The Hilight Zone Week 7: Stratford wins top-five clash, Auburndale wins nail-biter

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 11:18 PM CDT
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STRATFORD, Wis. (WSAW) - Week seven of the high school football season correlated with the final Friday in September. The weather felt more like early September, but the great weather brought about a great slate of games.

Beginning in the Marawood, Colby took their number nine ranking up against Marathon. The Hornets continued their success against the Red Raiders Friday. Gavin Voss set the Hornets up for production through the return game on the ground attack, while Tayt Brown also punched a score in with his legs in the first half. Colby ensured themselves a winning record in the conference with a 35-0 shutout win.

Shutouts are the name of the game for Edgar. The second-ranked Wildcats picked up their fifth straight win via the shutout as they blanked Pittsville on the road 36-0. Karter Butt continued to churn out yards on the ground while Teegan Streit led the aerial attack as Edgar picked up their sixth win in a row.

The closest contest of the night in the Marawood came in Auburndale. The number six Eagles got all they could handle from their Falcon counterparts. A late field goal for Auburndale would break a 31-31 tie as the Eagles would survive with a win and remain undefeated. They’ll match up against Edgar next week.

In our game of the week, two top five teams in number four Wittenberg-Birnamwood and number three Stratford clashed in Stratford. A slower first half offensively gave way to a shootout in the second half. A Nathan Waupekenay touchdown pass to Keegan Benbo gave Witt-Birn a third-quarter lead at 13-12. However, from there, Koehler Kilty would take over the game for Stratford. Kilty would score on back-to-back drives for the Tigers, his third and fourth touchdowns of the game, to give Stratford the lead back and give Stratford momentum. The Chargers still had life, thanks to an Owen Dickman touchdown in the fourth. However, Jack Tubbs would find Gavin Leonhardt for a long touchdown to put the game on ice as Stratford would win the game 34-21. After the game, Stratford head coach Jack Tubbs talked about the keys to picking up a huge win.

“Our big-name players made big plays. Gavin Leonard and Koehler Kilty just did an amazing job of moving the chains when we needed it,” said Tubbs. “Got a little bit adversity and our guys and we’re just super proud of them coming by back, taking the lead, and not giving it up again.”

In the VFA, SPASH found themselves in the driver’s seat of the conference after a win the week prior against Wausau West. They’d battle Wausau East Friday to similar success. Building on a 21-point first-half lead, the Panthers got a strong second half from Izzy Moore to help put the game to rest, winning 42-7. As for Wausau West, they’d get back on the winning track, albeit without Rey Reineck. Jack Kostrowski would move the ball with his feet and through the air, including a long touchdown to Carter Amerson as the Warriors would crush Appleton West 57-6.

In other Valley competition, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids got into a defensive struggle. Despite the low score, it’d be Marshfield to sneak away with a 6-0 win. Two Keegan Fredrick field goals would be the difference in the game as Marshfield picks up their first back-to-back wins of the season. Elsewhere, D.C. Everest got into a defensive struggle of their own with Hortonville, but fell on the wrong side, losing 14-12.

Elsewhere, in the Great Northern, Mosinee looked to continue their torrid pace on the road against Antigo. They’d get another sensational showing from Keagen Jirschele with both a return for a touchdown and an efficient night on offense. Mosinee would roll to another shutout win, winning 35-0. In eight-player, Port Edwards got a big game from their quarterback Hayden Hewitt as the Blackhawks soared to a 55-14 win. Elsewhere, White Lake/Elcho welcomed Bessemer from Michigan, winning 46-20.