THE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS: The 38th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Football State Championship Finals will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21-22, at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.
PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE: Avoid the lines the day of the game by buying State Football Finals tickets now online at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Football/StateFootballTickets.aspx or find the link in the right column of the football page on the WIAA website. Ticket prices for the event are $8 for adults per game, $20 for a Thursday all-day pass, $15 for a Friday all-day pass and $30 for a two-day pass. Admission for children 6-years old and under is $1 per game.
Thursday, Nov. 21
Division 7: Glenwood City (12-1) vs. Black Hawk (13-0) - 10 a.m.
Division 6: Shiocton (13-0) vs. Darlington (12-1) - 1 p.m.
Division 5: Stanley-Boyd (13-0) vs. Lancaster (13-0) - 4 p.m.
Division 4: Winneconne (8-5) vs. Platteville (9-4) - 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22
Division 3: Greendale (13-0) vs. Monona Grove (13-0) - 10 a.m.
Division 2: Oshkosh North (13-0) vs. Kimberly (13-0) - 1 p.m.
Division 1: Arrowhead (12-1) vs. Franklin (12-1) - 4 p.m.
ON THE AIR: All of the championship games will be televised live on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Check local cable listings for the channel in your area. The finals will not be streamed live on the Internet because of contractual restrictions and obligations.
LAST YEAR: Arrowhead defeated Sun Prairie 35-14 in the Division 1 championship game. In Division 2, Homestead shut out three-time defending champion Waunakee 14-0, and Catholic Memorial won the Division 3 title game in convincing fashion with a 42-7 triumph over Waupaca. Somerset was crowned the Division 4 champion with a 35-33 overtime victory over Big Foot, and Amherst downed Lancaster to win the Division 5 championship 19-7. In Division 6, St. Mary’s Springs won its second straight title with a 24-14 decision over Regis, and Glenwood City scored 34 points in the second half to roll to a 46-21 win over Potosi in the Division 7 final.
CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS HISTORY: The WIAA began sponsoring the playoff tournament series in 1976. The first two championships featured four divisions. In 1978, the field expanded to five divisions. The playoffs were again expanded to include six divisions in 1981. In 1996, the playoff field was further expanded to 192 teams qualifying for the post-season. In 2002, the tournament expanded to seven Divisions and 224 teams. The championships have all been at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982. Stratford has won the most championships with seven, and Lancaster and Edgar are next on the list with six. Arrowhead, D.C. Everest, Menomonie, Monroe, Osseo-Fairchild and Waunakee have each won five. Arrowhead leads the membership in title game appearances with 11. Edgar and Lancaster have 10, Darlington nine, and Monroe, Menomonie and Waunakee have eight appearances.
DIVISION 1 NOTES: Defending champion Arrowhead returns to the championship final in pursuit of back-to-back championships. The Warhawks have won five titles, which ties for the third most of any school. They won State titles in their first three State final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1996, and in 2007 and then again last season. In addition, the Warhawks have finished runner-up in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008. They advance to the State final game this season and for the 11th time overall by beating Hudson at Level 4 for the second year in a row, 38-14. The Warhawks are the champions of the Classic Eight Conference this fall. Franklin will appear in its second championship final. The Sabers only other experience in the title game resulted in a Division 2 championship in 2006. They won the Southeast Conference championship and have outscored their opponents by an average of 40-14 per game this year. Their only loss came early in the season to Greendale, which has advanced to the title game in Division 3. The Sabers defeated Mukwonago 35-8 in the semifinal to gain the berth in the championship game.
DIVISION 2 NOTES: Both divisions of the Valley Football Association is represented in the title game. Kimberly will appear in its fourth championship final. The Papermakers possess two championship trophies, those titles came back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. Their attempt at a third consecutive title in 2009 resulted in a runner-up finish. The Papermakers finished atop the Northern Division of Valley Football Association standings this fall and have outscored opponents this year by an average score of 51-10 per game. They defeated Waukesha West 21-10 at Level 4 to earn the opportunity to play for the State title. Oshkosh North, the champion of the Southern Division of the Valley Football Association, is making its second appearance in a State championship game. The Spartans won the Division 1 title in 2000. They trounced division rival Menasha 38-0 in the semifinals. The Spartans were 14-7 victors when the two teams met in league play back in September. The staunch Spartans’ defense has not allowed an opponent to score more than 19 points in a game all season, except for a 33-27 double-overtime victory over Holmen at Level 3 of the playoffs.
DIVISION 3 NOTES: Monona Grove is making its fourth State title game appearance and the first since finishing runner-up in Division 2 in 2004. The Silver Eagles won the Division 2 State title in 1977 and added a Division 3 crown in 1984. They are the champions of the South Division of the Badger Conference this season and have advanced to the championship game with a 28-14 win over La Crosse Logan in the semifinal. The Silver Eagles’ defense surrendered an average of only seven points a game to opponents during the regular season and 16 points per game in four playoff contests. Greendale finished runner-up in its only other appearance in a championship final in 2006. The Panthers are the champions of the Woodland Conference West Division this season. Among their victims en route to an undefeated league title was an impressive 37-13 win over Franklin, which is playing in the State title game in Division 1. The Panthers gained their berth in the title game by downing Xavier in the semifinals, 44-20. In an impressive display of firepower, the Panthers have scored at least 31 points in every game this season, and those 31 points came in a shutout over Brown Deer in Level 2 of the playoffs.
