BRODHEAD, Wis.—The Brodhead-Juda Cardinals won’t have to worry about facing their first test of the season in the first round of the WIAA Division 5 playoffs.
The Cardinals, winners of 15 straight games dating back to the end of the 2019 season, were 22-19 victors over Prairie du Chien last Friday night, the first time the 9-0 squad had won a game by less than 32 points this season.
For their efforts, Brodhead-Juda earned a number two seed, and will face Watertown Luther Prep, a 5-4 squad that Cardinals coach Jim Matthys says has the team’s respect. The kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Brodhead.
“They are a good team,” Matthys said. “They lost a few close games, and they got beat pretty bad by Lodi in week nine, but Lodi is obviously a pretty good team. They are big. One guy is 250 pounds. They will definitely be bigger than us.”
Luther Prep’s biggest weapon offensively is Josiah Moore, who has rushed for 951 yards on 128 carries, and has reached the end zone 12 times.
“He’s a good tailback,” Matthys said. “They run out of the I-formation, very similar to what we saw from Prairie du Chien.”
Matthys said last week’s close call was beneficial.
“We were getting beat 7-6 heading into the fourth quarter,” Matthys said. “We didn’t hardly have the ball in the first half. It was obviously part of their game plan to keep us off the field, because they were running the play clock down every time. We only ran about 10 plays in the first half.
“In the second half, we got some timely stops, and were able to get the ball back. We learned a few things about ourselves. There are certainly things that we learned, and it’s good for teams to expose you like that so you find out you maybe weren’t as good as you thought in a particular area.”
The Cardinals could match up with Prairie du Chien again, as the Blackhawks will travel to Richland Center, with the winner of that game playing against the winner of Brodhead-Juda and Luther Prep.
Matthys said he wasn’t surprised by the draw his team received.
“The part that you don’t know in football is what your group of eight will be,” Matthys said. “Once you find that out, then you can figure who might be seeded where. We thought that it would be a stretch for us to get a one seed. Everything goes through the computer now, and I was on the committee that put all the criteria in. I knew that it went pretty heavy on your opponents winning percentage, and your opponents’ opponents winning percentage. We ended up winning our conference by two games, so the bulk of our schedule just beat up on each other, so that didn’t really help us.”
The Cardinals’ running game has been the hallmark of their offense all season. Although last week’s overall performance didn’t result in the usual dominance, Brodhead-Juda still got it going on the ground.
Gage Boeglie needed only eight carries to rack up 150 yards and a touchdown. Boegli also contributed in the passing game with 24 yards on two catches, including a touchdown.
For the season, Beogli has 1,155 yards and an impressive 20 touchdowns. Brady Roshisen has 551 yards and four scores, while fullback Blake Matthys has 339 yards and 10 scores.
Aiden Vondra has been a big-play threat, averaging 12.8 yards on 24 carries, including five touchdowns.