For the first time since 1995, no teams from north central Wisconsin will play in Madison for the state championship. Amherst failed in its repeat bid to get to Madison after a loss to Stanley-Boyd while Pittsville lost to the defending Division 7 champions, Glenwood City.
The Falcons got off to a huge start by recovering a Stanley-Boyd fumble on its first drive of the game and then converting the turnover for a touchdown. Connor Zblewski scored three touchdowns in the first half to help Amherst to a 21-14 lead at halftime.
Stanley-Boyd took down Zblewski in Amherst's endzone to earn a safety, changing the momentum of the game. Craig Mason scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Orioles in the third quarter. Tyler Sorenson threw a 10-yard touchdown to Zach Turner in the fourth quarter to take a 28-21 lead.
Amherst couldn't convert a fourth and long on its final drive, ending the Falcons' season at an 11-2 record.
"We just couldn't capitalize. I'm gonna miss this seniors. They were Coach's last class that he started out with," Zblewski said.
"This team came a long way and you saw some of the youth tonight," Mark Lusic said.
"I'm not blaming it on that because there are no young kids anymore after a 15 game season. We came a long way as a team."
Pittsville lost to Glenwood City, 48-26, in its first semifinal appearance since 1990. Senior QB Bradley Weseley connected with Kyle Kolar for 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter to get the Panthers within two. But the Hilltoppers took a 26-12 lead into the half.
Weseley was able to tie the game up in the third quarter with long pass to Nathan Dupee, to level the contest at 26-all. But Isaac Tuttle responded for Glenwood City with a 22-yard rushing touchdown, putting the game away for the Hilltoppers.