The St. Croix Central football team has advanced to the WIAA State semifinals for the second straight year.
The Panthers advanced to the Division 4 state semifinals with a dominating 28-0 win over Bloomer on Friday night in Hammond.
Central will face Freedom in the Division 4 state semifinals next Friday at 7 p.m. in a location to be determined. UPDATE: The game will likely be played at Merrill.
Freedom advanced with a 14-13 win over Wrightstown. Central and Freedom were both the second seed in their regional bracket.
Central was the main force on both sides of the ball in Friday's game. The Central defense stuffed Bloomer's running game, whether the Blackhawks tried to run inside or outside. The only two substantial offensive plays Bloomer had were on gimmick plays, one a halfback pass to the quarterback and the other a hook-and-ladder play on a screen pass.
Central's offense was efficient and productive. The Panthers dominated the clock, especially early in the game. For the second straight game, Central limited its opponent to three offensive plays in the first quarter.
The Panthers were effective in mixing their backfield threats. Quarterback Collin Nelson scored two of the touchdowns Friday, with halfback Keagen Berg and fullback Ryan Larson each scoring one touchdown.