Each week during the high school football season, the Sports Express team will provide a list of match-ups to watch for, including our Game of the Week. Catch the highlights every Friday night on Sports Express during Newsline 9 at 10.
(7) Winneconne at (1) Nekoosa
The Papermakers are two wins away from an appearance in the Division 4 state title game following a 31-6 win over Columbus in Level 2, avenging their only loss of the season. Nekoosa is very familiar with getting this far in the season, but has been stopped in the state quarterfinals for the past three years. Luckily for the Papermakers, they get to play at home, where they have yet to lose this season. They'll host 7-seed Winneconne, a team that defeated Wautoma, 34-20, in Level 2.
(5) Stratford at (3) Amherst – GAME OF THE WEEK
This Level 3 contest is a rematch of last year's Division 5 state quarterfinals, which the Falcons won 21-14. QB Chris Zblewski threw to Ryan Makuski with 12 seconds left to advance Amherst to the state semifinals. Both of those players have since graduated but the Falcons found a new shining star in quarterback Garrett Groshek this year, who like his predecessor, Chris Zblewski, has become a dual-threat on the field. Groshek has thrown for 824 yards and passed for 1206 yards this season. He went over 100 yards in last week's 42-16 win over Westby.
Since last year's Level 3 loss to Amherst, Stratford is led by first-year head coach Jason Tubbs. The Tigers overcame a slow start in the first half, scoring 22 unanswered points en route to a 28-14 win over top-seed Arcadia. The co-Marawood champions are led by Eli Temanson on the ground. The senior has 838 yards to his name this season.
(2) Bloomer at (1) Stanley-Boyd
The winner of Amherst/Stratford awaits the victor from this game. Stanley-Boyd rallied back in the second half to defeat Fall Creek, 28-21, in level 2. Bloomer has yet to allow a point in the postseason, scoring 82 unanswered points through its first two playoff games. The top-seeded Orioles seek its first state semifinal berth since 1997.
(3) Iola-Scandinavia at (1) Shiocton
It's a CWC-8 rematch in Level 3 as the Thunderbirds look to avenge a 34-8 loss from Week 6. Iola-Scan is in the state quarterfinals following a 46-27 win over Algoma in Level 2, while Shiocton is a perfect 11-0 after a 53-6 rout over Coleman. The Thunderbirds look to senior QB Nick Wavruk, who alone has been responsible for 2,340 total offensive yards and 33 touchdowns.
(4) Pittsville vs (2) New Lisbon
The Panthers are in the state quarterfinals in their first year playing in the Division 7 tournament. Pittsville shut out Independence/Gilmanton, 18-0 in Level 2 while New Lisbon narrowly took out Loyal, 22-21, last week. The Panthers feature a strong offensive line that's allowed junior halfback Nathan Dupee to rush for 1,767 yards and 23 touchdowns this season.