One of state's oldest rivalries headlines first 2017 QB Challenge

Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids staged shootout last year in Valley Association


GREEN BAY – They play for "The Ol' River Jug" in the regular season. They'll square off for some preliminary bragging rights on Thursday.

Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln are the first two schools to compete in the 2017 High School QB Challenge at halftime of the Packers' preseason opener vs. Philadelphia at Lambeau Field.

Members of the Valley Football Association-West in the central part of the state, SPASH and Rapids have played for the "Jug" 70 times, dating back to 1947, with SPASH holding a 39-30-1 series lead.

Last season's meeting was won by Rapids in overtime, 41-35. SPASH came back from a 28-0 deficit to force overtime at 35-all, but Rapids ultimately prevailed.

It turned out to be SPASH's only loss in the regular season, as the Panthers won the conference and advanced all the way to the semifinals of the Division 1 playoffs, losing to eventual state champion Kimberly and finishing the season 11-2.

Rapids posted a 6-4 overall record in 2016, qualifying for the D-1 playoffs but losing in the first round.

The two teams will meet in the upcoming season on Friday, Oct. 6.

SPASH will bring QB Sam Simmons and receivers Ger Lor and Mason King to the competition.

Rapids will feature QB Jacob Mancl along with receivers Isaiah Westfall and Keegan Hewitt. Westfall was the team's leading receiver a year ago, with 42 catches for 800 yards and 11 TDs. Hewitt added 23 catches for 295 yards and three scores.

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