By Paul Lecker
Wausau Pilot & Review
MADISON – Seven state champions were crowned at the 2023 WIAA State Football Championships, which were held Thursday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 17, at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.
Stratford tied a WIAA record with its ninth state title, and Edgar competed its 14th state finals, setting a new state record. Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs is tied with Stratford for the most state championships.
In Division 7, Edgar (13-1) cruised past Black Hawk/Warren (Ill.) 36-6 to earn its eighth state title. Running back Karter Butt tied a state finals record with five rushing touchdowns (Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East, 2016) for Edgar.
Laurenz Plattner kicked a 32-yard field goal with no time remaining to lift Stratford (13-1) to a 10-7 win over Darlington in the Division 6 final. The Tigers won their second-straight D-6 title and improves to 9-2 all-time in state championship games.
La Crosse Aquinas (13-1) won its third-straight Division 5 state title with a 32-13 victory over Wrightstown. The championship is the fourth overall for Aquinas, with the other coming in 2007. Wrightstown led 13-0 midway through the first quarter before Aquinas stormed back with four unanswered touchdowns.
Lodi completed a perfect 14-0 season with a 38-14 win over Luxemburg-Casco in the Division 4 final. The title is Lodi’s second (2017) in program history. Lodi finished with 488 yards of total offense, including 220 yards passing and three touchdowns from quarterback Mason Lane.
Rice Lake’s Easton Stone scored with 4:43 remaining as the Warriors defeated Grafton 28-20 to win the Division 3 state title. The championship is Rice Lake’s second in eight state finals appearances, with the other coming in 2017.
Lake Geneva Badger (14-0), playing in its first state finals, held off Waunakee 34-33 to capture the Division 2 championship. Badger had a D-2 state finals record 451 rushing yards, including 198 from Landon Nottestad. Badger scored with 2:19 left, before Waunakee responded with a touchdown with 40 seconds left. The Warriors went for a two-point conversion to pull ahead but the pass attempt fell incomplete. Waunakee was going for its eighth state title.
Milwaukee Marquette won the Division 1 title with a 27-10 win over Franklin. Marquette (12-2) also won the D-1 title in 2009, its only other state finals appearance. Marquette outscored Franklin 17-0 in the second half to pull away.
2023 WIAA State Football Championships
Nov. 16-17, at Camp Randall Stadium, Madison
Thursday, Nov. 16
Division 7: Edgar (13-1) 36, Black Hawk/Warren (Ill.) (12-2) 6 Stats
Division 6: Stratford (13-1) 10, Darlington (12-2) 7 Stats
Division 5: La Crosse Aquinas (13-1) 32, Wrightstown (11-3) 13 Stats
Division 4: Lodi (14-0) 38, Luxemburg-Casco (12-2) 13 Stats
Friday, Nov. 17
Division 3: Rice Lake (13-1) 28, Grafton (11-3) 20 Stats
Division 2: Lake Geneva Badger (14-0) 34, Waunakee (13-1) 33 Stats
Division 1: Milwaukee Marquette (12-2) 27, Franklin (13-1) 10 Stats