CORRECTION: Wednesday's story stated that Regis & Durand had not played previously in football, but that was incorrect. The two teams last played in 1994. We regret the error.
Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Eau Claire Regis and Durand have met in other sports, but not in football. The Ramblers and Panthers will play a non-conference game, Thursday, 7:00 P.M., at Carson Park.
The meeting comes about partly out of necessity, with each team looking to fill a non-conference date on its schedule. Regis used to play Marawood teams, but after that conference realigned, it left fewer options for non-league games. Also, with the Cloverbelt having nine teams, and the regular season running nine weeks, each team in the league has one non-conference date to play.
Durand is one of seven teams in the Dunn-St. Croix, so the Panthers have to schedule three non-conference games each season.
"As a result, last year at this time we were looking for a non-conference game week five, originally we were really worried that we wouldn't be able to find anybody or have some excessive travel," says Regis head coach Bryant Brenner, "but fortunately, the Dunn-St. Croix had an agreement similar to that with the Lakeland, and that went away at about the same time, it just so happened that Durand needed a non-conference game the same week that we did, and it just made a lot of sense to play each other."
Regis enters the game with a 3-1 overall record, the only loss coming to unbeaten Stanley-Boyd. The Ramblers are tied for 9th among the small schools in the latest AP high school football poll, and 3rd in the Wissports.com Division 6 coaches poll. The 3-1 Panthers are unranked in both polls, but Brenner thinks they're similar to the team that handed Regis its lone defeat this season.
"it's a real tough matchup, because I think they're very, very similar to Stanley-Boyd.in what they do offensively, some things very similar, and then they play real good defense," Brenner says, "they're explosive, [Josh] Biesterveld is as explosive of a back as this area has. I think it's important that we control the time of possession and keep their offense off the field, if we can get first downs and hang onto the football, I think that'll give us a chance."