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State Football Championships Preview

Monday, November 18, 2019

State Football Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 44th 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 https://bit.ly/2rLXghp or find the ticket link on the home page of the WIAA website. Ticket prices for the event are $10 per game at the gate with an additional $2 convenience fee for online purchases, $25 for a Thursday all-day pass, $20 for a Friday all-day pass and $40 for a two-day pass. Admission for children 6-years old and under is $1 per game. 

CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE:

Thursday, Nov. 21
Div. 7 -  Edgar (12-1) vs. Black Hawk/Warren, Ill. (13-0) - 10 a.m.
Div. 6 -  Regis (13-0) vs. St. Mary’s Springs (11-2) - 1 p.m.
Div. 5 -  Stratford (13-0) vs. Lake Country Lutheran (12-1) - 4 p.m.
Div. 4 -  Kiel (13-0) vs. Catholic Memorial (11-2) - 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 22
Div. 3 - Menasha (12-1) vs. DeForest (13-0) - 10 a.m.
Div. 2 - Brookfield East (11-2) vs. Waunakee (12-1) - 1 p.m.
Div. 1 - Bay Port (13-0) vs. Muskego (13-0) - 4 p.m.

ON THE AIR:  The championship finals of all seven divisions will be televised live on FS Wisconsin or FS Wisconsin Plus. The Divisions 7 and 6 games Thursday, and the Divisions 3, 2 and 1 games Friday will be on FS Wisconsin. The Divisions 5 and 4 games Thursday will be on FS Wisconsin Plus. Check local cable listings for the FS Wisconsin and FS Wisconsin Plus channels in your area. All the games will be available in high definition, and will be streamed live on FoxSportsGo.com  

LAST YEAR:  Muskego defeated Kimberly 24-21 in the Division 1 final to win the championship. In Division 2, Homestead rolled to a 51-14 win over Brookfield Central, and Catholic Memorial was a 37-24 victor over West De Pere in the Division 3 title game. Racine St. Catherine’s edged St. Croix Central 8-7 in the Division 4 championship game, and St. Mary’s Springs defeated Stratford 20-17 to win the Division 5 title. In Division 6, Iola-Scandinavia was the champion with a 43-14 win over Racine Lutheran, and Black Hawk was crowned the champion in Division 7 with a 22-15 victory over Edgar.

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 its current seven-divisions format with 224 teams. The championships have all been at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982. St. Mary’s Springs has won the most championships with eight. Edgar, Kimberly, Lancaster and Stratford are next on the list with seven. Arrowhead, Homestead and Waunakee have each won six titles. D.C. Everest, Menomonie, Monroe and Osseo-Fairchild have each won five. Arrowhead and Edgar leads the membership in title game appearances with 13. Darlington and St. Mary’s Springs are next with 12, and Lancaster has 11. Waunakee is next on the list with 10. Kimberly and Stratford have nine, and Menomonie and Monroe have appeared in eight.

DIVISION 1 NOTES:  Defending champion Muskego will appear in its third championship final. The Warriors’ first experience in the championship game resulted in a runner-up finish in 1994. They won the Classic Eight championship this fall. The Warriors defeated Madison Memorial 49-13 in the semifinal to continue their quest to repeat as champions. Bay Port makes its initial appearance in the finals. The Pirates’ furthest advance prior to this season was to Level 4 of the playoffs in 2003, 2005 and 2014. They finished atop the Fox River Classic Conference standings this fall. Their road to the title game culminated with a 42-28 win over perennial power Kimberly in Level 4.

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  Waunakee advances to the title game for the 10th time and for the second time in the past three seasons. The Warriors have captured the State championship six times, including three consecutive Division 2 championships from 2009-11 and another title in 2017. They also won Division 3 crowns in 1999 and 2002. Two of their three runner-up finishes came in Division 2 in 2005 and in 2012, and one came in Division 3 in 2001. The Warriors finished second in the North Division of the Badger Conference behind Division 3 finalist DeForest. The Warriors’ return to the title game comes virtue of their 34-15 victory over Waukesha West at Level 4. Brookfield East advances to the State finals for the second time. The first experience resulted in a championship in 2016. The Spartans finished third in the Greater Metro Conference this season, and they defeated Superior 34-8 at Level 4 to advance to the final.

DIVISION 3 NOTES:  DeForest advances to the title game for the fifth time and its first since 2007. The Norskies made  three straight  appearances in the title game, which led to two runner-up finishes and a championship in Division 4 from 1980-82, respectively. They also finished runner-up in Division 2 in 2007. This season, the Norskies were the champions in the North Division of the Badger Conference. They earned the berth in the title game by defeating New Berlin Eisenhower 14-9 in their Level 4 battle. Menasha advances to the State title game for the second time. Their first appearance resulted in a Division 2 State championship in 2014. The Bluejays earn their first trip to Camp Randall by edging Menomonie 36-35 at Level 4. They are the runners-up in the Bay Conference this year. 

