Prep Football Round-up - Fall Creek looks to clinch playoff berth by beating rival Osseo-Fairchild
By Sean Scallon and Beth Kraft
If there was one game, one special moment in a tough season for the Osseo-Fairchild High School Football Team to cherish for a long, long time, it would be a win this Friday evening at Ward Field against Fall Creek.
Not just because the two schools are rivals and win would keep O-F from going winless in 2021, but a win would keep the Crickets from securing an automatic playoff berth.
Despite losing 38-20 to Durand last week Friday, Oct. 8 at home, the Crickets, at 3-3 in the Cloverbelt Conference, can reach the postseason by beating the Thunder on Friday and winning a fourth league contest.
And despite the loss to the 7-1 Panthers, FC were ahead at halftime 14-8 thanks once again to a passing attack that is the best in the Cloverbelt. Junior quarterback Eli Laube set a single-season, school record for passing yards in the ballgame. He leads the conference in passing yardage with 1,600 and 14 touchdowns and he threw TD passes to Leo Hagberg for 45 yards and a 11-yard strike to Soren Johnson in the first half. Hagberg has over 500 yards in receiving while teammate Cameron Martzke has nearly that amount this season. Against the Panthers Laube was 24-for-42 for 285 years with Martzke catching eight balls for 125 yards while Hagberg had five receptions for 70 yards.
Unfortunately the Crickets, 3-5 overall, was held to just 15 yards rushing while Durand rushed for 450 with the conference's leading rusher Simon Bauer gaining 307 of those and scoring on runs of 61, 2, 30, eight and 19 yards. The third quarter was basically the Simon Bauer show for Durand as he scored three TDs with the Panthers making all three two-point conversions. Bauer has nearly 2,000 yards rushing this season.
Fall Creek still played competitively though. Jacob Wathke scored on an 88-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second half, one of four Durand turnovers in the game. They drove deep into Durand territory on offense several times but unable to score.
If it's a measure of progress for Osseo-Fairchild preparing for their upcoming game against the Crickets, then the Thunder made quite a bit of it at Neillsville/Granton last week. O-F had its first lead this season at 6-0 when junior running back Chase Insteness scored on a nine-yard run. Unfortunately for the Thunder their next TD was the last one of the ballgame, a 19-yard run by Timmy Koskovich with four seconds left in the game with O-F trailing 49-6. The Wardogs had 423 yards of total offense while O-F had just 162. More ominous for the Thunder and what will need to improve to have a shot of beating FC, Neillsville/Granton quarterback Micah Zoschke was 7-for-9 for 190 yards with five touchdown passes of 63, 35, 16, 11 and 25 yards. O-F will also need to fix their special teams as they gave up a 72-yard punt return for score to Andrew Brown, who also rushed for 116 yards.
Augusta clinched a share of the Dairyland Conference title winning at Cochrane-Fountain City 56-28 and remaining undefeated at 8-0. The No. 7 ranked Beavers built up a 34-0 lead at halftime which was enough of a cushion to survive a pass happy comeback from the Pirates in the second half, amassing 278 yards through the air with two quarterbacks. The Beavers were again dominant on the ground with 369 yards on 53 attempts led by Ben Dickensen's 227 yards on 23 carries and four touchdowns on runs of four, 13, 56 and five yards, mostly scored in the first half. Augusta quarterback Brennan King scored on two one-yard runs and threw a 17-yard TD pass to Tyler Brixsen. The Beavers also held C-FC to just 39 yards rushing, Cochrane-FC was no closer than 20 points to Augusta after two third quarter touchdowns before the Beavers took control of the game again with TD's from King and Dickinsen.
Augusta's perfect regular season can be obtained by winning at home over 1-7 Eleva-Strum Friday. Like Osseo-Fairchild, it would be a season highlight for E-S to blemish Augusta's perfect record.
The Cardinals kept it close early on in the Homecoming game vs. Whitehall last week Friday, but the Norse started reeling off touchdowns in the second quarter and the Cardinals fell 54-14.
E-S Quarterback Carter Gunderson was 2-for-8 for 50 yards and one interception. Alex Anderson caught both passes. In the second quarter, touchdowns resulted from three straight kickoffs with one score for the Cardinals notched by senior Wyatt Miland.
The Norse did most of their damage on the ground, racking up 265 yards with three ball carriers carrying the majority of that effort. After starting the season 1-3, Whitehall has won three straight games and can clinch a playoff berth Friday with a win at home vs. Independence/Gilmanton