BRODHEAD, Wis.—The Brodhead-Juda Cardinals are patiently waiting for their first test since the 2019 season.
The Cardinals dispatched Richland Center 47-10 last week to improve to a perfect 4-0 this season, and 10-0 in 2021 when the spring games are included.
Platteville enters Brodhead with a 1-3 record Friday night, but veteran coach Jim Matthys said the Hillmen are better than what their record indicates.
“They are a good football team,” Matthys said. “If you looked at who they lost to, all good teams. They got smacked around a little by Columbus, but that’s going to happen to a lot of teams. They have a quarterback that’s an excellent runner. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”
Thus far, Matthys has had to rely on practice to give his team its most difficult time.
“We’ve created some adversity in practice for them,” Matthys said. “And there might have been some times where I wasn’t so nice to them. But they’ve got to know that despite the record we have, there is still so much we can improve on.”
One aspect of the game that has been going gangbusters for the Cards is the running game. Gage Boegli has piled up 509 yards on just 46 carries. His 11.1 yard per carry average is accompanied by 10 touchdowns.
“Gage can do a little of everything,” Matthys said. “He’s a guy that is more of a power back, but Friday night he showed he can be elusive, too. It’s been a great start to the year for him.”
Boegli also gets by with a little help from his friends in the backfield. Brady Roheisen (330 yards) and Blake Matthys (131 yards) also help share the load.
“That’s big because every couple of plays, Gage can come out and take a breath,” Matthys said. “He’s always fresh out there. And all those backs do a little something different. We have a good mix of power and speed back there. And next week, we’re going to get Leon Saunders back, and he’ll help us as well.”
• BELOIT TURNER (2-2) at LODI (4-0): The Trojans head into a very difficult game at a Lodi team currently ranked third in the WIAA Division 4 rankings.
Turner is coming off a difficult to swallow loss against Lakeside Lutheran in overtime in which an apparent missed call on the final play of overtime spelled their doom.
Diehl said the team has responded well this week in practice.
“We are fine,” Diehl said. “The kids are over it now. It’s not like it was our first loss of the last two seasons. This is a team that lost every game in the spring. To them, it was a game in which they played well. They just have to take what they can from it and move forward.”
Diehl said that Lodi is a terrific all-around team.
“They are really strong defensively,” Diehl said. “They make very few mistakes. They mix up their coverages, but they are consistent in using certain coverages based on what the offense is running. Offensively, they are strong up front, bigger than most teams, physical, and they run the ball well. They also have phenomenal coaching, and that makes a big difference, too.”
Lodi is also a team that was in a real struggle with Big Foot before pulling away to beat the Chiefs last week.
“A team that isn’t perfect played them really well for three quarters last week,” Diehl said. “They also made mistakes for Lodi to take advantage of, which they did. They turned it over three times in the third quarter. But Big Foot is a team we feel like we would compete well with. And the greatest thing about high school football is that every Friday is a new beginning. We understand that we have to play excellent football, and do it for four quarters, to be competitive. But anything can happen.”
• HIAWATHA (2-1) at SOUTH BELOIT (2-1): The SoBos are coming off a heartbreaking loss in overtime, while Hiawatha opened the season with two blowout wins before falling 50-6 last week to Orangeville.
The SoBos had four players rush for at least 40 yards, and overall finished with with 227 yards on the ground in last week’s loss to Flanagan. SoBo quarterbacks Tanner Joiner and Kaden Mhyers combined to complete seven of nine passes in the 44-38 defeat.
• BIG FOOT VS COLUMBUS: The Chiefs will receive a forfeit victory from Columbus after the school was forced to cancel the game due to a COVID outbreak in the program.
• BELOIT MEMORIAL (1-3) at VERONA (3-1): It’s out of the frying pan and into the fryer for the Purple Knights, who have not been competitive in consecutive defeats to Middleton and Sun Prairie and now must travel to face an excellent Wildcats team.
Verona’s one loss was a 12-9 defensive struggle against Madison Memorial. They have blown out Kenosha Tremper and Madison West, while edging Oshkosh West.
Quarterback Mason Fink has thrown for eight touchdowns, while Kyle Krantz has rushed for 353 yards on just 46 carries, good for an average of 7.7 per rush.
Quarterback Griffin Oberneder returned to action last week after missing the previous week with a non-COVID related illness.
• PARDEEVILLE (2-1) at CLINTON (3-1): The Cougars were outscored 28-0 in the first half at Marshall Friday, but kept the running clock at bay by outscoring the Cardinals 6-0 in the second half.
Pardeeville has played just three games after a week two matchup against Poynette was canceled. They defeated Cambria-Friesland 24-0 in the season opener, dropped a tough 22-16 game to the same Marshall team that Clinton just lost to, and last week pounded Palmyra-Eagle 50-6.
Running back Derek Lindert has rushed for 335 yards and five touchdowns for Pardeeville in the three games.
This is the middle game of a brutal three-week stretch for the Cougars, which includes a game at state-ranked Markesan next week.
• HONONEGAH (3-0) at ROCKFORD EAST (2-1): The Indians will try to extend their winning streak over East to 18 games Friday night in Rockford.
East lost a close one to Belvidere North, the NIC-10’s only other unbeaten team, in the first week of the season. The E-Rabs rallied by defeating Belvidere and Auburn.
Hononegah, after a tight win over Harlem in the opener, has blown out Guilford and Freeport to get to 3-0.
• PARKVIEW/ALBANY (0-4) at FENNIMORE (1-3): The Vikings have been one of the state’s least competitive teams, regardless of division.
Parkview has been outscored 213-16 this season, and hasn’t scored in the last three games, where they have been outscored 152-0.
Friday, they face a Fennimore team that has dropped three straight games, none of them by a close margin.
• ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN (0-3) at NORTH BOONE (1-2): After winning the season opener, the Vikings have dropped two games in a row.
Rockford Christian, however, appears to be a solid cure for what ails them.
The Royal Lions haven’t exactly lived up to their regal bearing up to this point, losing three games by a combined score of 157-20.