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WIAA PLAYOFFS: Sparta with another upset in first-ever playoff run

Rick Solem

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SPARTA, Wis., — The Sparta High School football team came into this season having never won a playoff game.

After Friday night, the Spartans now have two upset wins. The seventh-seeded took out No. 3 New Richmond 33-14 in the second round of the Division 3 playoffs.

Sparta (6-5), which beat second-seeded Ashland 36-8 for its first-ever playoff win last week, now heads to top-seeded Rice Lake at 7 p.m. Friday, looking for a third upset and a quarterfinal berth.

Sparta’s Bryce Edwards had 260 yards and two touchdowns on runs of 83 and 65 yards on New Richmond (6-5).

(1) Rice Lake 40, (4) Onalaska 25

RICE LAKE, Wis. — It was an offensive shootout in a sense, but Onalaska (7-4) couldn’t keep pace with Rice Lake (9-2).

The Hilltoppers, outgained 433-372, were led by quarterback Austin Larson’s 16-for-31 effort for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Eleven of those completions were to Ray Heilman, who finished with 145 yards and both TDs.

Rice Lake beat the Hilltoppers 42-13 last year in the playoffs.

DIVISION 5
(2) Westby 35, (3) Elk Mound 6

WESTBY, Wis. — The playoff run continues for Westby (10-1), which forced four second-half turnovers and closed the game with 28 unanswered on Elk Mound (8-3).

The Norseman, who have now won their second playoff game since 1996, will play Friday at top-seeded Spencer/Marshfield Columbus (10-1). In 1996, Westby lost in the state semifinal 29-7 to eventual champions Columbus.

Westby came in hoping to simply contain 2,000-yard rusher Brady Redwine, who had over 900 yards and 16 touchdowns in his last three games.

The Norseman did just that, holding him to 77 yards on 24 carries — though he did have a 90-yard touchdown reception to put his team up 6-0.

Redwine carried the ball 11 times on the Mounders’ opening drive that ended in a botched field goal.

Westby’s Ryan Daines scored three touchdowns, while teammate Dawson Marshall started the second-half run with an interception returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.

DIVISION 7
(1) Bangor 28, (5) Eleva-Strum 0

BANGOR, Wis. — The defending state champions outgained Eleva-Strum 394-170, including a 21-carry, 175-yard effort from junior Carter Horstman, who rushed for two touchdowns.

Friday, the Cardinals (10-1) will host No. 2-seed Highland (7-4).

Up 7-0 at halftime, Bangor set the pace in the second half with an 89-yard touchdown drive on Eleva-Strum (6-4).

DIVISION 2
(2) Monona Grove 56, (7) Central 28

MONONA, Wis. — Junior quarterback Johnny Davis was just 13-for-32 for 190 yards and a touchdown in the loss for Central.

The Red Raiders (8-3) were down 35-7 after the first quarter against eighth-ranked Monona Grove (11-0).

The playoffs continue for Minnesota on Saturday:
ROUND 2  
Lewiston-Altura at Caledonia
Albert Lea at Winona
Mabel-Canton at Spring Grove
Grand Meadow at Houston
Rushford-Peterson at Goodhue

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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