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September 6, 2013Week three of the high school football season got off to a scintillating start Thursday night with Waukesha West's 45-44 overtime victory at Mukwonago.
This Classic Eight opener pitted the fifth-rated D-2 Wolverines traveling to D-1's third-ranked bunch, and fans weren't disappointed.
The teams were tied at 10 at the break and then embarked on a wild second half that saw West grab a 31-17 advantage early in the final quarter. But the Indians erupted for a 20-6 run, scoring in the final seconds to force OT.
Thriller in Mukwonago
Mukwonago then got first crack and scored, only to see the Wolverines get a second chance on a penalty to score the two-point conversion for the huge win and a big step in the conference race.
It was West's second straight overtime win in the series.
Here are some of the other big games scheduled this weekend:
Owen-Withee (2-0) at Loyal (2-0)
This contest will go a long way in deciding the Cloverwood Conference title, although both foes have trips to Greenwood/Granton in the next two weeks and October matchups against the league's fourth unbeaten squad, Gilman.
The No. 3 Blackhawks are averaging 42.5 points per game behind their vaunted running game and will try to avenge their only regular-season and conference setback from last year, an 8-6 decision.
Bryce Niemi is averaging more than 9 yards per carry and has scored six times while gaining 428 yards, which places him in the top five in the state.
The Greyhounds, two spots behind O-W in the Division 7 team rankings, are coming off a big win against Athens and are hoping to keep that home cooking going.
Loyal also relies almost exclusively on its rushing attack, as it fields a unit with four players over 100 yards, led by Payton Porter's 280 and four TDs.
Ashwaubenon (2-0) at Green Bay Southwest (2-0)
This already is a big test and showdown in the Fox River Classic Conference, where Southwest is the defending champion and Ashwaubenon hopes to continue its climb after a .500 league mark last fall.
The Trojans are ranked No. 8 in this week's WiHigh.com D-2 poll, and the Jaguars are one spot behind them.
Southwest routed the Jaguars, 43-13, in a week two encounter last year and are averaging 46.5 ppg as Taylor Van Rite and Jake Gorzek have combined for 377 yards rushing with three scores apiece.
Ashwaubenon enters this tilt with a 33.5 scoring average that has featured 458 yards and six touchdowns from quarterback James Morgan who has completed more than 65 percent of his pass attempts.
Waunakee (1-1) at Mount Horeb/Barneveld (2-0)
Not that they could look past the reigning Badger North champions, but MH/B needs to take care of business with a huge road contest at DeForest in week four on tap as it tries to stay in the league race.
The Warriors rebounded for a much needed victory last week and hope to carry that momentum
The Vikings have unleashed a balanced offense that includes 282 yards and three TD passes from Max Meylor, who has completed 18 of 25 attempts, and 349 yards (9.7) and four TDs from Wyatt Thompson.
Hortonville (2-0) at Seymour (2-0)
The Polar Bears are knocking on the Division 2 top 10 and a road win here should bust the door open. The Thunder are ranked No. 7 in D-3.
The winner of this showdown stays in first place as they fight to stay ahead of defending league champion West De Pere, which they both face in October.
Hortonville has not allowed a point yet, while its balanced offense has featured 365 yards passing and six scores from Andrew Thompson and 220 yards and five TDs rushing from Alex Lasinski.
Seymour also has shut out both of its foes but hasn't been as efficient offensively, especially in the passing game. Dylan Beyer leads the ground game 2ith 172 yards (9.6).
Rice Lake (2-0) at Hudson (1-1)
This Big Rivers opener pits two teams that are honorable mention picks in the team rankings so far, Rice Lake in D-3 and Hudson in D-1.
The Warriors hope to keep the momentum going and earn their third win in the teams' last four meetings. Hudson won, 24-14, last year while Rice Lake grabbed two-point victories the previous two seasons.
The Raiders get their first taste of Wisconsin competition after splitting against Minnesota opponents.
Regis (2-0) at Stratford (2-0)
This is a big nonconference contest between the kings of the Cloverbelt and a perennial power in the Marawood.
The Ramblers haven't dominated like last year, but they've done plenty to dispose of Osseo-Fairchild and Altoona by a combined 64-27.
The Tigers share the league lead with Edgar and Marathon and want to prove that last year's 50-0 setback wasn't a trend in this series.
Stratford is averaging 54.5 ppg while giving up only 8 per contest.
Boyceville (2-0) at Mondovi (2-0)
Five of the seven teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference enter play with 2-0 records, including these two rivals.
The Bulldogs, ranked seventh in D-6, have registered shutouts in five of their last six games, the exception being their 25-8 loss to Regis in a Level 3 game last year. They rely heavily on their running game, which features Logan McAbee-Thomas, who has gained 218 yards.
The Buffaloes, who sit at No. 7 in Division 5, have won their two outings by a combined six points, including a 28-24 decision over D-4 team G-E-T.
Mondovi hasn't lit up the scoreboard and relies on a balanced running game. However, quarterback Zach Ganschow has been efficient, throwing for 185 yards and four scores while completing better than 58 percent of his tosses.
Bangor (2-0) at Necedah (2-0)
This battle of Cardinals involves two of the four unbeaten teams in the Scenic Bluffs and gives the winner a jump in the league chase, which Bangor won last year with a 7-0 mark.
Bangor is ranked No. 6 in Division 7, while Necedah sits at ninth in D-6.
The visiting Cardinals have allowed only eight points, while J.J. Hundt has rambled for 275 yards (9.8) to lead the running game.
Meanwhile, Necedah has scored 41.5 ppg but is giving up 22.
Menasha (1-1) at Stevens Point (2-0)
The Bluejays rebounded nicely after a big loss to Kimberly in their opener. Menasha is ranked fifth in the D-3 charts.
The Panthers pulled out a 10-7 verdict at Wausau West to move into the seventh spot in Division 1 and hope to make a statement in kicking off Valley Football Association South action.
Stevens Point hasn't done much offensively, but its defense has allowed only the seven points. As for Menasha, it averaged 36 ppg in its two non-league games as Tyler Johnson has thrown for 268 yards and leads the running attack with 251 yards and four scores.