Prep football playoffs begin tonight. Plum City to play in Ellsworth, Elwmood hosts first round contestIt could be Plum City vs. Elmwood II if both teams win their opening round prep football playoff games tonight.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
Can the sequel be better than the original?’
The first Elmwood-Plum City prep football game was another classic contest between the two Pierce County rivals that PC won 18-13.
A rematch could be in the offing in Level 2 on Saturday at Fuller-Symes
Field in the heart of Pierce County.
But first both teams have to win their Level 1 games Tuesday evening. Kick-off time for both is at 7 p.m.
The No. 5 ranked and undefeated Blue Devils have the No. 1 seed in their bracket while No. 13 Elmwood is seeded fourth, just below them.
PC will play 5-4 Turtle Lake at Ellsworth while Elmwood hosts No. 9 Chippewa Falls McDonell with an overall record of 6-3.
Both teams come into the playoffs from season finale road wins. The Blue Devils clinched another unbeaten season with a 50-13 pasting of Cornell while the Raiders had no trouble beating New Auburn 54-6 despite being without leading ground gainer Jesse McKune.
McKune injured his knee on the opening play of last Thursday’s ballgame and held out the rest of the way.
“We did it as a precaution,” EHS head coach Jerry Hannack said. “His status for Tuesday’s game will be a game time decision.”
The Raiders were still able to rush for 261 yards against the winless Trojans. E.J. Wolske led the way with 109 yards on five carries while Christian Fredrickson had 61 yards on three carnies and Corey Bates 49 yards on three carries. Wolske scored four times on runs of 24 and eight and 53 yards and had a 34-yard interception return for a TD. Fredrickson scored on a 15-yard touchdown run and caught a 33-yard pass from quarterback Brian Tolonen for a score. Bates and Eli Fredrickson also had TDs for Elmwood.
EHS’ defense was even better, holding NA to -15 yards rushing and only 100 total yards, 76 of which came on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Plum City’s defense also was solid, holding Cornell’s Cody Olson to under 100 yards rushing. The Devils, meanwhile, rushed for 391 yards led by Tim Wayne’ s 160 on 21 carries and Gabe Rodriguez’s 80 yards on 10 carries. Wayne scored twice while Alex Hartung and Chase Luebker also scored rushing touchdowns and Tyler Churchill caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Shawn Ingli.
“We played quite well vs. Cornell,” PC head coach Pete Adler said. “We did a really good job on defense, ran the ball and we showed we can throw the ball as well and I’m confident we can do so again in the playoffs.”
Turtle Lake was once a top-ranked team this season with a 5-1 record. But they have lost their last three games, including a 22-20 upset by 2-7 Alma Center Lincoln. The Lakers are led by running backs Adam King and Dylan Thill along with QB Matt Cornell. King has rushed for 724 yards and Thill has nearly 700 yards rushing as well. Both have combined for 10 touchdowns while Connell has rushed for nearly 400 yards and six TD while throwing for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns. Four different Laker receivers have over 100 yards in receptions.
Elmwood gets to host a first round contest this season but has a tough match-up against the No. 9 ranked Macks. McDonell plays against Division 5 and 6 schools in the Marawood Conference.
The Macks have a balanced offense led by quarterback Andy Davis, who has thrown for over 1,400 yards this season, and running back Alex Heiss, who has rushed for over 800 yards. McDonell is also big up front led by 6-3, 255-lbs. senior lineman Ben Rubenzer and 6-0, 355-lbs. freshman lineman Donnie Loew. However Heiss may be out due to an injury.