Drew Weis (shown here in a game against Delavan earlier this season) and the Burlington Demons will face rival Waterford for the second straight week Friday night in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 playoffs. (Photo by Bob Mischka)

Rivalries are cool and all, but having to play your biggest rival two weeks in a row is downright brutal.

And, oh by the way, your better conference record and the fact you beat that team head to head don’t really matter that much.

That’s the dilemma Eric Sulik and the Burlington Demon football team face this week as they open the playoffs.

      The Demons beat Waterford last week, 9-7, with their third-string quarterback Tommy Teberg after injuries to both Jack Sulik and Drew Weis have kept the Demons short-handed a lot of the season.

It was purely for bragging rights, though, as both teams had clinched playoff spots and were merely jockeying for position.

Short-handed and outgained by a 2-1 margin (318-157), the Demons came up big with their third straight win with another stellar defensive effort.

But their reward doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Burlington, who finished 5-4 just like Waterford but had a better Southern Lakes record (5-2 to 4-3), must now open the WIAA Division 2 playoffs Friday AT WATERFORD, which earned a higher seed somehow.

Eric Sulik admitted it was pretty crazy they’re playing Waterford again, but he says the Demons can’t control where they are seeded.

He has the utmost respect for the Waterford rivalry and cherishes another shot to beat them.

“Waterford is historically our biggest rival,” Sulik said. “There is always a little more intensity when we play them. Players and coaches get a little more excited to prepare for Waterford.”

Burlington gave up 200 rushing yards to two Wolverine runners, but somehow managed to pull out the victory.

Teberg continued to show his future is bright with more than 100 total yards and the game-winning touchdown pass.

So yes, rivalries are cool and all, but these teams shouldn’t be playing each other two weeks in a row, and the Demons should be hosting after beating the Wolverines head-to-head and having a better conference record.

Come on, WIAA.

Elsewhere in the area, Catholic Central finished the season strong with two blowout wins despite missing starting quarterback Max Robson last week. Their No. 6 seed was deserved.

Union Grove, the outright SLC champs, earned the top seed in the same grouping as Burlington and Waterford, and Lake Geneva Badger got the No. 2.

It would have been nice to see these teams spread out a bit, because a Grove-Badger rematch should be with higher stakes than just a Level 3 matchup.

Overall, I’d like to give congratulations to all five of my area teams for making the postseason.

Best of luck on your journey to Madison.

The Badgers beat Army Saturday in a very boring game, but at least Wisconsin got a win to get back to .500.

Also, it was nice to see the Packers take care of my most hated rival, the Chicago Bears, in Chicago.

Aaron Rodgers screamed to the crowd, “I still own you,” after scoring the clinching touchdown.

With a 22-5 career record, Rodgers definitely does own them.

At 5-1, Green Bay is riding high despite some recent injuries to the secondary.

Expect another big win Sunday.

 

FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS

      Last week: 6-1; Season: 36-8

Game of the Week

No. 5 Burlington (5-4) at No. 4 Waterford (5-4)

After the Demons gutted out an impressive slug fest last week, their reward is having to go on the road to battle their biggest rival.

Not exactly the best way to promote beating teams head to head and having a better conference record, like the WIAA tries to do with seeding.

Well, expect the Demons to battle, but it’s going to be hard to beat the Wolverines two weeks in a row, especially at Waterford.

I am predicting another Ben Graham field goal, though.

Waterford’s talented offensive trio of Max Northrop, Carson Bilitz and Parker Peterson will finally get them over the hump.

      PREDICTION: Waterford 14, Burlington 10

 

No. 6 Catholic Central (6-3) at No. 3 Lourdes Academy (8-1)

In a game at UW-Oshkosh Friday, the sixth-ranked team in the state in Division 7 is the favorite, but Tom Aldrich believes his squad matches up with Lourdes.

Quarterback Max Robson will be back for the Toppers, and I expect them to put up a fight in this one.

Dare I say they pull off a monumental upset?

      PREDICTION: Catholic Central 35, Lourdes 31

 

      No. 8 Waukesha West (3-6) at No. 1 Union Grove (9-0)

Waukesha West has been the bane in the existence for Southern Lakes teams for years, as they always find a way to knock off higher-seeded Lakes teams come playoff time.

West plays in the state’s best conference, the Classic 8, and they play the state’s best teams in the regular season.

But they actually look down this year, for once, and Cody Cotton is back healthy and better than ever for the Broncos, who narrowly missed being the biggest school in the Division 3 playoffs and must settle for being one of the smallest schools in D2.

It doesn’t matter, though, the Broncos have a special squad this year.

      PREDICTION: Union Grove 40, Waukesha West 28