The Oregon football team took care of business by shutting out Fort Atkinson 28-0 in the regular-season finale Friday, Oct. 18, and then made the Division 2 playoffs despite a 4-5 record.
There are 68 teams out of 224 (30.3 percent) that finished with conference records under .500 that made the playoffs.
Oregon made the postseason despite being 3-4 in the Badger South. The Panthers’ 28-7 road win over a Monroe team that finished 4-3 in the league was critical.
“I think whenever you get a chance to play and practice another week it helps your program,” Oregon coach Dan Kissling said. “Especially being an 8 seed and going against a No. 1 seed, I think it’s good for our young players and our program.”
Oregon will play at Hartford (9-0) on Friday. The Orioles won the North Shore Conference title and enter the playoffs averaging 32.8 points per game.
“They are very explosive team,” Kissling said of Hartford. “Offensively, they are powerful and are really fast. They whip the ball around a lot.”
Hartford quarterback Jacob Frantl has passed for 2,011 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions this year. He also has 311 rushing yards. The Orioles’ top receiving target, Joe Kasprzak, has 50 receptions for 1,041 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Kissling said many of the teams in the North Shore Conference run spread offenses.
“We will have our hands full,” Kissling said. “They are similar to Milton and Stoughton. But they have not seen a Wing-T team. We can compete with them.”
Oregon 28, Fort Atkinson 0
Junior quarterback Erik Victorson tossed two touchdowns to power the Panthers to a road win over the Blackhawks.
Victorson completed 6 of 13 passes for 167 yards, and also ran for a score. Junior Brevin Brisack also threw a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Senior running back Mason Grender had two catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow senior running back Matt Kissling caught a 27-yard TD pass.
The Panthers rushed for 150 yards. Grender and sophomore Teague Szudy each had eight carries for 34 and 38 yards, respectively.
“They (Fort Atkinson) put a bunch of guys in the box,” Kissling said. “We did what we wanted to do.”
The Oregon defense posted its second shutout of the season. Junior defensive end Gabe Pearson had 12 tackles and a sack.