahl, Turtle Lake - Playing in a small school in northern Wisconsin, Kahl has been a bit under the radar, but the senior has been at the top of the passing leaders all season. In ten games, he leads the state with 3,430 passing yards and 45 touchdowns, scoring eight more touchdowns on the ground. His passing yardage total puts him fifth in state history, while his 45 touchdowns are third-most. A four-year starter, his 7,453 career yards is seventh all-time, with his 87 career passing touchdowns placing him third.
Alec Ogden, Monona Grove - Ogden showed flashes as a sophomore, then really took over as one of the state's most dominant players last season, helping the Silver Eagles to a Division 2 runner-up finish with 3,074 passing yards and 35 touchdowns against just three interceptions, for an incredible 134.2 passer rating. He added 623 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground for good measure. He's managed to top last season as a senior, guiding MG to an 11-1 record. His passer rating is up to 136.3, as he completed 67.5% of his passes for 2,682 yards and 33 touchdowns. He had 707 rushing yards, with 12 scores.
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