Ledgers top Stratford to Win 8th WIAA State Title

Eight is Great for Saint Mary’s Springs – as the Ledgers scored late in the fourth quarter to defeat Stratford 20-17 in Thursday’s Division 5 State Championship Game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison and earn their eighth WIAA State Championship.

The Ledgers fell behind 14-0 early in the game – as Stratford scored on a one-yard run from Kade Ehrike with 8:05 left in the first quarter, and added a 40 yard touchdown pass from Max Schwabe to Vaughn Breit with 47 seconds left in the opening frame. Late in the first half, with Stratford driving – looking to make it a three-score game, Springs forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back, then used a seven-play 95 yard drive – capped off by a 21-yard touchdown run from Marcus Orlandoni to make the score 14-7 going into halftime.

Stratford fumbled on their first drive of the second half, then one play later the Ledgers were able to tie the game up at 14 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Mitch Waechter to Cade Christensen. With 38 seconds left in the third quarter, Stratford went ahead 17-14 on a 20-yard field goal from Reed Curtis. Needing a touchdown to win, St. Mary’s Springs used a 13-play, 72 yard drive that led to a five-yard touchdown run from Marcus Orlandoni to put the Ledgers ahead with 2:18 left in the game. Stratford’s final drive got to their own 43 yard line, but heavy pressure from Jacob Schrauth on a fourth down play led to a turnover on downs from Stratford and the Ledgers were able to run out the clock.

Marcus Orlandoni led the Springs offense with 12 carries for 124 yards and the two touchdowns. Mitch Waechter completed six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, while Cade Christensen totaled three catches for 50 yards and the one score.

The win gives St. Mary’s Springs their eighth WIAA State Football Championship – pair that with eight WISAA titles, St. Mary’s Springs owns 16 State Football Championship trophies.