We are down to level 3 in each division and there are a few surprising teams still left in the mix. Let’s take a look at the biggest underdogs throughout this week’s Friday night matchups:
Division 1: #6 Appleton North
Appleton North is not your typical #6 seed. This team is coming into Bay Port with a 9-2 overall record and a 17-0 shutout win against #2 Hudson last week. While they aren’t putting up a large number of points, Appleton North has outscored their opponents 30-0 in the first two levels of the playoffs. The Bay Port battle won’t be easy, but Appleton North’s losses are to quality opponents. They came in weeks four and five against Kimberly (17-0) and Neenah (21-10). Kimberly is currently the #3 seed in the playoffs, coming off of a 29-28 thriller over #2 Neenah last Friday.
Luke Kritzer has a 9-7 TD-INT ratio on the season, but he’s completed 120 passes for 1284 yards. He isn’t afraid to use his legs also, sitting second on the team in rushing with 363 yards. Jack Robinson is the lead back, having 62 more carries than Kritzer along with roughly 200 more yards. Bay Port will be fully aware that the touchdowns seemingly always fall in Jeremy Nelson’s hands as he has five of the teams twelve rushing touchdowns. Caden Popp is by far the biggest receiving threat with 35 receptions for 472 yards and seven of the teams nine receiving touchdowns. Brock Arndt leads the team defensively with an even 100 total tackles, ten of which being for a loss. While Brock Salm has half as many tackles, he has a team leading four interceptions, one of which being a pick-six.
Their Opponent: Bay Port (11-0 Overall — Defeated #8 De Pere 42-14 and #4 Wausau West 35-14)
Division 2: #6 Burlington
Burlington has a more standard record for a #6 seed, sitting at 6-5 overall. They ended up being fourth place in the Southern Lakes conference at 4-3. This team has won four of their last five games, but that one loss didn’t matter in the long run. In the last week of the regular season, Burlington fell to Waterford 28-17. Just one week later, Burlington took down Waterford, the #3 seed in the playoffs, 27-14. With the redemption win under their belt, they were able to head to Westosha Central and take down the #2 seed in a close 44-42 battle.
This team loves to throw the ball, clocking in at 2760 passing yards through their 11 games. Jack Sulik has completed over 200 passes for 2494 yards and 22 touchdowns to go along with it. When it comes to their running game, it goes through Drew Weis. Weis has 139 attempts while the next closest is 17. His 1018 yards are 911 more than Tommy Teberg, the next closest back. Ultimately, Weis has 14 of the teams 17 rushing touchdowns. Going back to Teberg, he’s Sulik’s favorite target. With 65 receptions for over 1000 yards and an astonishing 18 touchdowns, Teberg is the clear WR1. Both Drew Lang and Drew Weis have over 500 receiving yards as well, with Evan Deans not falling too far behind with 301. Keep an eye on Isaac Dow defensively as he has 105 total tackles. Ryan Dummer is the best attacker with his four sacks while five different Burlington players have an interception on the year.
Their Opponent: #1 Brookfield Central (9-2 Overall — Defeated #8 Union Grove 25-14 and #4 Racine Park 40-6)
Division 3: #7 Notre Dame
Notre Dame had a similar trip to Level 3 as they had to take down the #2 and #3 seeds. In the opener, Notre Dame headed to Reedsburg and shocked the two seed, taking them down 24-7. Last week, they made the trip to Menasha and defeated them 26-21. Menasha defeated the Tritons back on September 30th, 28-21. Notre Dame will be heading into West Salem with a 8-3 record. Some of those wins have been incredibly lopsided: 62-0 over Green Bay East and 76-0 over Green Bay West.
Joe Otradovec is the only player to attempt a pass on the season for Notre Dame. He’s 63-119 with just over 1000 yards and a total of 15 touchdowns with nine interceptions. While Otradovec is part of the problem, it’s the dynamic duo in the backfield that causes the most chaos. Ian Blom is one carry shy of 200 on the season, leading the way with 1331 yards and 16 touchdowns. Christian Collins has made it into the endzone 13 times, also having over 100 carries and currently sits at 824 yards. Combined, they have over 2000 total yards, average seven yards per carry, and account for 29 touchdowns and just two fumbles. James Flanigan is the big receiving threat with 20 receptions for 450 yards and eight touchdowns. Ethan Wall-Atim and Micah Marzec also have over 100 receiving yards. Flanigan’s name also needs to be aware of on the defensive side as he leads with 66 total tackles. Carter Dahlke sits right behind at 65. Joey Hoerning leads the way with five interceptions and that’s the same number of sacks Blake Osbahr has, which leads the team.
Their Opponent: #1 West Salem (10-1 Overall — Defeated #8 Waupaca 49-0 and #5 Fox Valley Lutheran 35-14)
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