Week 4 took us back to Howards Grove for their conference opener with Cedar Grove Belgium. It was our second look at the Tigers, they took a close loss to Kiel in our first week of coverage, and our first look at the Rockets. Cedar Grove is a team we've been following closely for the past 6 or 7 years because they have been so strong and it looks like they are getting back to the dominant form we saw in 2008-2010. Not that they've been bad since then, they consistently win 7 or 8 games and make the playoffs (most programs would kill for that to be a 'down' year) but it's not quite up to the run we saw during that three year stretch where they made it to Madison once and were a win away two other times. In fact one of the greatest high school football games I ever witnessed was three years ago during a sectional between CGB and Lancaster at Middleton that ended with a final score of 49-48 with the Rockets getting edged. But since that game it's been a little tougher sledding. Based on what we saw on Friday though, they look like they are primed for a big run this season. They took the game 40-0 and had continuous clock for the entire second half. Running is always a staple and they have their feature back with Aaron Chier. Drew Emperly gives them an added dimension in the pass game which they never really had before. He put a 75 yard TD pass to Chief on his fingertips about 35 yards down field. And our player of the game, Adam Chier, yes another Chier, was a beast defensively with 3 sacks and consistent pressure all day. Howard's was just a little too young to take on a team with that kind of depth. I don't expect the Rockets to lose another game all season, they now stand at 4-1 (2-0).
Elsewhere Plymouth made a statement at New Holstein. Thought that might be the game of the night but I was wrong, Panthers dominated. They were the best team in the county last season and it's probably between them and the aforementioned Rockets this season. Sheboygan North and South both had rough weeks with losses on the road. Oostburg got a huge win at Ozaukee, the game between them and the Rockets to wrap up the regular season looks like a marquee matchup.