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Friday football finale upon county prep teams

The Friday finale for Pierce County's prep football teams is tonight at 7 p.m. and includes three local rivalry games.

In the Middle Border Conference No. 3 ranked Ellsworth will aim to go 9-0 for the first time since 1999 when they play at Hwy. 10 West rival Prescott.

The game lost a little of its potential when PHS stumbled at Durand last week 30-28. Prescott's loss and EHS's 26-14 win over Osceola last week allowed the Panthers to grab a piece of the MBC title for just the fourth time in school history. Head coach Clair Austin said in a radio interview this week on KWNG 106 in Red Wing that the Panthers have taken the best efforts of their opponents the past several weeks and expects the same in tonight's contest at Laney Field.

"Some of those teams were playing for playoff spots and gave us their best shots," Austin said.  "But we were able to get past them and I feel that's a positive going into the postseason that we can play in close or tight contests and take a team's best efforts and be able to come away with with wins."

The Cardinals will have to forget about the loss to Durand and play not just to ruin Ellsworth's perfect season but also secure a Level 1 home game for themselves next week with seven wins.

"We're looking forward to a big challenge this week vs Ellsworth," PHS head coach Matt Smith said. "It will be a great measuring stick of where we're at heading into playoffs."

Both teams come in about as equal as one can get in terms of skills postions, secondary play, linebacking and play up front. Where Prescott may press an edge is their passing game led by quarterback Alex Helmer and wide outs Danny Cobenais and Payton Bartsch. Special teams will be important as well. Ellsworth's Dennis Schutz will have to match Prescott kicker Owen Schommer extra point for extra point and the Cards' can use Schommer to kick field goals if they have drives stall out on them.

Here's the link to the latest state coaches' poll:

Spring Valley faces rival and No. 4 ranked and defending state champion Glenwood City at Williams Stadium in Menomonie. Last season SV only lost 19-7 to GC and head coach Ryan Kapping believes the Cardinals can put themselves again in a position to slow down the Hilltoppers high-octane offense.

"GC presents a big challenge with their speed," Kapping said.  "It will be important to make sure that we have 11 guys running to the football and doing their jobs to not create the vertical lanes that they attempt to create with their offense."

GC is led by the D-SC's top running back, senior Isaac Tuttle. His nearly 1,500 yards rushing is almost double what the next back behind him, Boyceville's Logan Macabee-Thomas, has gained. GC's has another potent running back in Jeff Kopacz who has over 700 yards rushing.

Here's a link to the Dunn-St. Croix Conference individual stats:

Spring Valley should qualify for the playoffs even if they are no worse than 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. But if Valley wins they will officially clinch with four conference wins.

Elmwood/Plum City has one last chance to clinch a playoff berth but will have to do so against No. 5 ranked and unbeaten Alma/Pepin in Pepin tonight. The Eagles are led by running back Trevor Heit, who has nearly 1,000 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns along with quarterback Sam Mueller who has thrown for 758 yards and eight touchdowns. A/P running back Aikan Major has over 500 yards rushing as well. EPC cannot let these players run wild on them the same way Clayton running back James Hoffman did last week in a 52-20 loss. Hoffman rushed for 267 yards and scored four touchdowns. His game last week zoomed him to the top of the leaderboard of running backs in the LSC.

Here's the link to the Lakeland South Conference player stats:

Middle Border Conference

*Ellsworth                    6-0             8-0

Somerset                      5-1             7-1

Durand                         5-1             6-2

Prescott                       4-2             6-2

Osceola                        2-4              4-4

New Richmond             2-4              2-6

Amery                          0-6              1-7

Baldwin-Woodville        0-6              1-7

*Clinched tie for the conference title

(The title is Ellsworth's first since 1999 and fourth in school history)

Friday, Oct. 11

Somerset 54, Baldwin-Woodville 26

Durand 30, Prescott 28

Ellsworth 26, Osceola 14

New Richmond 35, Amery 20

Friday, Oct. 18

Baldwin-Woodville at Amery

New Richmond at Osceola

Ellsworth at Prescott

Durand at Somerset

End of the regular season

Lakeland South Conference

*Alma/Pepin                       5-0              8-0

Clear Lake                           4-1              5-3

Clayton                                4-2             4-4

Elmwood/Plum City            2-3              3-5

Turtle Lake                          2-3              3-5

Shell Lake                            1-4              2-6

Lake Holcombe/Cornell       0-5              0-8

*Clinched tie for conference title

Friday, Oct. 11

Clayton 52, Elmwood/Plum City 20

Clear Lake 43, Shell Lake 0

Alma/Pepin 40, Unity 6 (nc)

Turtle Lake 42, Lake Holcombe/Cornell 0

Friday, Oct. 18

Turtle Lake at Clear Lake

Elmwood/Plum City at Alma/Pepin

Lake Holcombe/Cornell at Shell Lake

Clayton at Grantsburg (nc)

End of the regular season

Dunn-St. Croix Conference

*Mondovi                            6-0          8-0

Glenwood City                    4-1          6-1

Spring Valley                     3-2          5-2

Colfax                               2-3           5-2

St.  Croix Central               2-3          2-6

Boyceville                          1-4           3-5

Elk Mound                         0-5           1-7

*Clinched conference title

(The title is Mondovi's first since 2010 and the seventh in school history)

Friday, Oct. 11

Boyceville 14, Elk Mound 7

Glenwood City 42, St. Croix Central 0

Mondovi 30, Colfax 8

Spring Valley 49, Elk River Spectrum, Minn. 0

Friday, Oct. 18

Glenwood City at Spring Valley

Elk Mound at St. Croix Central

Colfax at Boyceville

Osseo-Fairchild at Mondovi (nc)

End of the regular season