The senior-laden Necedah football team is hoping to have a breakout season of sorts this fall. They’ll get a heck of a measuring stick this Friday against the class of the Scenic Bluffs Conference.
Necedah (3-0) welcomes in Bangor (2-0) for an all-Cardinals clash of unbeaten teams in Week 4 Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m. at Necedah High School.
For Bangor, it’s the conference opener after a whirlwind first few weeks to the season.
Bangor opened things up back on August 19 with a 30-7 win over Melrose-Mindoro, but quickly faced a curveball when COVID-19 issues put the season temporarily on pause. After missing out on Week 2 play, the Cardinals roared back in Week 3 with a 48-6 shellacking of Hillsboro.
Junior Tanner Jones and senior Mathieu Oesterle have been the workhorses for Bangor out of the backfield. Jones has compiled 316 yards and three touchdowns on an average of 7.7 yards per carry while Oesterle sits at 273 yards and five touchdowns on 7.2 yards per carry.
The Cardinals have looked plenty sharp when they’ve been able to play so far, but their biggest test thus far on the young season comes Friday evening against a team looking to make a statement.
Necedah is off to a 3-0 start in its 2021 campaign, which has included a 56-15 win at Wild Rose, a 66-36 victory over Cochrane-Fountain City and a 20-0 shutout of Royall in Elroy.
The senior duo of Stephen Daley and Mekhi Baradji is setting the pace for the Necedah offense on the ground. Daley has 341 yards and six touchdowns and Baradji sits at 336 yards and three touchdowns. Baradji also has eight receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Necedah senior quarterback Landen Murphy has completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 374 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Senior Josiah Hansen is the team’s leading receiver with 10 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cardinals were, at one time, a paradigm of consistency, making the playoffs 15 times in 16 years from 1999 to 2014 (including a run of 12 straight from 2003 to 2014). But the program has fallen on tougher times since then.
Turnout numbers have dwindled, and Necedah even elected to play as a junior varsity program in the fall of 2018. However, this group of seniors have the Cardinals believing in a return to the postseason and a high finish in the Scenic Bluffs standings.
A test against the conference’s poster child for success will be a good barometer of where they stand.
Cashton at Luther
Cashton’s hot start to the season gets another conference road test against Scenic Bluffs football’s latest addition.
The Eagles (3-0 overall, 1-0 Scenic Bluffs) will be facing off against the Luther Knights (2-1, 1-0) Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m. in Onalaska. Luther joined the Scenic Bluffs as a football-only member for this season and is coming off a 28-20 win over New Lisbon in its conference debut.
The Knights previously blew out Blair-Taylor 40-7 in their season opener and then fell 41-8 to La Crosse Aquinas in a Week 2 non-conference matchup.
Luther senior quarterback Dillon Yang has been a stellar dual-threat option for the Knights. He’s ran for 393 yards and five touchdowns on 55 carries and completed 20 of 29 passes for 190 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Sophomore tight end Logan Bahr has recorded seven catches for 147 yards (an average of 21 yards per reception) and two touchdowns.
Luther won the last meeting between the two, 21-14 back in 2019.
Brookwood suffered its first setback of the season last week with a 43-6 loss to Cashton to open Scenic Bluffs play, but will look to get back on track with a home non-conference contest.
The Falcons (2-1) will welcome in Seneca/Wauzeka-Steuben (0-3) for a Week 4 matchup Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.
So far this season, Wauzeka-Steuben/Seneca is still looking to put up its first point of the year. They lost to Potosi/Cassville 48-0 to open the season, 39-0 to River Ridge in Week 2 and 33-0 to Ithaca last Friday.
Obviously, the offense has had very limited success for them so far, with juniors Brennan Wallin and Evan Payne leading the way rushing.
Wallin has 42 yards on 20 carries and Payne has 35 yards on 19 attempts.
Last spring, Brookwood held off SWS with a 14-0 victory in the first-ever meeting between the two programs since Seneca and Wauzeka-Steuben began its co-op in 2015.