For the fourth season in five years, the River Falls football team can claim the title of conference champion.
The Wildcats made sure of that Friday night with a 31-19 victory at Eau Claire North to share the Big Rivers Conference title with Hudson. River Falls also won BRC titles in 2018 and 2019, and the Mississippi Valley Conference championship in 2021. No conference champions were crowned in 2020 due to Covid.
River Falls, now 8-1 overall, also found out Saturday morning it will be a No. 1 seed in its Division 2 sectional and will open postseason play at home against No. 8 La Crosse Central (4-5) this Friday night at 7 p.m.
Last Friday’s win at North featured three touchdown runs by Wyatt Bell and one by Jonah Severson as the Wildcats compiled 246 yards on the ground. Bell finished with 87 yards on nine carries, Severson totalled 82 yards on 20 attempts, and Charlie Loesch had 60 yards on nine touches.
Bell opened the scoring with a 45-yard touchdown run and added the two-point conversion, then scored from five-yards out with Jordan Karras tacking on the two-point run to give the Cats a 16-0 lead.
After a touchdown and failed two-point attempt by North early in the second quarter, Bell capped a Wildcat drive from one-yard out and Loesch converted the two-point run to extend the Wildcat lead to 24-6.
The River Falls lead was 24-12 at the break when Severson found paydirt in the third quarter from 14-yards away. Alec Ross tacked on the extra-point kick to make it a 31-12 game before North got a late score to make the final 31-1.
Quarterback Jacob Range attempted just five passes in the game, completing three, for 46 yards. Two of his passes went to Karras for 39 yards. Range also ran the ball three times for 15 yards.
Friday night’s Level 1 playoff game against La Crosse Central kicks off at 7 p.m. at UW-River Falls’ David Smith Stadium. A Wildcat win would keep them home for a Level 2 game against either No. 4 Marshfield (6-3) or No. 5 Pulaski (7-2) Friday, Oct. 28.