DIVISION 4 NOTES: Last year’s Division 3 champion Catholic Memorial is making its seventh appearance in the State final. The Crusaders won Division 3 State titles in 2012, 2016 and 2018 to go with their runner-up finishes in Division 2 in 2001, and in Division 3 in 2010 and 2015. Before joining the WIAA, the Crusaders won WISAA titles in 1979, 1989, 1993 and 1996. They were also runners-up six times. This season, they finished second in the Classic 8 Conference behind Division 1 finalist Muskego. They advance to the championship game after cruising past River Valley 42-7 at Level 4. Kiel celebrates its first-ever appearance in the State championship game. The Raiders are the champions of the Eastern Wisconsin Conference this season. They posted a 28-14 victory over Wrightstown at Level 4 to continue their best season in the program’s history.

DIVISION 5 NOTES:  Last year’s runner-up Stratford returns to the championship final for the ninth time. The Tigers had an impressive run of six straight titles in Division 6 from 2003-08. They are the only program to win six straight title games. Stratford also won the Division 5 crown in 1986, giving them seven championships overall. This season, the Tigers are the champions in the Marawood Conference. They defeated perennial power Amherst in the playoff semifinal, 19-7. Lake Country Lutheran returns to the title game for the second time in the past three seasons, which accounts for its overall number of appearances. The Lightning finished runner-up in its only other experience in 2017. Their road to the title game this year culminated with a 25-0 shutout over Prairie du Chien  at Level 4. Lake Country Lutheran is the champion of the Midwest Classic Conference this fall.

DIVISION 6 NOTES:  St. Mary’s Springs seeks its third straight State championship. The Ledgers won the Division 5 title last season after claiming the Division 6 title in 2017. The Ledgers are making their ninth State finals appearance in the last 11 seasons and their 12th championship game appearance overall. They have won eight State titles. They won the Division 5 championship in 2009 and last season, and the Division 6 titles in 2002, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017. In addition to the  number of gold trophies, they have finished runner-up in Division 6 in 2003, 2005 and 2010. This year, they are the champions of the Wisconsin Flyway Conference. The Ledgers downed Mondovi 13-0 in their Level 4 match-up to earn the opportunity to gain the program’s ninth State title. Prior to joining the WIAA, St. Mary’s Springs won WISAA crowns  in 1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999.  In addition, the Ledgers were WISAA runners-up  in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1989 and 1992.  Regis returns to the State final for the sixth time and for the first time since winning the Division 6 title in 2016. The Ramblers won the Division 7 championship in 2003 on the heels of a runner-up finish in their first-ever title game endeavor in 2002. They also finished runner-up in Division 6 in 2009 and 2012. As a former member of WISAA, they won three Division 3 championships, coming in 1992, 1993 and 1999. This season, they finished first in the Cloverbelt Conference standings. The Ramblers advance to the title game following a 36-6 win over Abbotsford in their Level 4 game.

DIVISION 7 NOTES:  The title game features a rematch of sorts of last year’s championship game. While it will be the first State finals appearance for the newly formed Black Hawk/Warren, Ill. co-op program, as a stand-alone program, Black Hawk won the title last season and finished runner-up in 2017. The Warriors had two other experiences prior to the co-op. They recorded a runner-up finish in Division 6 in 1998 and a Division 7 championship in 2013. The Warriors are the champions of the Six Rivers Conference this season. They reached the title game for the first time as a co-op program following a 34-7 win over Lourdes Academy at Level 4. Last year’s runner-up Edgar will play in the State title game for the 13th time, which ties for the most appearances in the championship game with  Arrowhead. The Wildcats have won seven championships. They won the Division 7 crown in 2016,  Division 6 championships in 2009 and 2010, Division 5 titles in 1992, 1999 and 2001; and a Division 4 gold trophy in 1979.  In addition, the Wildcats have runner-up finishes in 1991, 1998, 2000, 2008 and again last season. They are the runners-up in the Marawood Conference this fall behind Division 5 qualifier Stratford. The Wildcats defeated Bangor 27-7 at Level 4 to earn the chance at their eighth title.

EIGHT-PLAYER RECAP:  Luck (13-0) won the 2019 eight-player football championship. The Cardinals opened a 22-0 lead in the first quarter and rushed its way to a 42-27 victory over Newman Catholic (12-1) at Dorais Field in Chippewa Falls last Saturday. Levi Jensen amassed 432 yards rushing on 25 carries with five touchdowns to lead the Cardinals over the Fighting Cardinals.  Ben Bates completed 29-of-51 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Eighteen of those completions went to Charlie McCarty for 180 yards and the two scores.

FOLLOW FINALS ON SOCIAL MESSAGING:  Receive updates of the State Football Finals on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaafb. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results and statistics will be available on the WIAA website approximately 15 minutes following the conclusion of each title game at: www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Football.aspx.

WILSON IS 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 2023.

Release by WIAA Communications

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