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‘Cats go undefeated

‘Cats go undefeated ‘Cats go undefeated

Edgar considers itself the state football champs

If 2020 was a normal year, Edgar’s football team likely would’ve won the WIAA Division 7 state football championship. Instead, because of COVID-19, this year’s squad needs to be content with becoming the fifth football team in Edgar High School history to go undefeated in a season.

Edgar’s other unbeaten football teams in 1979, 1999, 2009 and 2010 of course ended their seasons by winning state championships. The WIAA decided against holding state title games this season, however, as a COVID-19 safety precaution. Instead, the WIAA implemented a two-week regional playoff pod.

This year’s Edgar football team only played nine games, compared to a usual 14-game season, after easily beating Iola-Scandinavia, 56-8, in Friday’s WIAA Division 6 Level No. 2 playoff game. The Wildcats weren’t awarded a trophy, yet its coaches and players know they were hands down the best team in their division this season.

Edgar scored touchdowns on all five of its offensive drives in the first half to build a 34-0 halftime advantage against Iola-Scandinavia. Wildcats senior running back Kyle Brewster scored three of the team’s five touchdowns in the first half. He and his teammates approached their final game this season like it was the state championship.

“It feels great to be one of five football teams in school history to finish the sea- son with an undefeated record,” Brewster said. “We had the mentality this was our state title game because it’s the only thing we had this season. Our team made its own legacy this season, which was tough for everyone playing during COVID- 19, but we came out and made a statement that showed our senior class and football team was pretty good this year.”

Edgar head coach Jerry Sinz proclaimed the 2020 football team as one of the top four of five squads he’s coached in his long tenure at the school.

“We’ve got so much speed in the backfi eld and we can score any time we want to, which was pretty much what we did all season,” Sinz said. “Obviously, we’ve had some really good teams but I would say these guys rank up there because Austin Dahlke is just a fantastic defensive player and Kyle Brewster is an amazing offensive player. We were fortunate to have two talented players like them on our team.”

Edgar’s defense forced Iola-Scandinavia to punt the ball during its offensive possessions in the first half. Austin Dahlke, one of the top linebackers in the state among all divisions this season, sacked Thunderbirds junior quarterback Parker Prahl for an 11-yard loss of yards to force a punt on their first possession. Brewster ran for a 13-yard touchdown and senior Drew Guden caught the twopoint conversion from senior quarterback Konnor Wolf to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead.

Senior defensive tackle Korbyn Bauman sacked Prahl to force Iola-Scandi- navia to punt on its second possession. Dahlke rushed for a four-yard touchdown but he was stopped short of the goalline on his two-point conversion run. Edgar junior linebacker Ayden Weisenberger sacked Prahl for a four-yard loss on Iola/ Scandinavia’s third possession to force yet another punt. Ayden Weisenberger hauled in an over-the-shoulder catch from Wolf for a 24-yard touchdown. Wolf tacked on the extra point to give the Wildcats a 21-0 advantage.

Korbyn Bauman sacked Prahl again, for a seven-yard loss, during the Thunderbirds’ fourth possession in the first half. On the next play, Guden tipped Prahl’s pass into Brewster’s hands for an interception. Brewster later ran for a 15-yard touchdown and Wolf kicked the extra point. Brewster added a two-yard touchdown run with one minute left before halftime, but Wolf missed the extra point to avoid a running clock in the second half. The Wildcats led the Thunderbirds, 34-0, at the break.

Iola/Scandinavia scored on its first possession of the second half on senior Byre Hardel’s 13-yard touchdown run, and senior Kyle Heise rushed for the twopoint conversion. Edgar led Iola-Scandinavia, 34-8. Edgar immediately responded with Dahlke’s three-yard touchdown run and Guden’s two-point conversion catch from Wolf to help the Wildcats regain their 34-point lead.

Dahlke sealed the playoff finale with a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown. Wolf added the extra point to give Edgar a dominating 56-8 lead. Dahlke is normally businesslike in his interviews with the media after games this season, but he had a good reason to crack a big smile when he was asked about his interception return for a touchdown.

“It was the first defensive touchdown of my high school football career,” Dahlke said. “There’s no other way I’d want to end my final Edgar football game, because I’d been trying to score a defensive touchdown during my entire playing career.”

Dahlke led the Wildcats with 37 defensive points. He was second on the team in rushing with 19 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Brewster paced Edgar with 19 carries for 169 yards and three scores. Wolf completed all three of his passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.

MAKING CLUTCH FOOTBALL PLAYS- Edgar senior Austin Dahlke did more than just rack up a ton of tackles and score rushing touchdowns this season for the 9-0 Wildcats. Dahlke (5) is shown making a key special team’s block against Iola-Scandinavia’s Marcus Jaworski to allow his senior teammate, Konnor Wolf (13), to boot the extra point and give the team a 28-0 lead against the Thunderbirds in the second quarter of Friday’s game. Edgar senior Kane Lipinski snapped the ball to junior holder Mattison Butt.STAFF PHOTO/CASEY KRAUTKRAMER

FAREWELL TO THE SENIORS- Edgar head football coach Jerry Sinz, pictured to the far right, instructed the underclassmen players to congratulate the seniors on their successful careers. Junior Jordan Bunkelman (20) chats with senior starting offensive lineman, Maxmilian Larson (64), after Edgar’s 56-8 home playoff win against Iola-Scandinavia on Friday.STAFF PHOTO/CASEY KRAUTKRAMER