The Somerset football team still had a chance to make the WIAA playoffs, with a win at Baldwin-Woodville on Friday night.
But the inspired Blackhawks, who were playing for a share of the Middle Border Conference championship, had most of the fireworks in the game. Other than a couple big plays, the Spartans went quietly, losing 50-14.
Somerset finished in sixth place in the MBC standings with a 2-5 record. The Spartans ended with a 3-6 overall record. Somerset’s non-conference win came against Nekoosa, which was a playoff qualifying team.
Most of Friday’s scores were set up by big plays. B-W scored on a 47-yard run on its opening possession of the night. Somerset’s first touchdown came on a 94-yard drive, with a bit of trickery keeping the drive alive. On fourth down, the Spartans executed a fake punt, with Trae Kreibich passing to Jackson Cook for 24 yards. The Spartans eventually scored on a one-yard blast by fullback Beaudee Smith, cutting the Blackhawks lead to 8-6.
The Spartans played competitively in the first half, but couldn’t complete drives. The Spartans had some good defensive plays, including an interception from Liam Salmon.
B-W led 22-6 at halftime. The score quickly blew up from there. The Spartans’ first punt of the half was blocked and B-W scored moments later on a 35-yard run. Somerset was plagued by fumbles in the second half. B-W scored its next three touchdowns all following Somerset fumbles and the score grew to 50-6 in the fourth quarter.
Somerset got its final score of the season in the final minute of the game when quarterback Ryan Kelly broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run.
Next season will see major changes in the MBC and in the Spartans’ schedule. New Richmond will be moving to the Big Rivers Conference, but will remain on Somerset’s schedule as a non-conference opponent. Superior will no longer be the other non-conference opponent, with Bloomer taking its place.
The MBC will also play crossover games with the SWC from the La Crosse area. Somerset’s crossover opponent will be Viroqua, which finished with a 1-8 record this season. This game will count toward Somerset’s playoff qualifying games.
Larson said the coaching staff will start as soon as possible in preparing for next season.
“We’ll try to set kids up to have a successful season. That’s all you can do,” he said.