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A football playoff trifecta: all three local teams advance

Talon Seckora (29) made one of the big plays of the night for the New Richmond football team, deflecting this would-be touchdown pass at the goal line in the Tigers' 20-14 win over La Crosse Logan. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
St. Croix Central's Austin Kopacz (11) breaks to the outside during the Panthers' playoff win over Adams-Friendship on Friday. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Somerset quarterback Will Piletich (13) breaks free on this run against Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau on Friday. Photo courtesy of Eric Andre3 / 3

It was a perfect night for the three local football teams Friday, with all three advancing into the second round of the WIAA state playoffs.

New Richmond had by far the toughest time of the three, playing in the Division 3 bracket against La Crosse Logan. The game wasn’t decided until the final play, but the Tigers held on for a 20-14 victory.

New Richmond will get to play at home next Friday, because seventh-seed Sparta went to Ashland and upset the second-seeded Oredockers, 36-8.

St. Croix Central and Somerset will face each other next Friday after both teams won handily in Division 4 opening round action. Central, the top seed in the section, defeated Adams-Friendship 42-0. Somerset was equally successful, sending Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau packing with a 46-6 final decision.

New Richmond football

The Tiger defense played marvelously for much of Friday’s game, holding La Crosse Logan to negative yardage through the first half of the game. It looked like this game might be a runaway when the New Richmond offense scored on a 58-yard drive midway through the first half. Talon Seckora capped the scoring drive with a 16-yard run.

But from there until the fourth quarter, neither offense could accomplish anything. The Tiger offense became indecisive, hardly moving the ball until the fourth quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter the Tigers finally got the offense moving in the right direction, with runs by Joe Powers fueling most of the 73-yard drive. A 17-yard touchdown run by Powers put the Tigers ahead 14-0 with 9:50 left in the game. That was just the start of a tense fourth quarter.

Logan passed the ball quickly downfield. Then Tiger linebacker Payton Pohl stepped in front of an intended receiver and raced 87 yards with the interception. His touchdown gave the Tigers a 20-0 lead with 7:53 left.

Logan kept up the passing, getting a 39-yard touchdown with 5:12 left. The Tigers had to punt on the next possession and Logan again passed the ball down the field, scoring with 1:35 left to cut the margin to 20-14.

The Tigers couldn’t quite run out the clock. With 10 seconds left, Logan tried to block Cole Effertz’s punt. He got the kick away and it rolled down the field as the clock expired.

New Richmond will host Sparta this Friday at 7 p.m. in the second round of Division 3 action. Sparta is the seventh seed, upsetting second seed Ashland 36-8 on Friday night.

Somerset football

The Spartans took care of business early in defeating G-E-T on Friday. The Spartans scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and by halftime the lead already stood at 32-0.

Seniors Will Piletich and Jack Peterson again led the offensive production. Piletich rushed for 138 yards. Peterson carried the ball for 115 yards and four touchdowns.

St. Croix Central football

The Panthers improved to 10-0 with their 42-0 win over Adams-Friendship. The Panthers built a 21-0 lead by halftime, then rang up 21 points in the third quarter.  Both teams struggled with fumbles in the first quarter, but Central's superior depth allowed the Panthers to take control of the game.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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