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Perham QB Jordan Hein will be a focus of the Laker defense come Friday evening. Photo by - Bob Williams

Clash of the HOL elite

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Clash of the HOL elite
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There are many ways to count how attractive Friday's battle of the classes will be, when the Class 4A No. 5 ranked Detroit Lakes football team invades the Class 3A No. 2 ranked Perham.

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The most important outcome will crown the North Heart O'Lakes Conference champion, as both teams entered the seventh week of the season at 6-0.

Second, the game is the second one in an already blossoming rivalry, which was kicked off last year in grand style.

But the Northern HOL crown isn't the only "trophy" up for grabs, with the newly-constructed "Pigskin Paddle" on the line.

The new trophy will be the DL-Perham's version of "Floyd of Rosedale" or the "Little Brown Jug" the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers play for annually against Iowa and Michigan.

And another number can be injected into Friday's game -- five -- as in how many touchdowns senior Perham quarterback Jordan Hein had against the Lakers last year in the Yellowjackets' 35-28 win on Mollberg Field.

Overall, it's a big game.

"This is an important game in the conference, no doubt," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher.

"But our focus will not be on Perham, it will be on what we can control. Our ultimate goal is to be a good football team by the time the playoffs roll around."

The game also has some implications on DL's Section 8-4A rank, which as of now, is No. 1.

Fergus Falls is nipping at DL's heels for the top seed, with the Lakers leading by 2.3 points in the QRF ratings.

The Otters have one loss on the season and play more 4A schools, compared to DL's 3A-laden schedule.

But the Lakers have a solid handle on at least a top two seed, which is crucial, since both will gain a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The Yellowjackets are coming off a narrow 20-19 win in Thief River Falls, as Hein directed a late-game drive, scoring the tying touchdown with under two minutes remaining.

Kicker Nick Bahls eventually booted the go-ahead point, thus preserving Perham's perfect season.

"They are certainly a very good team," Motschenbacher said. "They found a way to win the game and that's what good teams do."

Hein is the stick which stirs the drink for the Yellowjackets. He has rushed for 812 yards on 117 carries for a 6.9 ypc average.

He has also thrown for 604 yards and six touchdowns, while completing 54.1 percent of his passes.

The offense runs through him, as well the defense, in which he makes some big plays from his secondary position.

That was no more evident than in last year's thriller in DL, where Hein scored five touchdowns, including four rushing scores and a tide-turning 94-yard fumble return, after he stripped Laker running back Jarret Nosal on the Perham six yard line and went untouched to score.

DL had two turnovers in the Perham red zone, which played a very key part in the loss.

The Lakers are not missing a big playmaker, though, as junior quarterback Michael Herzog has stormed on the scene with his physical style of rushing.

Herzog has rushed for a team-high 677 yards on 137 carries (4.9 ypc), while scoring 13 rushing touchdowns.

He has also shown he can lead a drive down the field through the air, by passing for 509 yards and six touchdowns.

Nosal also has picked up some tough yardage on the ground, as he has 398 yards on 78 carries.

"We are trying to get Jarret, Stephen Erb and Casey Paskey more involved in the rushing game, because they are all good athletes," Motschenbacher added.

In a game against two hot teams, intangibles such as turnovers and special teams will be key factors.

The Lakers have excelled in both areas, with defensive touchdowns in three straight games, while limiting their opponents to just 217 yards of total offense per game.

The Laker defense has also been stubborn in allowing opponents across the pylons, by allowing just 42 points on the season.

Park Rapids was the first team all season to score multiple touchdowns in the same game against DL.

"We are just going to need a very solid game to beat them," Motschenbacher said.

Laker stats

Section 8-4A standings

(Sect-Ovrll-QRF pts)

Detroit Lakes 2-0 6-0 73

Fergus Falls 0-0 5-1 70.7

Rocori 0-0 4-2 55.5

Thief River Falls 1-1 2-4 36.5

East Grand Forks 0-2 3-3 38.5

Little Falls 0-0 2-4 36.2

North Heart O'Lakes Conference

Detroit Lakes 4-0 6-0

Perham 4-0 6-0

East Grand Forks 2-2 3-3

Park Rapids 2-3 2-4

Thief River Falls 1-3 2-4

Crookston 1-3 3-3

Pequot Lakes 1-4 2-4

The 2012 Detroit Lakes football stats: Record 6-0.

Detroit Lakes 22, Hermantown 7

Detroit Lakes 21, Pequot Lakes 0

Detroit Lakes 24, Thief River Falls 6

Detroit Lakes 48, Staples-Motley 0

Detroit Lakes 28, East Grand Forks 7

Detroit Lakes 40, Park Rapids 22

Lakers 183, Opponents 42

Opponents - 7 14 0 21 -- 42

Detroit Lakes - 36 86 27 34 -- 183

Scoring:

Michael Herzog: 78 points (13 rushing touchdowns).

Kirk McLeod: 24 points (3 receiving touchdowns, 1 interception return).

Stephen Erb: 18 points (1 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 interception return touchdowns)

Jarret Nosal: 12 points (2 rushing touchdown)

Christian Tigges: 11 points (11-13 PAT kicks)

Sam Champa: 9 points (1 interception return touchdown, 3-4 PAT kicks).

Derek Long: 6 points (1 receiving touchdown).

A.J. Matter: 6 points (3 2-point conversions catches)

Casey Paskey: 6 points (1 receiving touchdown)

Michael Herrmann: 6 points (1 receiving touchdown)

Christian Hedstrom: 6 points (1 rushing touchdown)

Austin Weber: 1 points (1-2 PAT kicks).

DL Opp

First Downs 78 58

By Rushing 65 37

By passing 10 17

By penalty 3 4

Net Yards Rushing 1417 894

No. rushes 260 213

Yards gained 1544 992

Yards lost 127 98

Yards per rush avg. 5.5 4.2

Net Yards Passing 533 407

No. passes 57 108

Completed 25 37

Incomplete 27 66

Had intercepted 5 8

Interception yards 222 5

Total Offensive Plays 338 361

TOTAL NET YARDS 1950 1301

Kickoffs 23 12

Yards 1133 454

Ave. kickoff 49.3 37.8

Kickoffs Returned 7 25

Yards 183 398

Ave. return 26.1 15.9

Fumbles 14 14

Fumbles lost 3 6

Penalties 33 25

Yards 275 193

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Michael Herzog 137 766 89 677

Jarret Nosal 78 413 15 398

Stephen Erb 17 166 0 166

Christian Hedstrom 8 96 6 90

Forrest Schleske 5 41 0 41

Casey Paskey 3 35 0 35

Jeff Gailfus 6 18 3 15

Michael Herrmann 1 6 0 6

Brandon Hofer 2 1 0 1

Brandon Dahring 2 2 2 0

Dylan Bremseth 1 0 2 (-2)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Herzog 56 24 27 5 509 6

Hedstrom 1 1 0 0 24 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Kirk McLeod 10 243 3

Derek Long 6 158 1

Stephen Erb 4 64 1

Paskey 2 47 1

Brandon Dahring 2 21 0

Herrmann 1 24 1

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Christian Tigges 23 1133 49.3

Sam Champa 9 361 40.1

Austin Weber 1 30 30

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Erb 6 180 30

McLeod 1 3 3

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Erb 3 35

Champa 2 74

McLeod 2 72

Bremseth 1 41

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Brandon Johnson 1 13

Jason Griego 1 11

Tyler Gebhart 1 9

Nick Groth 1 5

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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