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Postseason looms for several area teams
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Sports reporter Mark Nesbitt (46-11) can't seem to open up his three-game lead on sports editor Adam Krebs (43-14) in the office standings. Or rather, is it that Adam simply can't catch Mark? Either way, the prep football season is winding down and the postseason is starting to take shape. Darlington is in, Brodhead-Juda likewise. New Glarus-Monticello, Pecatonica-Argyle and Black Hawk are all a win away and even Belleville-Albany is still mathematically in the picture.

Monroe (0-7) at Stoughton (3-4)

Adam: Stoughton needs to win its final two games to qualify for an automatic playoff spot (cue Jim Mora once again: "Playoffs?"). I don't think the Vikings will crack the postseason. The reasoning is not because Monroe will be the ones to knock them out of the race, but undefeated Monona Grove in Week 9. Pick: Stoughton

Mark: The Cheesemakers' single wing offense with running backs Dylan Schwitz and Jon Becker should find plenty of room to run against the Vikings. Stoughton is giving up 24.2 points per game. With a solid game from the defense and an offense pounding the ball on the ground, the Cheesemakers could spoil the Vikings' playoff hopes. If Monroe can get an early lead, the Cheesemakers could control the ball with their running game. Pick: Monroe

Darlington (7-0) at Iowa-Grant (5-2)

Adam: Iowa-Grant was just upset by Mineral Point a week ago, and Darlington made the Pointers look like a freshmen '"B" squad two weeks ago. Ipso facto, the Redbirds should win. I predict it is close - and by close, I mean IG will keep it within Darlington's average margin of victory (49-7). Pick: Da 'Birds

Mark: This is the last big test for the Redbirds as they look to lock up an outright SWAL championship. Darlington also has a chance at an unbeaten season. The Panthers have an explosive offense (26.5 ppg), but their Achilles heel is a defense that gives up 16.1 ppg). Pick: Darlington

Whitewater (1-6) at Brodhead-Juda (5-2)

Adam: Oh the puns, alliterations and play on words we could use this week. I will try to go easy on the Double-W: The conquering Cards will show a full house in the stands and stack the deck on the field, leaving the whipped Whippets wobbling on their woeful walk back to Whitewater. Hey, that may be the basis for my lede in Saturday's paper! Pick: Cards

Mark: Brodhead-Juda quarterback David Earleywine is having an amazing season completing about 60 percent of his passes for 844 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and just one interception. The Cardinals are an overtime loss to Walworth Big Foot away from leading the conference. Running back Jesse DeLorme (580 rushing yards, 9 TDs) gives the Cardinals a strong running game at the goal line. Pick: Brodhead-Juda

New Glarus-Monticello (6-1) at Cambridge (4-3)

Adam: Nothing to hang your heads on, Knights. Waterloo is a darn good program. The conference title is still in the picture, which is always a good thing. Pick: NGM

Mark: New Glarus-Monticello lost a big game 27-24 to Waterloo. The Glarner Knights won't look past Cambridge to their critical regular season finale at Marshall where a share of the conference title could be on the line. If the Knights can win their last two games, they may have a chance to host a playoff game. Pick: New Glarus-Monticello

Pecatonica-Argyle (3-4) at Belmont (1-6)

Adam: Linebacker/kicker Tannar Johnson - probably the smallest player on any field in the state - told me that if the Vikings don't beat Belmont, then they don't deserve to play in the playoffs. Good news is Pec-Argyle will win to become postseason eligible (guaranteed .500 mark in conference). Oh, and Johnson is not small (6'3", 275). Pick: Pec-Argyle

Mark: The Vikings lost a rivalry game to Black Hawk last week, but they will rebound and become playoff-eligible with a win over the Braves. The Vikings will limit their turnovers and I expect a big running game to be the difference. Pick: Pecatonica-Argyle

Cassville (1-6) at Black Hawk (4-3)

Adam: Cassville doesn't have the defense to stop Black Hawk's aggressive attack. If only that were the case 170 years ago, the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo might still be around and we wouldn't have pillaged the land and created Highway 81. Then again, we wouldn't have football in South Wayne. Stay in school, kids. Pick: Warriors

Mark: The Warriors will become playoff-eligible with a win over the Comets. Black Hawk has one of the most balanced offenses in Division 7. The Warriors have two running backs closing in on 500 yards in Jace Johnsrud (460 yards, 4 TDs) and Michael Walker (418 yards, 7 TDs). Quarterback Michael Wolff has passed for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns. Pick: Black Hawk

Belleville-Albany (1-6) at Marshall (5-2)

Adam: Congratulations go out to the Wildcats for picking up their first win of the season last week. To think, a team that lost its first six games can become playoff eligible by winning out. Unfortunately, the Wildcats have to play Capitol Conference leader Marshall this week, and Waterloo (6-1) in Week 9. Pick: Marshall

Mark: The Wildcats broke out last week, knocking off Wisconsin Heights 34-28 in overtime behind Donovan Woods, who rushed for 232 yards. The Wildcats could play spoiler and help New Glarus-Monticello by beating Marshall, which is unbeaten in conference. Pick: Marshall

No. 1 Ohio St. (6-0) at No. 18 Wisconsin (5-1)

Adam: Sometimes I hate being a homer, because 90-percent of me knows I am likely wrong. However, Wisconsin has yet to put together a complete game. Hopefully, it comes in prime time in Madison with the ESPN College GameDay crew in town. Pick: Bucky

Mark: The Badgers proved against Michigan St. that they can't stop a high-powered offense. Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor will be too much for the Badgers to contain as a dual threat running and passing. Pick: Ohio St.

Miami (2-2) at Green Bay (3-2)

Adam: Prior to the season, I didn't think the Packers would lose two in a row, let alone me pick against them twice. But injuries have gotten the best of the green and gold - and my favorite team is in town and coming off a bye week. If only Mark wouldn't agree with me so much. Pick: Dolphins

Mark: A banged-up Packers team could be without 10 starters. If Aaron Rodgers is out with a concussion, this is an easy pick. Dolphins wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess should have a field day. Pick: Dolphins