Jacob Hanratty carries the ball during offensive drills at a recent practice. (Nate Beier photo | gx3media.smugmug.com)

Brookwood’s Jesus Barajas and the linemen push the sled around during practice Tuesday. (Nate Beier photo | gx3media.smugmug.com)

Royall head coach Ryan Olson (right) goes over the offense with quarterback Keith Schnurr during a recent practice. (Nate Beier photo | gx3media.smugmug.com)

Brookwood quarterback Kaden Brandau prepares to hand off during offensive drills Tuesday afternoon. Brandau will move under center following the departure of Jack Mulvaney. (Nate Beier photo | gx3media.smugmug.com)


By NATE BEIER | For the County Line


The Royall football team will kick off the 2019 season Friday night against the Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg tri-op. The game will be the first for the visiting Knights as a tri-op, as Shullsburg was forced to combine due to low numbers recently. The Benton/Scales Mound co-op finished in the Division 7 state quarterfinals last season and were 8-4 last year and fourth place in the Six Rivers Conference. Royall was 4–4 in 2018, finishing 3–2 in conference play, trailing league champ Bangor and runner-up Brookwood. The Panthers qualified for playoffs for the third straight season before falling to Ithaca in the first round of the postseason.


The Falcons open the 2019 season by hosting Boscobel on Friday night. The Bulldogs were 0–9 in 2018 and averaged just more than 9 points a game. Brookwood was 6–4 last year and finished second in the Scenic Bluffs with a 4–1 mark. The Falcons pitched two shutouts, but allowed nearly 17 points a game last year while scoring just over 21 points a game. The Falcons are looking for a fifth straight trip to the playoffs, though the team has just one postseason win (2015) in that time.