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Somerset football playing its best ball of the season in playoffs

Somerset linebacker Spencer Sindt (28) breaks up a Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau pass during last Friday's Spartan Division 4 playoff victory. Photo courtesy of Eric Andre

The rematch between the Somerset and St. Croix Central football teams this Friday will be an uphill challenge for the Spartans. And it's a challenge the Spartans believe they are ready for.

Somerset opened WIAA Division 4 tournament play at home last Friday, defeating Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 46-6. The Spartans are the fourth seed in the regional bracket while GET was the fifth seed. Central is the top seed in the region.

Central defeated Somerset 42-24 two weeks ago. Somerset coach Bruce Larson said it will take the Spartans' best effort of the season to compete on even footing with Central.

"They're so balanced offensively. They're good at halfback, running back, quarterback. We did a pretty nice job against them last time and all three were between 85 and 110 yards," Larson said.

There is a sense of confidence among the Spartans after their performance against GET. Somerset scored three times in the first quarter and by halftime their lead stood at 32-0.

"That's the most complete game we've played in awhile," Larson said. "What a team effort on defense. They were a team that wanted to push you backward and we stood our ground."

Larson used lineman Hayden Kelly as an example of why the defense has been playing so well.

"Hayden has had a terrific senior year. He's low maintenance with high returns. We have a room full of those kind of guys this year," Larson said.

The starting Somerset defense held GET to under 100 yards. GET was able to produce an 80-yard scoring drive against the Spartan reserves late in the game.

The Somerset offense bordered on unstoppable in the first half Friday. The 1-2 punch of Will Piletich and Jack Peterson accounted for 253 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

"Will played as good as he has all year," Larson said of the Spartan quarterback, who finished with 138 yards rushing.

Peterson has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in nine of the Spartans' 10 games this season. The only time he was held below 100 yards was when the Spartans lost to St. Croix Central in the regular season finale.

Larson said senior Ethan Wegscheider led the offensive line's production.

"Ethan was pounding people. It was a solid team effort across the board."

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 more than 30 years.

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