SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE
Something’s gotta give.
That will be the prevailing theme Friday night, when Scenic Bluffs Conference powerhouse Bangor meets Ridge and Valley Conference champion Ithaca on the gridiron in the third round of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 7 football playoffs.
The fourth-ranked Cardinals will host the sixth-ranked Bulldogs in a battle of unbeaten teams in a 7 p.m. Level 3 game at Bangor High School.
The road to the third round of the Division 7 playoffs has been similar for both teams.
Top-seeded Bangor advanced with a 60-0 victory over Weston in the opening round and move to Level 3 with last week’s 28-14 victory over Scenic Bluffs foe Hillsboro.
The No. 2 seeded Bulldogs opened their post-season with 32-7 victory over Cashton and moved into the third round with a 42-12 defeat of Highland in Level 2 action last week.
While advancing to the third round was relatively easy for both Bangor and Ithaca, the road to the WIAA Division 7 State Football Championships is as tough as it gets from here on out.
All eight teams remaining in the Division 7 playoffs are undefeated conference champions who are ranked in the top 10.
Until last week’s 28-14 victory over Hillsboro, Bangor had not been challenged on the gridiron this season.
The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 501 to 71 this season, including shutout victories over Blair-Taylor, Brookwood, Highland, Cashton, New Lisbon and Weston.
Ithaca’s stats are similar.
The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 461 to 115, but have only one shut out of defense – a 51-0 thumping of Kick-La Farge on Sept. 25.
The two teams have three played three common opponents this season – Cashton, Weston and Highland.
Ithaca opened its 2015 campaign with a 40-14 victory over Cashton on Aug. 28 and defeated the Eagles 32-7 in the opening round of the Division 7 playoffs Oct. 23, while the Cardinals handed the Eagles a 46-0 defeat in Scenic Bluffs Conference action on Sept. 19.
Bangor opened its 2015 post-season with a 60-0 shutout of Weston on Oct. 23, while Ithaca defeated the Silver Eagles 41-14 in a Ridge and Valley Conference contest Oct. 9.
Highland – a nonconference foe for both Bangor and Ithaca – is the only other common opponent for the Cards and the ‘Dogs.
Bangor rolled to a 38-0 victory over Highland on Sept. 12, while Ithaca defeated Highland 42-14 in Level 2 action last week.
In other Division 7 action this week, top-ranked Spring Valley battles No. 2 Pepin-Alma in Durand, third-ranked Coleman travels to seventh-ranked Almond-Bancroft and fifth-ranked Catholic Central travels to eighth-ranked Cambria-Friesland.
The winner of the Level 3 match-up between Bangor and Ithaca will face the winner of the Cambria-Friesland game for a chance to go to the 2015 WIAA State Football Championships at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Nov. 19.