Football Cards rout Parker

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton football coach Jason Pertzborn was happy how his team played against Janesville Parker on Sept. 21./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The softest part of Middleton’s schedule is over.

Now, the Cardinals face a Murderer’s Row to finish the season. And how Middleton fares in the final three games will go a long ways in determining whether its year is a smashing success or a disappointment.

The Cardinals rolled past host Janesville Parker, 46-0, on Sept. 21. Middleton improved to 4-2 overall and in the Big Eight Conference and sits in a tie for fourth place.

Madison Memorial, Sun Prairie and Janesville Craig are tied for the league lead at 5-1. Middleton and Verona are tied for fourth at 4-2.

Middleton has won two straight games, defeating Beloit Memorial (1-5) and Parker (0-6). But things are about to get much tougher, as the Cardinals host Janesville Craig Friday at 7 p.m., host Sun Prairie on Oct. 5 and travel to Madison La Follette (3-3) on Oct. 12.

Those three teams are a combined 15-5 (.750).

“The last couple of years, the schedule has been the opposite where we’ve had some of our tougher games earlier in the year,” Middleton co-coach Jason Pertzborn said. “This isn’t necessarily bad for the postseason, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We have to play really good football.”

Middleton played awfully well against Parker, jumping to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and a 40-0 edge by halftime. That meant there was a running clock the entire second half.

Pertzborn and Middleton’s coaching staff wanted the Cardinals to make quick work of the Vikings. Middleton did just that, refusing to give Parker any hope of springing a huge upset.

“That was the plan all week,” Pertzborn said. “We talked about getting better and we had one of our best weeks of practice. We got better from Monday to Thursday, then we went and took care of business.”

Cardinals junior running back Kallion Buckner continued his brilliant season with 108 rushing yards on just 10 carries in the first half (10.8). Buckner also scored three touchdowns.

Senior Kevin Meicher returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and junior Keewon Bufford had an 8-yard touchdown as Middleton’s lead grew to 40-0 at halftime.

Middleton’s defense was also terrific, allowing just 70 total yards and seven first downs. Jake Klubertanz and Matt Esser both had interceptions, while Ben Litchfield and Sai Mallannagar each had a sack.

Things get a lot tougher Friday when Middleton hosts Craig. Running back Tressin Kussmaul is the Cougars’ top weapon, rushing for 706 yards and nine touchdowns in the first six games.

Defensively, the Cougars are led by defensive lineman Keeanu Benton, a University of Wisconsin recruit.

“We have to play really good football to win,” Pertzborn said.

If Middleton wins, it will clinch a playoff spot for the 23rd consecutive season. The Cardinals entered the year tied with Arrowhead for the longest Division 1 playoff streak in the state, but the Warhawks (3-3) are in danger of seeing their run end.

“The streak is great and all,” Pertzborn said. “But our goals are more than just getting in the playoffs.

“Right now, we just have to keep getting better and make sure we get in the playoffs. Then, you never know what will happen.”



Middleton 21 19 0 6 — 46

Janesville Parker 0 0 0 0 — 0

M — Buckner 9 run (Pertzborn kick)

M — Meicher 65 punt return (Pertzborn kick)

M — Buckner 58 run (Pertzborn kick)

M — FG Pertzborn 42

M — Buckner 8 run (Pertzborn kick)

M — Bufford 8 run (Pertzborn kick)

M — Team safety

M — Kalscheur 1 run (kick failed)


First downs — MID 14, JP 7. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — MID 30-204, JP 28-32. Passing yards — MID 79, JP 65. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — MID 7-10-1, JP 9-27-2. Fumbles-lost — MID 1-1, JP 1-0. Penalties-yards — MID 4-30, JP 5-32.



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