We’re a win away from a state qualifying matchup between the Onalaska and West Salem high school football teams.
The top-seeded and fourth-ranked (Large Division) Hilltoppers won Friday 42-12 and will host Rice Lake (9-2) at 7 p.m. Friday — a game WKTY will livestream.
Watch WKTY football on the Around River City channel on Roku or Apple TV, online here, or the WKTY App.
On the other half of the bracket, top-seeded and seventh-ranked (Medium) West Salem beat Fox Valley Lutheran 35-14, and will host No. 7 Notre Dame (8-3).
If both teams win, Onalaska (11-0) will play West Salem (10-1) to get to the Division 3 state championship at Camp Randall in Madison.
It’s not just significant because they’re neighboring rivals. In Week 1, the Hilltoppers beat the Panthers 14-13. West Salem scored a touchdown with 9:34 remaining in the game, but failed on a two-point conversion pass that would have given it the lead.
Meanwhile, in Division 5, third-seeded and third-ranked (Small) Aquinas proved why it should have been the top seed.
The Blugolds handed No. 2-seed Northwestern its first loss of the season with a 38-16 win.
And, on the top half of the bracket, the No. 1 seed, St. Croix Falls, lost its second game of the year, falling to fourth-seeded Colby (10-1) 28-0.
Meaning the third and fourth seeds will match up at UW-La Crosse on Friday.
Aquinas (10-1) had been the second-ranked team for much of the season, before losing in the regular-season finale to West Salem 28-14. That dropped it to the third-ranked team and they were voted the third seed for the playoffs.
A win and the Blugolds would match up with either top-seeded and unranked Southern Door (11-0) or No. 2-seed Kewaunee (10-1). The only loss for Kewaunee came Oct. 7 to Southern Door 19-14.
In Division 7, three area teams still alive and two will play in the quarterfinals.
Top-seeded Pepin/Alma will host No. 3 Bangor, while No. 1 seed Cashton will host second-seeded Black Hawk/Warren (Ill.) on the other side of the bracket.