A dominant defense, a high-powered offense and a group of 10 senior leaders provided the perfect mix for Edgar football to get a title again.
Senior Alec Hafferman ran for 136 yards and three scores to lead Edgar to a 36-6 victory over Shullsburg to claim the WIAA Division 7 championship on Thursday.
"It's been (Hafferman's) dream ever since he's been a little kid to get to state and to win at state," Edgar coach Jerry Sinz said. "He brought the whole team together and he's kept everyone fired up, inspired a lot of guys to play harder."
It was seventh state championship in Sinz's 42 years at the school — in four different divisions nonetheless — but the first since 2010. Edgar (11-3) had only lost a combined eight times in the previous five seasons but late stumbles prevented the Wildcats from even appearing in the finals.
In a year when it lost the most games since 2005, fourth-seeded Edgar found its rhythm when it mattered most, outscoring opponents 182-33 in five playoff games. Edgar knocked off top-seed Wild Rose, plus defending Division 7 champion Bangor and its 26-game winning streak along the way.
"I have to give our kids credit for playing a lot harder, a lot more inspired," Sinz said.
Edgar rushed for 285 yards and four touchdowns on the day, including runs of 1, 2 and 6 by Hafferman.
Making its first state title appearance, Shullsburg (11-3) committed four turnovers that turned into 14 points for the Wildcats. The highlight was a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by Karson Butt that made it 15-0 in the first quarter.
The Miners came in averaging 208.6 rushing yards and 2.6 touchdowns per game by only managed 118 yards and no scores on the ground.
"Second place isn't much fun," Shullsburg coach Scott Matye said, "but (there are) 100-some Division 7 teams that would trade places with us."