EC Memorial (1-7, 1-5) at EC North (1-7, 0-6)
What: Big Rivers, 7 p.m. Friday at Carson Park.
Series history: It’s the 59th intracity game in a series that began in 1963. Memorial won last spring 20-0 for a 12th straight and leads series by 40-16.
Memorial: The Old Abes are looking to rebound from a 50-0 loss to potential Big Rivers champion Menomonie. Memorial was held to 95 total yards in that matchup, while the Mustangs ran for 366 yards. Ryan Thompson passed for 52 yards, while Reese Woerner rushed for 32 yards and caught four passes for 27 yards. The team has dropped two straight since earning its first victory of the year against Superior. Woerner has rushed for 538 yards on the year, and Thompson has passed for 799 while sharing time with two other signal-callers. Tyson Harvey, Jack Redwine and Reagan Hub are all over 200 receiving yards. Briggs Reinke has 97 total tackles, tied for 11th in the state according to WisSports.net. The Abes are looking to avoid their first season with one or fewer wins since 2008. Coach Rob Scott: “There’s no doubt about it that this is a very meaningful game for both sides. We want to put our best foot forward and make the people on the south side of town very proud of us.”
North: The Huskies have faced a beast of a schedule in the last month since returning from a two-week COVID-related pause. Chronologically, they’ve fallen to Menomonie, Hudson, New Richmond and Rice Lake. The Warriors handled them 48-0 in Week 8, with Jack Kein leading the Huskies statistically with 50 passing yards and 31 rushing yards. This week marks only the second time all season North will take the field against a foe that will finish below .500, with the other meeting resulting in North’s 20-14 win against La Crosse Logan. Kein has thrown for 268 yards and rushed for 274 on the year. Remy Rassbach is the leading rusher with 300 yards and TJ Johnson the leading receiver with 73. Coach Andy Jarzynski: “Because it is the intercity thing they’re going to be looking to knock us down. I expect it to be a really fun environment with lots of people from the community and two teams that really want to get at each other.”
Superior (1-7, 1-5) at Menomonie (7-1, 5-1)
What: Big Rivers, 7 p.m. Friday at Williams Stadium.
Series history: Superior won the last meeting in 2019 14-13 but Menomonie leads in games since 1985 by 21-3.
Menomonie: The Mustangs are playing for at least a share of the Big Rivers title, entering the week tied with Rice Lake. The program has shared the title the last two seasons, unofficially in 2020. Menomonie has won four straight since suffering its only loss of the season to Hudson. The team has pitched two straight shutouts, surprisingly blanking Rice Lake 35-0 in Week 7 and besting Eau Claire North 50-0 last Friday. They employ an impressive group of rushers led by Brooks Brewer. Steele Schaefer is coming off a 100-yard game. Four receivers are over 100 yards on the year, all working with QB Reed Styer. Coach Mike Sinz: “Their record is very misleading. They have been in a number of close games right down to the wire. On offense they can drive the ball on anybody, they’ve just struggled inside the red zone.”
Superior: The Spartans fell 20-6 to Chippewa Falls last week for a fifth straight loss. Their only triumph this season came against Eau Claire North by forfeit. Their only defeat by single digits was a 12-9 contest against Eau Claire Memorial, and they lost by 20 or more the first four times they hit the field this season. The Chippewa Falls contest, played in heavy fog, was by far the closest they’ve played a team that’s above .500. QB Carson Gotelaere has passed for 486 yards and run for 373 with a combined eight TDs. Jordan Goldfine is the leading rusher with 373 yards and Alex Velleux is the leading receiver with 191.
Chippewa Falls (6-2, 4-2) at Hudson (5-3, 4-2)
What: Big Rivers, 7 p.m. Friday at Hudson.
Series history: Chippewa Falls won last year 17-14 and leads the series since 1983 26-12.
Chippewa Falls: The Cardinals have won two straight, most recently defeating Eau Claire Memorial and Superior, and four of their last five. Karson Bowe rushed for 95 yards against the Spartans last Friday, leading a 263-yard performance on the ground for the team. He also leads the team on the year with 484 yards and six TDs. Brayden Warwick has passed for 595 yards and four TDs and rushed for 182 yards. Judah Dunham leads receivers with 218 yards on 13 catches. The defense has held foes to single digits three straight weeks and five times on the year, having opened with a 40-0 shutout against Holmen. Coach Chuck Raykovich: “They’re a good team. This might be the best team we’ve played all year. They’re physical, they’re big, they’re fast. They’re very athletic.”
Hudson: The Raiders suffered their first loss since Week 3 last Friday, committing five turnovers in a sloppy 10-7 loss to New Richmond. It dropped the Raiders a game behind Menomonie and Rice Lake for the Big Rivers title. They’d been riding high after a BRC-opening loss to Rice Lake, going on a run of wins against Menomonie, Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire North and Superior. Only Memorial reached double digits on the Raider defense during that stretch. Connor Mears has passed for just under 600 yards, while four rushers are well in triple digits led by Jaiden Warner. Troy Bounting and Grant Jamieson are threats outside.
Altoona (5-3, 3-3) at Black River Falls (2-6, 2-4)
What: Coulee, 7 p.m. Friday at Black River Falls.
Series history: This is the first meeting between these teams as Coulee rivals and the first matchup since at least 2000.
Altoona: The Railroaders’ focus is on clinching a playoff spot for a third straight week. They had leads against both Arcadia and Westby in the last two weeks but weren’t able to finish the job, most recently falling 36-20 to Westby. Before those defeats, the Rails had won three straight. Altoona’s five wins is already a program best since 2016. The program hasn’t won six games in a season since at least 2000. Colin Boyarski is the focal point of the offense, having rushed for 1,277 yards and 16 TDs. Ben Kuenkel has passed for 616 yards and rushed for 214 with a combined 8 TDs. Zavondre Cole has served as a weapon on the ground and through the air, rushing for 246 yards and catching 14 passes for 229 yards. Boyarski also leads the team in tackles and has an interception. Coach Chad Hanson: “We’ve had our opportunities the last two weeks to finish the job and get into the playoffs. We played two quality opponents, and therefore when we’ve made mistakes they’ve capitalized. Now we’re sitting with one more chance. This is do or die.”
Black River Falls: The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak last week with a 41-22 triumph against Viroqua. Altoona has beaten both teams Black River Falls has bested, with the other being Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. Their 41 points last week surpassed a previous season high of 34. Black River Falls’ defense has given up 50 or more points three times and 40 or more five times. The squad runs a pass-heavy offense led by QB Evan Voss. He’s thrown for 1,810 yards and 20 TDs on 118 completions. He’s also the leading rusher with 350 yards and has two interceptions on defense. Mike Roou is his favorite target with 589 receiving yards, while Karsten Hunter, Jackson McCormick and Blake Williams all have over 200. McCormick is the Tigers’ leading tackler.
— Jack Goods