Prep Football Preview: Playoff Matchups for All Three Local Teams
By Joe Bachman
With the regular season wrapping up last week, Lincoln, Assumption, and Nekoosa all have post-season match-ups this weekend.
Red Raiders Seek Redemption Against Rockets
Lincoln (6-3) at Neenah (7-2)
Earlier this year, the Red Raiders dropped their regular season game at Neenah 44-0; and they meet again in a first round WIAA Playoff match-up. While Lincoln was held to no points on the night against Neenah, Lincoln has put up over 200 points in their last five games, and will look for their many offensive weapons to score on a tough Neenah defense.
However, with the rise of tailback Nash Coombs, and the consistent play of Isaac Pelot and quarterback Jake Mancl; rest assured, Lincoln will likely put some points on the board. Neenah will expect heightened play from star wideout Isaiah Westfall, as well as an improved Lincoln defense that is allowing only 20 points per game on average over their last five contests.
The Red Raiders finished first in the Valley West Conference this season, and will look to capitalize on their current success, as they’ve won four out of their last five games. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Neenah High School.
Royals Look Hit Five in a Row With Playoff Win Over Panthers
Assumption (6-3) at Pittsville (7-2)
Quarterback Jake Sullivan has come back from injury at the right time, after missing his first seven games of the year, as Assumption will head to Pittsville for playoff action. The Royals have won four straight games on the backs of a staunch Royals defense that has only allowed an average of eight points per game over a five game span.
This, with the improved play of Teddy Ashbeck and Cole Statz throughout the year, the Royals are hitting their stride at just the right time. With Sullivan behind center, the Royals will look to put points on the board against a tough Pittsville defense that has only allowed 53 points all season. Look for playmakers Joe Grundhoffer, Craig Elsen, along with Ashbeck, Sullivan, and Statz to step it up for the Royals on Friday night.
Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Pittsville High School.
Nekoosa Hope to Upset Top Ranked Osceloa
Nekoosa (3-6) at Osceola (9-0)
While Nekoosa finished 3-6 on the year, a solid conference record has landed them a playoff spot. However, they face their toughest opponent yet when they take on the undefeated, no. 1 seeded Osceola Cheiftans.
The Papermakers will have to put up some points on an Osceola team that isn’t invincible on the defensive end — as quarterback Kyle Olsen, and Dylan Bills will look to continue their consistent play away from home. Nekoosa will need more than just Bills and Olsen, as contributions will be needed all-around, including solid play from Trent Waltenberg, and Jace Olsen, from both sides of the football.
Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. Friday night at Osceola High.