After winning the conference title outright with a 14-7 victory over Milton, Jaden Gault and Monona Grove capped off the eighth perfect regular season for the Silver Eagles with a 14-0 nonconference win over Mount Horeb-Barneveld.
It's something special to go undefeated and we're definitely going to cherish it. It's important for us now to take a deep breath and start focusing on the playoffs. People had doubted us since the start of the year. We lost a lot of skill guys, but we had a lot of young guys step up. We had good chemistry on the lines and were able to play solidly every time this year it felt like. Our defense is really good this year compared to past years. This year seems kind of special. They really have stepped up for the last couple weeks. I think our senior leadership really helped out.
What did Monona Grove do well as a team?
Two weeks ago we were really hurting at the defensive tackle spot, so we had to play some younger guys. We were able to get stops when we needed to get stops, but they made a couple big plays on us. This week I felt we were able to move the ball really well. We had a couple drives that were 90 yards and we finished two of them.
Where did you improve individually this week? I know you were battling some health issues last week.
I was really not feeling well against Milton. I had strep throat for most of the week and was throwing up in the second half, so I had to go get a couple IVs. I did what I could do against them. The last couple weeks we've been base blocking a lot more, so I've been comfortable with that at the left tackle spot. A couple times I had trouble getting to the linebackers because they've been diving to the line pretty hard. We're going to be working a lot this week on getting to the next level.
What does the team need to do better going into next week's game?
Offensively it felt like we made a lot of mistakes and made a lot of penalties. We'd get a drive going and things wouldn't be set and we would shoot ourselves in the foot in the red zone area with a penalty, a missed a field goal or a drop catch. We need to fix these this week and come prepared for Milton.
We need to just play physical and execute our game plan. If we can do both of those things we can make a deep run in the playoffs.
What's the challenge you're going to face against Milton, playing a team you beat 14-7 just two weeks ago?
We're going to embrace it. I am excited to play them again personally because I wasn't 100 percent two weeks ago. I will be able to show them what 100 percent Jaden Gault is, so it'll be a blast. We're obviously familiar with them and what they like to do in the past. Everybody does a few different things in the playoffs, but we're just going to embrace it and play physical. They had a good scheme against us and we didn't make as many plays as we should have. We haven't played up to our capabilities the last couple games. We just want to play Monona Grove football.
It was such a big recruiting weekend two weekends ago for Wisconsin and a lot of the recruits mention that they talked to you during the visit about the school, the coaching staff and that you'd answer any questions for them. Was that something the coaches asked you to do or is that something you decided to do yourself?
I just did it on my own. I talked a lot with (Madison Memorial receiver) Daurice Fountain. I personally think he's going to get an offer. He's a stud. I talked with a lot of people. Obviously with George Panos not being there (Note: he was on an official visit to North Carolina State) I had to step my game up. I wanted to make sure the guys knew what Wisconsin is about. The atmosphere at the game was awesome. It was crazy how the fans were and that just showed everyone what great fans Wisconsin has. It's just our (the commits) job. The coaches don't expect us to recruit, but it's our job.
What official visitors impressed you the most just from talking to them?
They are all great guys and they are all obviously tremendous players. I was kind of surprised with Damien Mama's size. He's just a beast and a big dude. He made me feel small standing next to him. If we can get all those guys it would be great, but Mama would be awesome. Joe Mixon is a really cool guy, too. I think he really enjoyed himself and he said so after the visit.
I think Wisconsin is on the rise and I think we're going to get better and better in recruiting compared to what we've been able to do in the past. That was probably the biggest recruiting weekend in the history of Wisconsin with all those guys on campus. It goes to show how hard the coaches are recruiting and the kind of job they're doing. I had a good time with all the guys, which gets me excited that the coaching staff is recruiting those kinds of players who have good personalities, work hard and are good at the game.