Posted On: 04/2/21 11:29 AM
Week Two kicked off on a sunny Thursday afternoon in La Crosse, WI as I was in attendance scouting the La Crosse Logan- Sparta matchup. You couldn’t have asked for a better day for some spring football. 40 degrees, very light breezes, and not a cloud in the sky with the bluffs acting as the backdrop to a very picturesque day of football. I came into the game with a long list of prospects that I wanted to see live and in action, and the talent didn’t disappoint from either side despite what turned into a lopsided score. Keep on reading if you want to see how the game played out, or jump to the bottom to check out which players earned the right to be mentioned as a Player of the Game. Thanks for reading!
The game started with Sparta receiving the opening kickoff and waiting very little time before RB Nick Kent Nick Kent 5'9" | RB Sparta | 2022 State WI was able to follow his blocks and then break free for the 30 yard TD on 4th down. Get used to hearing that general statement because Kent went crazy all game long. That first drive also showed us how Sparta planned to attack Logan all game long. With their ground game. After Logan was forced to punt on their opening drive, Sparta’s offense fumbled on their first snap and Logan’s Caden Korn was able to recover it at the Sparta 15. Unfortunately, the Logan offense couldn’t capitalize on the great field position and turned it over on downs after Sparta’s QB/LB Brett Stuessel was able to get the sack on 4th down. On Sparta’s next offensive drive they were able to get right back to their ground game and pick up several chunk plays of 10+ yards with their counter ground attack. OL/DL Madden Connelly Madden Connelly 6'2" | OL Sparta | 2021 State WI and the rest of the Sparta offensive line were able to consistently open big running lanes. Nick Kent Nick Kent 5'9" | RB Sparta | 2022 State WI capped off the drive with a 1 yard TD run right up the middle. The XP was missed and the first quarter came to an end shortly after the score.
Sparta began the second quarter with the 13-0 lead and quickly forced another Logan punt. In the second quarter both teams’ defenses really started to step up. One notable reason to that bump in Logan’s defense was that they slid their very talented DL/FB Martell Owens Martell Owens 6'2" | DL La Crosse Logan | 2022 State WI down to play more at the nose. Once he got inside he was able to become far more disruptive and was also able to drastically impact Sparta’s counter play that was gashing Logan in the first quarter. After Sparta punted back to Logan, a turnover frenzy began. Logan fumbled it back to Sparta on their first play, then Sparta’s offense turned it over on downs after their 4th down pass attempt was tipped at the line, and then Sparta’s Chris Jacobs Chris Jacobs 5'11" | K Sparta | 2022 State WI was able to get the interception and put Sparta back on the field. Sparta was able to regain control on offense and kept pounding away on the ground. This time Sparta was able to turn the drive into 6 points as the first half came to a close when WR Carson Kelsey Carson Kelsey 5'8" | RB Sparta | 2023 State WI took the jet sweep around the right end and weaved his way into the endzone from about 10 yards out. That is where the game stood as Sparta went into the half with a 20- 0 lead.
Logan started the second half on offense, but it was the defenses that came out hot as both defenses forced punts early in the third quarter. Martell Owens Martell Owens 6'2" | DL La Crosse Logan | 2022 State WI again made his impact felt on defense as he had a major impact in forcing the Sparta punt. He was able to get tackles against the ground game on first and second down, and then on third down he was able to get pressure on the QB forcing the bad pass and incompletion. Logan’s offense just couldn’t seem to find their groove and again turned the ball over. This time on a strip sack that gave Sparta excellent field position at the Logan 30. The Spartans didn’t waste any time with that field position as QB Brett Stuessel was able to find LB/TE Matt Biever for the 30 yard score and the 27-0 lead. Once Sparta got the ball back again RB Nick Kent Nick Kent 5'9" | RB Sparta | 2022 State WI put the final nail in the coffin as he was able to find a crease right up the middle and then weave his way to the 46 yard TD. It seemed like nothing could go wrong for Sparta because even when they botched the hold on the extra point the holder was able to roll left and find Kent for the 2 point conversion putting us at Sparta 35 Logan 0. Due to the 35 point lead it began a running clock that led to a very uneventful 4th quarter. The highlight of the 4th was a nice 35+ yard run by Logan RB Elijah Reynolds. Unfortunately, Logan wasn’t able to finish the drive off before time expired leaving us with a 35-0 victory for Sparta.
