The Sun Prairie football team links arms as the National Anthem plays at their road game at Madison Memorial Friday, Sept. 17.

The mad scramble to find an opponent has finally met its end. When Madison West was forced to shut down its program last week, Sun Prairie was seemingly out of luck for an opponent on Friday, Sept. 24. Thankfully, the call for an opponent has been answered. The Cardinals will be hosting River Falls, a Division 3 team from three and a half hours north, this Friday.

The Wildcats are 3-2 this season and are currently enjoying a 3-game winning streak. Their quarterback, senior Vito Massa, has been exceptional this season. He’s completed 58% of his passes for 910 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception. His favorite target is senior receiver Michael Schurman, who’s caught 13 passes for 351 yards and four scores. Tight end Ethan Campbell is a threat as well. The 6’5” senior has grabbed six touchdowns this season.

Senior running back Cole Evavold totes the rock quite a lot for River Falls. He has 90 carries this season, which he’s turned into 551 yards and five touchdowns.

It may be surprising to hear this but, despite the immense distance between these two squads, they have a shared opponent. Sun Prairie opened it’s season against Hudson while River Falls played them in week two. For some context, Sun Prairie won 48-7 while River Falls lost 29-28.

The Wildcats belong to the Mississippi Valley conference and have turned up the offensive production since starting conference play. They’ve scored an average of 41 points per game during their 3-game winning streak.

While River Falls is hot, the Cardinals are hotter.

Sun Prairie has boat raced all of its opponents this season. Wisconsin Rapids kept it the closest season, losing by “only” 28 points. The Cardinals can place plenty of thanks for this hot start on the passing game. Junior quarterback Jerry Kaminski has stepped up, completing 70% of his passes for 1,014 yards, 17 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Kaminski likes to spread the ball around, too. He has three receivers with over ten catches this season. Senior Addison Ostrenga leads the way in yardage with 248 on 12 catches with four touchdowns. Senior Davis Hamilton has been just as prolific, bringing in 13 catches for 232 yards and five scores. Sophomore Connor Stauff has been very impressive, catching 13 balls for 217 yards and three touchdowns.

The two-headed monster of juniors Kolton Walters and Cortez LeGrant have been punishing opponents on the ground, as well. Walters has 34 carries for 281 yards (an 8.3 average) with five scores. LeGrant has 28 carries for 209 (an average of 7.5) for five scores as well.

Defensively, the Cardinals have been just as impressive. Wisconsin Rapids scored the most points this season on them with 21, but a majority of those came when Sun Prairie had already pulled its starters. The defense comes in with confidence, too, as it has allowed just 15 points in the last two games.

Since four-star defensive lineman Isaac Hamm has returned from a shoulder injury earlier this season, the defensive line has left opposing quarterbacks seeing ghosts. Hamm has two sacks, as does senior linebacker Trentin Wagner.

On top of all of that, the Cardinals are an above average special teams unit. LeGrant is one of the area’s best kickoff returners and took the opening kick of the season back for a touchdown. Ostrenga has been known to mix it up in the punting game, too, as he’s blocked a few this season and leapt on two of them for scores.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CDT at Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium Friday, Sept. 24.

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