On Friday night, Waterford will be taking on a very different Burlington squad in a rematch of a game won handily by the Wolverines.
In that first game, Burlington quarterback Dalton Damon was out with pneumonia, and backup quarterback Peyton O’Laughlin understandably struggled in his first varsity start.
Despite the game being in Burlington, the Wolverines won handily and exerted their dominance.
After Burlington crushed Lake Geneva Badger, 33-7, last week behind an epic defensive performance, the Demons will battle Waterford on the road in the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Waterford won that game in 2017 as well.
Last Friday, Zach Wallace reeled off long touchdown runs of 70, 63 and 79 yards, racking up an unthinkable 224 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, Burlington played its best game of the year by far, holding the explosive Badger offense to 259 yards and only four yards per rush.
The Demons gave up 37 points and more than 400 total yards to Lake Geneva in the regular season.
Waterford crushed South Milwaukee, 38-0, in its playoff opener and is on a mission after being upset by Badger in the final week of the regular season.
Also, Wilmot and Catholic Central came up with big playoff victories. Union Grove fell in a playoff opener.
The Wisconsin Badgers got blown out by a far superior Ohio State team, like I expected.
In the NFL, the Green Bay Packers improved to 7-1 with a huge win at Kansas City, 31-24.
Aaron Rodgers made an impossible touchdown throw, and he leaned on his running backs, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, who combined for three touchdowns.
Jones was the first Packers running back since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to amass 150 total yards and two touchdowns.
Rodgers is on top of his game, Jones leads the league in touchdowns, and things should only get better when Davante Adams returns, hopefully this week.
It should be an awesome weekend of football, so sit back, enjoy an ice-cold beverage, family and friends and let’s get on with the predictions.
Last week: 8-2
WIAA Level 2 Playoffs
(all games Friday 7 p.m.)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Burlington (8-2) at Waterford (9-1)
Oh, my goodness.
What possibly tops an already all-time rivalry between two schools that don’t particularly like each other and are only separated by 8 miles?
A playoff matchup between these two teams kind of trumps all, and it’s the second time in three years these two schools are meeting up in a win-or-go-home game.
Well, both teams will be at full strength, with Dalton Damon and Zach Wallace leading the charge for the Demons.
Waterford boasts the best 1-2 running back punch in the area with Tanner Keller and Dominic Miller, and quarterback Logan Martinson (5-7, 134 yards, 3 TD) had a big game last week and showed another dimension to this Waterford offense.
The Demons defense is coming off its best performance of the season, but with a lot of youth, can it stop Waterford’s powerful offense.
The Wolverines are out to prove their pummeling of the short-handed Demons was no fluke, and they will be too much at home.
Burlington will play much better than the first meeting.
PREDICTION: Waterford 35, Burlington 24
Catholic Central (6-4) at Hilbert (10-0)
Sure, big bad Hilbert is the No. 1 seed and is a very good football team, something Catholic Central coach Tom Aldrich acknowledges.
The Wolves average 337 rushing yards per game, almost twice as much as the Toppers.
Evan Lau, a 6-foot, 195-pound running back, has racked up 1,468 rushing yards and 245 receiving yards.
Also, Dylan Dohr sniffed the 1,000 rushing yards plateau with 996.
The deck is stacked for the Toppers, who feature a smash-mouth run game and a tough, physical defense led by Chas Miles, Reid Muellenbach and Henry Amborn.
Catholic Central faces top-notch competition in Divisions 4, 5 and 6 throughout the year, so it won’t be intimidated.
Also, Hilbert beat a 4-6 Rosholt team last week, 49-34.
OK, the Wolves were in control the whole game, but still, 34 points to a 4-6 team?
Sometimes, it’s fun to pick the improbable upset.
The Toppers are coming off an emotional victory, highlighted by a walk-off field goal from Christian Pedone in overtime.
Why the heck not keep this thing going?
PREDICTION: Catholic Central 25, Hilbert 23
Waukesha West (7-3) at Wilmot (9-1)
I know the Panthers have a better record, but how about the disrespect of the Wolverines receiving a 3 seed?
Just about every year, West plows through the D2 playoff bracket.
Last year, the Wolverines beat a very good Waterford team on the road.
Waukesha West plays in the best conference in the state, the Classic 8.
Brooks Blount has thrown for 2,477 yards, an impressive average of 247 yards per game.
Zack Watson of Wilmot throws for 115 yards per game, and the Panthers run for 198 yards per game.
Wilmot is a very good football team.
Wilmot’s biggest win was a one-point victory at Burlington.
West beat a phenomenal Mukwonago team two weeks ago, and it shut out Kettle Moraine last week, 31-0.
West won at Wilmot in the playoffs last year, 41-26, and I think it’s poised for a repeat.
PREDICTION: Waukesha West 38, Wilmot 31
Other area predictions
- Muskego 28, Mukwonago 21