DIVISION 4 NOTES: On the 30th anniversary of winning the Division 4 championship in 1983, Platteville returns to the State final for the second time. The Hillmen’s advance to the title game following a 22-15 win over Roncalli at Level 4. They were seeded third in their grouping following a 5-4 regular-season mark and tying for third place in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference with a 4-4 record. Two of their losses this season have come against Lancaster, which is playing in the Division 5 championship game. The Hillmen’s run in the playoffs has come by virtue of a solid defense that has allowed just 9.5 points per game in the post-season. Winneconne is making its first-ever appearance in the title game. The Wolves’ seemingly improbable run to the title game became reality with a 16-14 win over defending champion Somerset at Level 4. The Wolves were seeded sixth in their grouping to begin the tournament after placing fifth in the Eastern Valley Conference with a 4-4 record and a 4-5 record overall. Three of the teams finishing ahead of them in the standings qualified and won at least one playoff game in Division 3.
DIVISION 5 NOTES: Perennial power Lancaster, runner-up the last two seasons, is back in the title game for the 10th time, which ranks as second-most of any member school. The Flying Arrows are tied for the second-most number of State championships won with six. They won two straight Division 5 championships in 2005 and 2006, and made four straight appearances in the Division 4 title game from 1999-2002. That run resulted in three consecutive titles from 2000-02 and a runner-up finish in 1999. The Flying Arrows also won the Division 4 title in their first title game experience in 1993. They are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference this season. They thrashed Kewaunee 52-26 in the semifinal to advance to the title game for another shot at a seventh gold trophy. The Flying Arrows averaged a staggering 52 points a game during the regular season this year and are averaging 38 points per contest in the playoffs. Stanley-Boyd is making it sixth championship game appearance and its first since 1996. All five of its previous experiences have come in Division 4. The Orioles have been crowned champions twice and have finished runner-up on the other three occasions, winning the titles in 1991 and 1995, and placing second in 1977, 1986 and 1996. The champions of the traditionally strong Cloverbelt Conference defeated defending State champion Amherst 28-21 in their Level 4 match-up to land in the title game this season. They outscored their regular-season opponents 325-56 this year.
DIVISION 6 NOTES: Darlington returns to the State championship final for the ninth time and for the first time since 1997, which capped an impressive decade of success. The Redbirds won the Division 5 championship in 1987, 1990, 1991 and 1995. In addition, they placed runner-up in Division 5 in 1993, 1994, 1996 and in Division 4 in 1997. All tallied, that accounts for nine trips to the final during an 11-year span. To be in position to win their fifth title, the Redbirds had to go through two-time defending champion St. Mary’s Springs. Their 28-13 Level 4 win snapped the Ledgers 39-game winning streak. The Redbirds are champions of the Southwest Athletics Conference this year. Their only setback of the season was a 28-15 loss that came back in August to Platteville, who is playing in the Division 4 title game. Not counting that loss, they have outscored their regular-season opponents by a combined total of 401-46 and by a total of 158-27 in the playoffs. Shiocton returns to the State final for the third time and for the second time in the last three seasons. The Chiefs fell at the hands of St. Mary’s Springs in the 2011 final and was also runner-up in their only other appearance in 1983. This season, they are the champions of Central Wisconsin 8 Conference. They advance to the title game following a 50-0 shutout of Hurley in their Level 4 match-up. They have destroyed the opposition in their playoff march to the title game, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 196-6. The domination of the opposition also rang true during the regular season, outscoring opponents 437-22. The defense has recorded 10 shutouts in 13 games.
DIVISION 7 NOTES: Defending champion Glenwood City has its sights on a second consecutive State championship and its fourth overall. In addition to last season, the Hilltoppers won the Division 6 championship in their first appearance in 1985 and won the Division 5 title in 1997. They are the runners-up in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this season, and they advance to the title game following a 48-26 win over Pittsville in their Level 4 playoff game. The Hilltoppers have put up some impressive scoring numbers this season, averaging 48 points per game during the regular season, and it hasn’t tapered off much in the post-season, averaging 42 points a game through four playoff games. Black Hawk has played for a State title once before, that resulted in a runner-up finish in Division 6 in 1998. The Warriors are the champions of the Six Rivers Conference this season. Their 60-33 win over Lake Country Lutheran in the State semifinals is indicative of their propensity to score points. They are averaging 45 points a game in the playoffs after averaging 47 a game during the regular season, but their defense shouldn’t be overlooked. They allowed just 12 points through their first three playoff games, including shutouts at Levels 1 and 2.
FOLLOW STATE FINALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Football Final on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaafb. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.
NEED RESULTS?: Results and statistics will be available on the WIAA website approximately 35 minutes following the conclusion of each title game at: www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Football.aspx.
WILSON THE OFFICIAL BALL: Wilson is the official game ball of the WIAA State Football Finals. Wilson footballs are also the official ball at Levels 3 and 4 of the playoffs. The agreement with Wilson is effective through 2018.