By Paul Lecker
For Zaleski Sports
The Edgar football team will make history with its 13th state finals appearance on Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, and get a chance at redemption.
Edgar (12-1) will take on Black Hawk/Warren in the Division 7 title game at the 2019 WIAA State Football Championships at 10 a.m. Thursday in a rematch of last year’s D-7 final that Black Hawk won 22-15.
Edgar will be appearing in its 13th state finals game, tying Hartland Arrowhead for the most in state history. Edgar won the Division 7 crown in 2016, Division 6 titles in 2009 and 2019, Division 5 championships in 1992, 1999 and 2001, and the Division 4 title in 1979.
With a victory, Edgar would tie Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs – at least temporarily – for the most state football titles in Wisconsin with eight. St. Mary’s Springs plays for its ninth state title in the Division 6 final against Eau Claire Regis at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Edgar has outscored its opponents 503-45, which includes eight shutouts. The Wildcats reached the state final with a 27-7 win over undefeated Bangor in the semifinals on Nov. 15.
Edgar’s only loss of the season came on Oct. 11 to Stratford, 6-0, in a game that went down to the final play. Stratford will be playing for the Division 5 championship at 4 p.m. Thursday against Lake Country Lutheran.
The Wildcats average just 92 yards per game on defense and have piled up 2,537 rushing yards and another 1,001 through the air by quarterback Konnor Wolf, who has also thrown for 12 touchdowns.
Kaleb Hafferman leads a punishing running game for Edgar with 1,006 yards and 25 touchdowns. Austin Dahlke (407 yards, six touchdowns), Kyle Brewster (389 yards, five touchdowns), and Mason Stoudt (347 yards, eight touchdowns) are also key contributors to the Wildcats’ offense.
Linebacker Carson Lemmer and Hafferman lead the Edgar defense. Lemmer tops the Wildcats with 63 tackles and three fumble recoveries, and Hafferman has 48 tackles and four interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns, including one in last week’s semifinal win.
Dahlke and Ethan Heil both have 13 tackles for loss, and Drew Guden has three pass interceptions as well for Edgar.
Black Hawk/Warren, which added Warren High School from Illinois as a co-op member of its program this season, has been equally impressive as it defends its state title in 2019.
The Warriors have outscored their opponents 502-87 and also uses a strong running game to fuel their offense.
Black Hawk/Warren averages 340 rushing yards per game, led by a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Cayden Milz has 1,593 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns, and Jaylen Rufenacht has another 1,201 yards on the ground and 19 scores. Cody Blosch has chipped in 743 yards and five scores, and quarterback Ethan Williams has six rushing and 10 passing TDs on the season. All three main running backs average more than 8 yards per carry.
The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Wisconsin, and broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3, wdlbwosq.com, and zaleskisports.com/live-sports.
Zaleski Sports will have a full recap, highlights and interviews following the game Thursday afternoon.
2019 WIAA State Football Championships
Nov. 21-22, at Camp Randall Stadium, Madison
Thursday, Nov. 21
Division 7: Edgar (12-1) vs. Black Hawk/Warren (13-0), 10 a.m.
Division 6: Eau Claire Regis (13-0) vs. Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs (11-2), 1 p.m.
Division 5: Stratford (13-0) vs. Lake Country Lutheran (12-1), 4 p.m.
Division 4: Kiel (13-0) vs. Waukesha Catholic Memorial (11-2), 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22
Division 3: Menasha (12-1) vs. DeForest (13-0), 10 a.m.
Division 2: Brookfield East (11-2) vs. Waunakee (12-1), 1 p.m.
Division 1: Muskego (13-0) vs. Bay Port (13-0), 4 p.m.