Players of the Game
Nick Kent Nick Kent 5'9" | RB Sparta | 2022 State WI , RB- Sparta
Stat Line: 217 Rushing Yds, 3 Rushing TDs, 1 2 PT Conv. Kent vs Logan Highlights
If I had to pick one Player of the Game, it would very easily be Nick. The Sparta offense went as he went. It was very impressive to watch him consistently pick up big chunks of yards in different ways. He started the game finding a ton of success to the outside with counter where his patience shined as he allowed his blocks to set up and then burst through the lane. Once in the open field he had the wiggle to shake DBs and the 5’9″ 190 pounder had no problem lowering his shoulder and getting physical. His vision was very sharp too. He was able to find lanes in the inside running game and easily juked and weaved his way through the defensive front seven. Every time he touched the ball I was expecting fireworks and I was never disappointed. The film is linked by the stats. Check him out!
Sparta Offensive Line
This was the best unit in the matchup. It was made up of Northern State University commit and senior Madden Connelly Madden Connelly 6'2" | OL Sparta | 2021 State WI , senior Caleb Wegner, senior Fabian Sanchez, senior Nick Gann, and junior Hayden Brueggeman. It was very impressive to watch this unit work as one unit instead of five players. The way they were able to pull, down block, and straight up maul defenders off the line of scrimmage consistently is not something you see often at the high school level. The lanes were there all day for RB Kent to find. Individually, Connelly looked every bit the part of a top OL prospect and even made a big impact on the defensive side of the ball as he was able to pile up 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble.
Brett Steussel, QB/LB- Sparta
Stat Line: 6 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 TD Pass
Brett made a lot of impactful plays yesterday on both sides of the ball. He didn’t get to throw much on offense, but he didn’t waste his best opportunities as he was still able to have a 30 yard TD pass that all but put the game away. On defense he made his biggest impact at LB playing out on the edge. His biggest impact was his 4th down sack in the first quarter that set Sparta’s offense up to go take the early 13-0 lead. Brett did a great job of stepping up right when his offense and defense needed him to.
Matt Biever, LB/TE- Sparta
Stat Line: 4 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Receiving TD
Matt was another two way athlete that consistently showed up at the right time all game long. On defense he was able to create a turnover on his strip sack that led to points from the Sparta offense. Matt was actually the one able to capitalize on the turnover he created on defense once he and the offense got set up. He was able to haul in a 30 yard TD that put the game out of reach. He made one defender miss and then raced his way to the endzone. There were a lot of two way players for Sparta and they always seemed to step up right when they were needed. Biever was one of those players.
Corbin Hauser Corbin Hauser 6'1" | WR Sparta | 2021 State WI , WR/DB- Sparta
Stat Line: 8 Tackles
Because of the heavy run game, Hauser wasn’t able to get a ton of touches on offense. Where he did make a big impact was locking down Logan’s top receiving threat, TE Jack McHugh-Sake Jack McHugh-Sake 6'5" | TE La Crosse Logan | 2021 State WI . This was a fun battle to watch and the Upper Iowa commit, Hauser, was able to lock down the SMSU commit. Corbin definitely has plenty of speed to burn and is a dangerous receiver, but it was fun to see him face and step up to this week’s challenge and accomplish it with flying colors. Upper Iowa is getting a really nice athlete.
Martell Owens Martell Owens 6'2" | DL La Crosse Logan | 2022 State WI , DL/FB- La Crosse Logan
Martell was a very bright spot for Logan. It was impressive to see the impact he had just from a simple change in where he lined up. After Sparta had a ton of success running their counter away from him in the first quarter, he was moved to the DT/NG positions and was able to get the penetration that caused a lot of disruption and ended the use of that play for the most part. There were also drives where he completely took over on defense. I mentioned it in the recap, but there was one drive where he made the tackle on first down for a short gain, was in on the gang tackle on second down, and then on third down forced a bad pass because of his pressure on the QB. Owens is a very talented player and was able to impact the game at several moments with his talents. As far as pure talent, he was the most gifted player on the field.