Brodhead-Juda gained more yards than the McFarland High School football team Friday, Oct. 18, when the teams met in the final regular season game of the year.
But a couple of key mistakes resulting in touchdowns destroyed the Cardinals opportunity for victory and gave the Spartans a 34-26 win for their third win in a row.
McFarland ended the season 6-3 after dropping its first two games against Edgerton and Jefferson. The Spartans tangle with DeForest in the WIAA Division 3 Level One playoff game on Friday, Oct. 25.
After falling behind 13-0, the Cardinals scored on Dalton Naramore’s 1-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to seven. But Brodhead fumbled the ball later in the quarter, and McFarland’s Michael Sutor ran 18 yards to the end zone with the loose ball to increase McFarland’s lead to 20-6.
Brodhead-Juda’s Nick Nanamore scored twice on 1-yard runs to tie the game 20-20 at halftime.
The Cardinals took the lead in the third quarter on Nick Nanamore’s 65-year pass reception to go up 26-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
McFarland’s defense kept Brodhead-Juda off the scoreboard in the final 12 minutes while the Spartans offense staged a comeback. Quarterback Jeremiah Price-Johnson’s 79-yard touchdown pass to Nic Hall plus Matt Amrhein’s extra point put the Spartans ahead 27-26.
McFarland defensive back Cam Schaaf then provided the backbreaker as he intercepted a pass from Cardinals quarterback Cole Hoesley and returned it 27 yards to put the Spartans up 34-26.
Entering the game, the Cardinals had a record of 4-4 and were hoping for a win to sew up a spot in the playoffs. But Hall’s 27-yard run in the first quarter put McFarland up 7-0. Later in the quarter, Hall caught a 22-yard touchdown reception from Price-Johnson to give the Spartans a 13-0 advantage.
Price-Johnson ended the night with 4-of-9 passes completed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Spartans with 118 rushing yards in 17 carries.
While Dalton and Nick Nanamore rushed for a combined 205 yards, Brodhead-Juda quarterback Hoseley threw three interceptions on 7-of-16 passing for 133 yards.
Brodhead-Juda had 338 yards compared to McFarland’s 273, but the Spartans averaged 14.2 yards per passing play, 6 yards better than the Cardinals, and had 8.1 yards per rushing attempt while Brodhead/Juda had only 5.3.
McFarland will have its hands full against 9-0 DeForest, which clinched the Badger North Conference with a 35-13 win over Waunakee.
Quarterback Trey Schroeder has thrown for 1,082 yards with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. His key target is Lane Larson, who has caught 38 passes for 670 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Norskis rushing game is also potent with Gabe Finley leading the team with 828 yards and seven touchdowns, and Alex Andres running for 408 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Schroeder is also a threat to run with 375 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
Kickoff from DeForest High School is scheduled for 7 p.m.