HS Football – Division 3 and 4 playoff previews

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8) Hayward (3-6) vs. 1) Rice Lake (7-2)
(Friday at 7 P.M.)

The Hurricanes made the playoffs after finishing the season 3-6, and 3-4 in the Heart O’North. They are led on the ground by junior running back Nate Sorenson (1,396 yards, 12 TD), along with senior quarterback Craig Burger (1,317 total yards, 18 TD). Hayward has been outscored by their opponents this season 329-233, and are averaging 25.9 points/game offensively.

The Warriors are ready to defend their Division 3 title from last season, and finished the regular season at 7-2 and tied in second in the Big Rivers. Senior quarterback Peyton Buckley (1,472 total yards, 24 TD) orchestrates the offense under center, and has dangerous weapons in senior running back DeAirus Clerveaux (1,119 total yards, 15 TD) and his twin brother running back Marquez Clerveaux (566 yards, 4 TD). Rice Lake has outscored their opponents this season 349-255, and average 38.8 points/game offensively.

6) La Crosse Logan (4-5) vs. 3) New Richmond (5-4)
(Friday at 7 P.M.)

The Rangers finished the regular season on a two-game winning-streak to get into the playoffs at 4-5. Senior running back Damond Butler (890 yards, 9 TD) paces Logan on the ground, while junior Harper Jankowski (65 tackles, 4 sacks) anchors the Ranger defense. They have outscored their opponents this season 206-190, and average 22.9 points/game offensively.

After losing their first four games of the season, New Richmond is red-hot winning five straight going into the postseason. The Tigers have a balanced attack on offense, averaging just over 130 yards/game passing and just under 120 yards/game rushing. They have been outscored by their opponents this season 208-203, averaging 22.6 points/game on offense.


8) Adams-Friendship (4-5) vs. 1) Saint Croix Central (9-0)
(Friday at 7 P.M.)

The Green Devils finished the regular season 4-5 overall, and are out of the South Central conference. Senior quarterback Cole Lamont (1,878 yards, 20 TD) is a player to watch, and has spread the wealth as Braedyn Quinnell, Logan Smith, Tucker Kasten, and Teagan Kotlowski all have at least four touchdown catches. Adams-Friendship was outscored by their opponents this season 228-174, and average 19.3 points/game offensively.

Saint Croix Central finished the regular season 9-0, winning another Middle Border championship and ranked number one all season. The Panthers are led on the ground by senior running back Ryan Larson (929 yards, 19 TD), senior quarterback Austin Kopacz (922 yards, 16 TD), and senior running back Keagen Berg (809 yards, 10 TD). They outscored their opponents this season 409-67, averaging 45.4 points/game offensively.

7) Ellsworth (3-6) vs. 2) Northwestern (9-0)
(Friday at 7 P.M.)

Ellsworth comes into the playoffs with a 58-20 win over Prescott in week nine, and 3-6 overall. They are led on the ground by senior running back Sawyer Hamilton (540 yards, 8 TD), while senior linebacker Wyatt Hines (81 tackles, 1 sack) anchors the defense. Ellsworth has been outscored by their opponents this season 261-188, and average 20.9 points/game offensively.

Northwestern won the Heart O’North championship, and finished the regular season a perfect 9-0. University of Minnesota Duluth committ senior running back Reagan Ruffi (1,424 yards, 28 TD) is a handful on the ground, while senior running back Trevor Janowicz (547 yards, 9 TD) is also dangerous in the backfield. The Tigers have outscored their opponents this season 429-145, averaging 47.7 points/game offensively.

6) Baldwin-Woodville (5-4) vs. 3) West Salem (6-3)
(Friday at 7 P.M.)

Baldwin-Woodville finished their regular season with a 19-7 win over Amery, to help them move to 5-4 overall and make the playoffs. Senior linebacker Andrew Klopp (84 tackles, 1.5 sacks) helps anchor the defense, while senior running back Jake Lindquist is a weapon on the ground. They have been outscored by their opponents this season 150-44, averaging 16 points/game.

The Panthers finished the regular season 6-3, and are on on two-game losing streak heading into the playoffs. Senior running back Brendan Holt and junior running back Therrick Roberts have combined for over 20 touchdowns in the backfield, while senior defensive tackle/linebacker Joseph Hess (52 tackles, 3.5 sacks) has helped lead the defense. West Salem has outscored their opponents this season 197-120, averaging 21.9 points/game offensively.

Collin Talbert

Collin Talbert

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