Local gridders help college squads win titles

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Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News St. Norbert's Will Utesch, a Big Foot High grad, tackles Beloit College's Joey Werner last Saturday.

De PERE, Wis. - Three former Stateline standouts have already been part of championships this fall with hopefully more success heading their way.

Beloit Turner graduate Justin Hansen is a member of the UW-Whitewater football team which has already claimed its 11th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in the past 14 years and is heading into its final game of the 2018 regular season on Saturday.

Big Foot grad Will Utesch is a member of St. Norbert College's Green Knights, who flattened Beloit College, 60-0, last Saturday to improve to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Midwest Conference's North Division.

Another ex-Chief, Gus Wedig, has helped the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs improve to 10-0 and clinch the NSIC North Division title.

Hansen's Warhawks clinched at least a share of the WIAC title with a 40-10 victory over UW-Stout on Oct. 27 and then sealed the championship outright last Saturday with a 59-7 win over UW-Stevens Point.

As the WIAC champ, UW-W has clinched the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs, which begin Nov. 17. The Warhawks will make their 15th appearance in the playoffs, seeking their seventh national championship.

Hansen, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior defensive end, has played in eight games and has 16 tackles, including four tackles for loss and two sacks.

• SNC IN TITLE GAME: Utesch's Green Knights will host South Division champion Monmouth at 1 p.m. Sunday with the winner advancing to the D-III Playoffs.

SNC's only loss was to WIAC foe UW-Eau Claire in a non-conference game, 30-23, in two overtimes.

Utesch, a 5-11, 295-pound senior starter at nose tackle, has 15 tackles, including three for losses with 1.5 sacks.

• WEDIG ON ROLL: Wedig, a senior inside linebacker, leads UMD in tackles with 43, including 31 solos and 12 assists. He has 7.5 tackles for losses with 2.5 sacks.

The Bulldogs have allowed only 10.3 points per game, including a 55-0 shutout of the University of Mary last week. They held Mary to 59 total yards.

UMD closes out its regular season trying to become the sixth team in school history to go undefeated. The Bulldogs host Northern State University on Saturday.

• GOING CARROLLING: Two former Hononegah standouts have been starters for the Carroll Pioneers (3-6, 2-6 CCIW). Connor Forbes, a 6-2, 300-pound senior, starts at left guard for an offense averaging 267 yards rushing per game. Punter Austin Harter, 6-3, 225, is averaging 37.3 yards per punt placing 13 if his 51 boots inside the 20.

• QUICK HITTERS: Senior Joe Busch (Parkview) has 13 tackles playing defensive line for the University of Upper Iowa (3-7 NSIC South). ...Sophomore DB Shaylar Burnell (Hononegah) has 16 tackles, including 11 solos, for Southwest Minnesota State (4-6 NSIC South). ...Freshman Casper Clark (Beloit Memorial) has played in seven of UW-Eau Claire's (4-5, 2-4 WIAC) nine games. He has eight tackles.

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