WIAA Level 1 high school football capsules
By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – Six area high school football teams – Ashwaubenon, Bay Port, De Pere, Notre Dame Academy, Pulaski and West De Pere – qualified for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) football playoffs.
Level 1 games are Friday, Oct. 22, at the higher-seeded team’s home field.
No. 8 Ashwaubenon @ No. 1 Luxemburg-Casco (Division 3)
The Jaguars (3-6 overall, 3-4 Fox River Classic Conference) snuck into the playoffs because the WIAA needed more teams to fill the playoff brackets.
Ashwaubenon lost to Division 1 Bay Port by five points (39-34) and Division 3 playoff qualifier West De Pere (15-14) on a last-second field goal.
The Jaguars are led by quarterback Boone Kirst, who has completed 101-of-168 passes for 1,471 yards with 10 touchdowns.
Running back Andrew Pludeman has rushed for 967 yards on 152 carries.
Wide receiver Rhett Jonas has caught 45 balls for 806 yards and five touchdowns.
The Spartans (9-0, 7-0 North Eastern) are the No. 2-ranked Division 3 team in the state.
Luxemburg-Casco’s average margin of victory during the regular season was almost 30 points per game.
Defensively, the Spartans recorded a pair of shutouts.
Luxemburg-Casco is led by running back Isaac VandenBush, who has rushed for 1,489 yards on 194 attempts with 29 touchdowns.
No. 7 Manitowoc Lincoln @ No. 2 Bay Port (Division 1)
The Pirates (8-1, 6-1 FRCC) are the No. 9-ranked team in Division 1.
After advancing to the 2019 state championship game, Bay Port had six games this season decided by 14 points or less.
The Pirates are led by quarterback Cole Bensen, who is 64-of-105 passing for 967 yards and seven touchdowns.
Bensen also leads Bay Port on the ground with 732 yards on 114 carries.
Wide receiver Sam Barry has caught 38 passes for 506 yards.
The Ships (4-5, 4-3 FRCC) lost their first two non-conference games of the season but then won four straight conference games against Sheboygan North, Green Bay East, Green Bay West and Sheboygan South, respectively, to qualify for the playoffs.
Those four wins came against teams with a combined 6-30 record.
Manitowoc comes into the playoffs losers of its last two games to Notre Dame Academy and Pulaski, respectively, by a combined 79 points.
The Ships are led by running back Brett Prange’s 1,209 yards rushing on 211 attempts and 17 touchdowns.
No. 8 Beaver Dam @ No. 1 De Pere (Division 2)
Winners of the FRCC, De Pere (8-1, 7-0 FRCC) is the No. 3-ranked Division 2 team in the state.
The Redbirds won their first conference title since 2015 with close wins over Bay Port, West De Pere, Notre Dame and Pulaski.
The Bay Port and Pulaski victories each came down to the final play of the game.
De Pere is led by quarterback Gabe Herman, who is 62-of-107 passing for 854 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Herman also leads the Redbirds on the ground with 546 yards rushing on 78 attempts with nine touchdowns.
Herman’s favorite target has been wide receiver Jack May, who has 25 receptions for 460 yards and eight touchdowns.
Beaver Dam (4-5, 3-4 Badger-Large) is another playoff team with a below-.500 conference team, but its record might be deceiving.
The Golden Beavers play in the Badger-Large Conference with Waunakee (9-0) and DeForest (8-1), the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked Division 2 teams in the state, respectively.
Beaver Dam is led by running back Gabe Klatt, who has rushed for 1,772 yards on 232 carries with 18 touchdowns.
No. 6 Notre Dame @ No. 3 Fox Valley Lutheran (Division 3)
The Tritons (5-4, 5-2 FRCC) come into the playoffs battle-tested after close games with Bay Port and De Pere.
Notre Dame also gets a lift with the return of senior Max Rader, a North Dakota State University verbal commit.
Rader hasn’t played a snap this season after having offseason surgery on his labrum.
The Tritons are led by quarterback Sam Lagowski, who is 55-of-97 passing for 972 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Running back Daniel Hornacek has rushed for 1,275 yards on 174 attempts with 19 touchdowns.
Four of Fox Valley Lutheran’s (5-4, 4-3 Bay) wins came by a combined 14 points.
The Foxes are coming off a 34-0 loss to Shawano to end the regular season and gave Seymour its only win of the season.
Pass-heavy Fox Valley Lutheran is led by quarterback Drew Mears, who is 144-of-282 passing for 1,667 yards with eight touchdowns.
The Foxes have three running backs who have each rushed for more than 200 yards on the ground.
No. 6 West De Pere @ No. 3 Pulaski (Division 2)
This will be the second time this season West De Pere (4-5, 4-3 FRCC) and Pulaski (7-2, 5-2 FRCC) will play.
In that game, the Phantoms had more total yards of offense, but the Pulaski defense intercepted three West De Pere passes.
In their single-wing offense, the Red Raiders are led by running backs Maverick Cole and Aaron Maroszek, who have rushed for 794 and 766 yards, respectively, and have combined for 20 touchdowns.
The Phantoms are led by quarterback Duke Shovald, who is 92-of-154 passing for 1,482 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Running back Najeh Mitchell has rushed for 857 yards on 177 attempts with 14 touchdowns.
Mitchell has also added 534 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.
Wide receiver Langdon Nordgaard leads West De Pere with 28 receptions for 548 yards and five touchdowns.