They’re both undefeated, they’re both ranked and they both like to run the ball.
Pepin/Alma and Bangor high school football teams take the field in Bangor at 7 p.m. Friday in the WIAA Division 7 quarterfinals.
Bangor (11-0) finished the regular season the ninth-ranked team in the small division, while P/A finished 11th.
The Cardinals are led by a three-headed monster at running back in Andrew Piske, Seth Zabel and Jack Reader. Piske, a 6-foot-2, 207-pound junior has a ridiculous 29 touchdowns this season. He has 191 carries for 1,639 yards – an 8.6-per-carry average.
Zabel is Bangor’s lightning, all 5-10, 151 pounds of him. The senior, who had three TDs last week, has 1,165 yards on 115 carries (10.1 avg.) and 12 touchdowns.
On the other side of the field, Pepin/Alma has split its carries fairly evenly between its thunder, Lance Johnson, and lightning, Trevor Heit.
Heit’s been on fire with 1,118 yards (8.5 avg.) and 21 touchdowns, while the 232-pound Johnson has 925 yards and 12 TDs.
Both teams average around 400 yards a game and just over 40 points.
Defensively, neither gives up much on the scoreboard or the field. Opponents this season haven’t even come close to 200 yards a game on either team.
Bangor gives up just 6.5 points a game. In fact, its outscored opponents 325-14 in the first half this season. P/A gives up 10.5 points a game.
|Andrew Piske (B)||191||1,639||8.6||29|
|Seth Zabel (B)||115||1,165||10.1||12|
|Jack Reader (B)||141||882||6.3||10|
|Trevor Heit (PA)||131||1,118||8.5||21|
|Lance Johnson (PA)||139||925||6.7||12|
|Caidan Haake (PA)||57||542||9.5||7|
|Kellen Kravik (B)||14-25||328||56.0||36.4||3||4|
|Sam Mueller (PA)||59-90||1,351||65.6||122.8||14||6|
|Wyatt McDonald (B)||6||187||31.2||3|
|Ronnie Engstrand (PA)||27||777||28.8||11|
No. 2 LANCASTER (10-1) at No. 1 ARCADIA (11-0)
They’re both ranked right next to each other in the final poll – Arcadia fifth, Lancaster, the state runners-up the last three seasons, ranked sixth. And they both have explosive offenses led by dominating backs.
The difference in this matchup, they’ve already played and Arcadia dominated. Sept. 5 the Raiders were up 31-12 in the fourth quarter, before Lancaster scored two touchdowns to make it a 31-24 final.
Arcadia QB Rob Hoesley was 11-for-12 for 179 yards and two TDs in that one. That’s the most yards he’s had this season – though not by much – and, easily, the most efficient day. It would be an efficient day for Aaron Rodgers.
Lancaster QB Nate Tranel only has two interceptions this season, but one came against the Raiders. The Flying Arrows also fumbled six times in that one, losing two.
Aside from the turnovers, what Arcadia did do was bottle up Tyler Glass. The 6-1, 210-pound senior has 1,578 yards, an 11-yard average and 32 touchdowns this season. In that game, he had 19 carries for 57 yards (3.1 avg.) and a touchdown. The Raiders’ top back, Lee Pronschinske, who has 1,454 yards (7.8 avg.) and 24 TDs, carried 22 times for 90 yards (4.1 avg.) and a score.
When looking at the team stats, it’s pretty even until you get to defense. Lancaster gives up 22.1 points a game and 275 yards. Arcadia gives up just 6.2 points and 133.9 yards. Lancaster’s opponents’ combined record this season is 55-51. The Raiders’ is 54-53.
Both teams played Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau this season, too. Arcadia won 36-0. Lancaster won 42-10.
|Tyler Glass (L)||143||1,578||11.0||32|
|Nate Tranel (L)||76||859||11.2||18|
|Lee Pronschinske (A)||187||1,454||7.8||24|
|Aaron Benson (A)||68||506||7.4||13|
|Nate Tranel (L)||65-103||1,320||63.0||120||14||2|
|Rob Hoesley (A)||74-116||1,399||63.0||127||18||2|
|Brett Snider (L)||30||706||23.5||7|
|Zach Pronschinske (A)||22||452||20.5||5|
|Jim Hoesley (A)||21||424||20.2||6|
No. 3 INDEPENDENCE/GILMANTON (8-3) at No. 1 EDGAR (11-0)
Edgar doesn’t look very intimidating. It runs a quarterback by committee. No running back has more than 660 yards. And they only have one real threat at receiver who has just 15 catches on the year.
But Edgar, undefeated and ranked third in the Small Division the final AP poll, does one thing exceptionally well: defense.
The Wildcats give up just 3.8 points and 117 yards a game. Their defense has scored more touchdowns (seven) than it’s given up (six). They’ve amassed 34 sacks, 60 tackles for loss, 14 interceptions and 12 fumbles.
Independence/Gilmanton has its work cut out for it. I/G got somewhat of a miracle two games ago when Austen Whitwam blocked the tying extra point in a 14-13 win over Melrose-Mindoro.
The senior is at it again with a fourth-quarter touchdown last game to give his team a 22-14 win Rosholt.
It may need his heroics and then some in this one.
|Wylie Frahm (E)||99||658||6.6||9|
|Cody Weiler (E)||90||473||5.3||6|
|Kaleb Wolfe (E)||51||203||4.0||11|
|Austen Whitwam (IG)||209||1383||6.6||17|
|Dayton Keenan (IG)||86||541||6.3||8|
|Matt Urmanski (E)||21-31||534||68||48.5||8||1|
|Kaleb Wolf (E)||20-41||469||49||46.9||5||2|
|Weston Gumbert (IG)||63-119||909||53||82.6||10||8|
|Austin Borchardt (E)||15||435||29||6|
|Alex Grulkowski (IG)||17||345||20.3||6|
|Ace Whitwam (IG)||17||330||19.4||2|