The state football playoffs are starting a few days early for Weyauwega-Fremont and Iola-Scandinavia.
Both teams will take a 3-3 Central Wisconsin 8 Conference record into tonight’s (Thursday’s) regular-season finale in Weyauwega. The winner advances to the playoffs, which start Tuesday, while the loser sees its season come to an end.
I-S fell to Shiocton 42-30 Friday, while W-F handed Manawa a 34-7 defeat.
SHIOCTON – The T-Birds outgained the Chiefs by nearly 100 yards, but Shiocton returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns.
The teams combined for 11 touchdowns. Ronnie Knapstein scored from 4 yards out in the first quarter and added 1-yard runs in the third and fourth quarters for the T-Birds. Jake Metz threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Devin Peterson in the second quarter and also scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Peterson led the T-Birds with 140 yards in 21 carries, but Shiocton quarterback Talon Heinemeyer finished with 163 yards on the ground, including TD runs of 32 and 52 yards in the first half.
I-S outgained the chiefs 372-279.
“Two interceptions for touchdowns,” coach Scott Erickson said. “Turnovers killed us.”
The Indians took a 21-0 halftime lead and kept the Wolves off of the scoreboard until the game’s final minutes.
Eric Keenan threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Treg DeSantis and also scored on 2- and 1-yard runs, while Mike Nelson added a 60-yard run and Casey Haase scored from 3 yards out.
Manawa’s score came on Jestin Heimbruch’s 1-yard run with 3:06 to play.
The Indians outgained the Wolves 318-87 on the ground, but Manawa had a 119-80 advantage through the air.
Haase, Keenan and Nelson led W-F’s balanced rushing attack with 82, 76 and 69 yards, respectively.
Both teams know how important tonight’s game is, according to Erickson.
“They know,” he said. “Everybody knows the consequences. It’s pretty much a playoff game.”