Eau Claire Memorial gave up a lot of points and a lot of yards during its two-game losing streak.
But on Friday night in Superior the defense stepped up late to help snap that skid with a 31-24 Big Rivers Conference win over Superior at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.
The Old Abes held the Spartans to a field goal inside the 10, recovered an onside-kick attempt and then Loyal Crawford and the offense ran out the clock for Memorial’s first conference win of the season.
Crawford led the way with 159 yards and three TDs, including a 14-yarder midway through the fourth quarter that pushed the lead to 10.
Superior started the final quarter with a 21-14 lead after a pair of rushing scores from quarterback Jarrett Gronski. But Abes QB Bryson Johnson hit Brendlee McDew for a 7-yard touchdown and then hit Nate Hau for the two-point conversion. Austin Jarvis sacked Gronski for a safety on the ensuing drive.
Johnson threw for 129 yards on 13-for-19 passing.
All four scores came from sophomores for Memorial.
Gronski ran for 167 yards for the Spartans.
River Falls 25, Menomonie 18: The Wildcats rallied from an 18-0 first-half deficit to stun the Mustangs, who had won 23 straight meetings between the teams.
The results left Hudson and Rice Lake as the only unbeatens left in the Big Rivers.
Fall Creek 41, Altoona 8: Joey Kinderman scored three touchdowns — two rushing and one receiving — to power a big day for the Crickets. His touchdown runs came from distances of 33 and 47 yards. Payton Mayer had two scores for the Crickets: a 28-yard run and an 11-yard punt block return. Nolan Hellegers ran for a 53-yard score.
Paxton Gluch scored the lone touchdown for Altoona.
Cadott 22, Neillsville/Granton 6: A 77-yard kick return for a touchdown by Nelson Wahl broke a 6-6 tie in the third quarter. Brady Spaeth added insurance with an 80-yard touchdown run late in the third. Spaeth finished with 139 yards rushing.
Mondovi 45, Colfax 6: Brennen Christopherson and Tanner Marsh had an explosive night for the Buffaloes’ offense. Christopherson was 16 for 22 for 225 yards and five TDs. Marsh ran 18 times for 159 yards and a score and caught three passes for 65 more yards.
Carter Johnson caught three of the TD passes, while Owen Schultz had two.
Mondovi racked up 496 yards of offense.
Glenwood City 27, Durand 12: Hadin DeSmith ran and passed for 128 yards, threw for a score and ran for another to lead the Hilltoppers, who limited the Panthers to 142 yards of offense.
DeSmith ran in for a score from 35 yards out to put the game away with 3:24 left in the game.
Heart O’ North
Bloomer 46, Ladysmith 20: Leif Iverson scored four touchdowns for the Blackhawks, and Zach Ruf added two rushing scores.
Bradley Sarauer hauled in 105 receiving yards for Bloomer, which never trailed. Peyton Rogers passed and ran for a touchdown for Ladysmith.
Northwestern 56, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 6: Reagan Ruffi rushed for four touchdowns in the first half for the Tigers.