Football Cards one win from outright title

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Blake Carey and Middleton’s football team rolled past Beloit Memorial last Friday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Big Eight Conference titles are nothing new to Middleton’s football program.

The Cardinals have been at — or near — the head of the class since entering the league more than two decades ago. And more often than not, the rest of the conference is looking up at Middleton.

But there’s something special — make that extra special — about back-to-back, undisputed conference titles. And that’s what the Cardinals will be chasing Friday night.

Middleton rolled past Beloit Memorial, 38-6, last Friday and improved to 7-1 both in the league and overall. Heading into the final week of the season, the Cardinals hold a one-game lead over Madison Memorial, Madison La Follette and Verona.

Now, the task is simple. Win Friday at Janesville Craig and capture sole possession of the league title for a second straight year.

“We told our kids to be back-to-back undisputed champions is a pretty special thing,” Middleton coach Tim Simon said. “We’ve had conference titles, but back-to-back is huge.”

Middleton put itself in position to win the league again with a solid performance against Beloit Memorial (0-8, 0-8).

The Cardinals rested some starters who were nursing minor injuries, including running back Cam Maly and cornerback C.J. Fermanich. But Middleton didn’t miss a beat.

Senior quarterback Brennan Schmitt threw for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Two of Schmitt’s touchdown strikes went to senior tight end Cody Markel and the third went to junior wideout Myron Ashford.

Middleton also used six different running backs that combined for 137 yards on 24 carries (5.7). Dan Hershberger led the way with 56 yards on nine carries and one touchdown.

Beloit Memorial managed just 152 total yards, even though Middleton sat its starters the entire second half.

“We had a few starters out and it was a nice chance for some others to step up,” Simon said. “We played a lot of reserves and it was a good chance for them to get some playing time.

“We haven't had many chances this year to go deep into the bench, so it was nice to do that.”

Middleton had been having some difficulties with its special teams play. But Simon was thrilled how those units performed against Beloit.

Middleton had a pair of punt returns for more than 50 yards, while punter Mitch Bacon averaged 38.5 yards per attempt on his two kicks.

“One of challenges we gave the kids was that special teams needed to step up and be more consistent,” Simon said. “And they did that.”

Now, the Cardinals turn their attention to Janesville Craig — and a chance to win the outright conference title.

The Cougars have plenty to play for, as well. Even though Craig is 3-5, the Cougars could qualify for the postseason with a win and some help on Friday night.

So both teams should be at a fevered pitch.

“Our kids are loose, sometimes too loose,” Simon said. “But they’re smart kids, they listen to the coaches and they’ve seen that if we follow game plan, we’re going to be in decent shape.

“The year has been a lot of fun. Absolutely. The guys aren’t too tensed up before games. They’re coachable and they don’t want the fun to stop.”

Friday night it could very well continue — with an undisputed conference title.

 

MIDDLETON 38, BELOIT MEMORIAL 6

Middleton …………….. 14 24 0 0 — 38

Beloit Memorial ……….. 0 0 0 6 — 6

M — Delaney 8 run (Levin kick)

M — Markel 13 pass from Schmitt (Levin kick)

M — Markel 8 pass from Schmitt (Levin kick)

M — Ashford 15 run (Levin kick)

M — Ludwig 8 run (Levin kick)

M — FG Levin 30 FG

BM — Raisebeck 7 pass from Maken (conversion failed)

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs — MID 10, BM 9. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — MID 24-129, BM 20-5. Passing yards — MID 135, BM 112. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — MID 14-21-0, BM 14-26-2. Fumbles-lost — MID 1-0, BM 2-1. Penalties-yards — MID 7-56, BM 4-40

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing: MID, Pabst 9-56. Passing: MID, Schmitt 11-15—115. BM, Raisebeck 14-26-2-109. Receiving: MID, Ashford 3-41. BM, Gibson 6-44.

 

 

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