Menomonie football may be under new leadership this fall for the first time in decades, but the Mustangs remain in familiar territory. The program can add another Big Rivers championship to an already impressive trophy case.
The Mustangs secured a share of the BRC crown Friday thanks to a smooth 42-14 victory against Superior. At 6-1, Menomonie finished the regular season in a tie with Rice Lake in its first year under coach Mike Sinz. It's the second season in a row Menomonie shared the title, though the 2020 standings were unofficial due to Eau Claire North, Eau Claire Memorial and Superior sitting out the campaign.
Counting the unofficial title, Menomonie has had at least a share of the Big Rivers championship five times in the last six years.
Parker Schultz scored three touchdowns and ran for 122 yards to power the offense. Menomonie also got touchdowns on a Sam Anderson punt block return, an 18-yard pass from Reed Styer to Lucas Smith and a 4-yard run from Nick Haviland.
As a team, Menomonie ran for 250 yards. Styer threw for 84. Carson Gotelaere rushed for 78 for the Spartans.
Stanley-Boyd 27, Elk Mound 21 (OT): The Orioles' postseason hopes came down to an extra frame. Thankfully for Stanley-Boyd, Carsen Hause saved the day.
Stanley-Boyd's quarterback ran seven yards for a touchdown in overtime to help his team avoid an upset and secure a playoff spot with a fourth Cloverbelt win. The squad had to dig out of a touchdown hole three times, forcing overtime on a 20-yard passing play from Hause to Mike Karlen with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Hause accounted for four total touchdowns, three passing and the game-winner on the ground. He finished with 283 passing yards, 119 of those going to Karlen.
Avery Kaanta ran for scores of 2, 13 and 7 yards for the Mounders, whose season ends at 2-7 overall and 1-6 in the Cloverbelt.
Altoona 39, Black River Falls 27: The third time was the charm for the Railroaders, who finally punched their postseason ticket after failing to the previous two weeks. Colin Boyarski ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns as the Rails secured that elusive fourth Coulee Conference win.
Altoona also got rushing touchdowns from Dawson Sahm and Zavondre Cole, and quarterback Ben Kuenkel hit Marsten Salsbury for a 48-yard TD pass. Kuenkel accumulated 109 passing yards on five completions.
Augusta 28, Eleva-Strum 0: The Beavers completed their undefeated season and secured a Dairyland title in shutout fashion, holding the Cardinals to 89 yards of offense. Brennan King scored a touchdown with his legs and arm, with the passing score going to Aiden Anderson. Ben Dickensen and Marcus Livingston also ran for short touchdowns.
Dickensen finished with 121 rushing yards on 21 attempts. King ran for 57 yards and passed for 39 for the conference champs. Augusta finished a game ahead of Pepin/Alma, which lost only to the Beavers this season.
Chippewa Falls 20, Hudson 14: The Cardinals came back from down 14-7 in the fourth quarter with a pair of late touchdowns, then stopped Hudson late in the red zone to secure a fifth Big Rivers victory.
Gavin Goodman returned an interception 80 yards with 11:43 remaining in the contest to tie the game at 14, then quarterback Brayden Warwick put Chi-Hi ahead with his second rushing touchdown of the evening with 8:26 left.
Warwick finished with 64 yards passing and 16 yards rushing, his two scores coming from 2 and 20 yards out. Judah Dunham caught four passes for 56 yards, and Karson Bowe led the rushers with 45 yards.
Durand 36, Mondovi 28: Simon Bauer put up the big numbers expected of him at this point, rushing for 208 yards and passing for 31 in a rivalry victory. He ran for three touchdowns and threw a 13-yard score to Gunnar Hulrburt to help the Panthers finish 6-1 in Cloverbelt play.
The Buffaloes got 160 yards from quarterback Jarod Falkner, who secured a rushing and passing touchdown. Dawson Rud had two scores on the ground.
Athens 58, Thorp 14: The Cardinals were unable to complete an undefeated season in the Rogue Independent Conference in a de facto conference title tilt. The Fighting Bluejays rode a stellar showing from Cooper Diedrich, who ran for 255 yards and passed for 104 with five total touchdowns.
The Cardinals are ineligible for the playoffs in their first year of eight-man. They finish 7-2 and 4-1 in conference play. Aiden Rosemeyer led the group with 150 passing yards and 53 rushing yards. He ran for one of the team's scores and passed to Denzel Sutton for the other.
Gilman 58, McDonell 24: Grant Smiskey and Ethan Goulet combined for 280 passing yards and two touchdowns, but the Macks couldn't hand Gilman its first loss of the season. Two McDonell receivers surpassed 100 yards, with Dale Tatrault catching nine passes for 112 yards and Ben Buskupski six for 118. Xayvion Matthews ran for 69 yards and a score.
Grady Kroeplin ran for 250 yards and five touchdowns for Gilman, which accumulated 439 rushing yards as a team. McDonell heads to the playoffs 7-2.
Fall Creek 19, Iowa-Grant 18: The Crickets won this late addition to the schedule with a huge rally in the fourth quarter. Fall Creek trailed 18-6 after three quarters, but put 13 points on the board in the final period to end the regular season with a victory. The Crickets were already locked into a playoff spot.
Turtle Lake 46, Elmwood/Plum City 14: Christian Torgerson rushed for 208 yards as the Lakers got out to a 21-0 lead to hand the Wolves their third Dunn-St. Croix defeat of the season. Thankfully for Elmwood/Plum City, the program was already locked into a playoff spot.
Blake Allen rushed for 79 yards for Elmwood/Plum City and had one of the team's two touchdowns on a 65-yard run. Trevor Asher accounted for the other.
Northwestern 56, Cumberland 30: The Tigers clinched the Heart O' North Conference championship and finished off an unbeaten regular season. They handed the Beavers their first loss in the process. Northwestern scored 22 points in the first quarter to establish an early lead and cruised from there.