In the battle of unbeatens, Regis (14-0) defeated Darlington (13-1) 27-14 to capture the Division 6 championship final at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison Thursday.
The Ramblers stymied the vaunted Darlington offense, which averaged more than fifty points a game and 11 yards per rush entering the game, with a ball-control offensive attack and a stingy defense that forced five turnovers.
Regis’ early control of the game was clearly reflected in the statistics, particularly in time of possession with an 18:39 to 5:21 advantage in the first half. The Redbirds were held to 49 yards of total offense in the half and 249 in the game.
Jack Nicolai gave the Ramblers a 3-0 lead with a 27-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. They increased their lead to 10-0 later in the quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Caleb Brickner.
In the second quarter, Regis added another touchdown on a 2-yard run by Noel Ortiz, and Nicolai added his second field goal of the game before the half to give the Ramblers a commanding 20-0 advantage.
The Ramblers added insurance late in the third quarter on a 55-yard touchdown strike from Paul Petit to Samuel Forden to take a 27-0 lead.
The Redbirds scored twice late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt. Hunter Johnson scored on a 2-yard run, and Ryan Glendenning caught a 36-yard scoring toss from Jared Meister to account for the final score.
Ortiz rushed 24 times for 132 years and a touchdown for the Ramblers’ offense. Petit connected on 6-of-10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Forden was on the receiving end of four passes for a game-high 124 yards and a score. Brickner led the Ramblers on defense with a pair of interceptions and four tackles.
Darlington’s Jared Meister completed 8-of-24 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted four times. Hunter Johnson ran for 95 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 28 yards. Glendenning led the team in receiving with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
It’s the second State title for Regis in five appearances in the title game. The Ramblers won the Division 7 championship in 2003. Darlington finishes runner-up for the fourth straight season and for the eighth time in their 12 appearances in the title game.