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Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

For the first time this season, the Detroit Lakes football team will hop onto the bus for a game.

After going 2-1 to open the season in a three-game homestand, the Lakers make the first of two trips to Duluth to face the Central Trojans in yet another key North Country Conference tilt.

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The Lakers are 2-0 in the conference, as are the Trojans.

"Duluth East is still the clear favorite in the conference, with us, Duluth Central and Thief River Falls bunched up," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "But Central is fast, physical and strong. Their offensive line will just maul you and they have some big time big-play capability."

Running back Quinton Witherspoon rushed for a team-high 121 yards in Central's 42-19 victory over St. Paul Harding Friday. He added three touchdown runs of 10, one and five yards.

"Witherspoon and their two slotbacks can run the ball well behind that huge line, which goes 230, 240 and 250 pounds across," Motschenbacher said.

The Lakers have seen two straight games where Grand Rapids and Thief River Falls each tried passing, but DL has come up with seven interceptions -- including the six last week, which is a new team record.

The Trojans have built leads in all their games, in which they don't have to pass.

"They want to run the football," the DL coach added. "Central is always one of the most physical teams we play."

The Lakers have established a better rush defense since week one, allowing just under 300 yards on the ground the last two games.

The unit is also creating turnovers, to set up the offense with beneficial field position.

Last week against Grand Rapids, the Lakers converted three interceptions into 21 first-quarter points. The DL defense also didn't allow the Thunderhawks to pass their own 34-yard line in the entire second half.

"Grand Rapids surprised us a little when they dropped back into shotgun, which has been something our defense hasn't seen yet this season," Motschenbacher said. "So I'm pleased how they handled that."

Senior quarterback Reed Oistad is also looking comfortable running the offense, picking up a second-team high 201 yards on the ground and passing for 286 more, with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

"Our offense is taking what the defense is giving us," Motschenbacher said.

The Lakers attacked the middle of the field well against Grand Rapids, as Oistad hit both Joe Mollberg and slotback Aaron Gnoinsky on seam routes for touchdowns.

Oistad also has used the boot pass effectively, after rolling out of the pocket and finding open receivers.

"We may have to roll Reed out more with those redwoods Central has on defense," Motschenbacher said.

Senior fullback Dustin Rietsema leads the team in rushing, with 239 yards on 43 carries, to balance out the rushing attack along with Oistad.

"It's a big conference game and it's always a goal to win the conference," Motschenbacher added.

The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Duluth.

Laker results

The 2008 Detroit Lakes season stats --?2-1 record.

Lakers 89, Opponents 42

Detroit Lakes - 21 35 27 6 -- 89

Opponents - 13 7 15 7 -- 42

Scoring

Reed Oistad -- 18 points (3 rushing TDs).

Dustin Rietsema -- 18 points (2 rushing TD, 1 receiving).

Joe Mollberg -- 12 points (2 receiving).

Aaron Gnoinsky -- 6 points (1 receiving).

Logan Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing).

Nate Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing).

Josh Stalberger -- 6 points (1 receiving TD).

Max Knoll -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

Steven Labine -- 5 points (5-5 PAT kicks).

Luke Champa -- 4 points (4-5 PAT?kicks).

DL Opp

First Downs 36 41

By Rushing 27 30

By passing 8 10

By penalty 1 1

Net Yards Rushing 545 616

No. rushes 112 112

Yards gained 606 675

Yards lost 61 59

Net Yards Passing 286 177

No. passes 36 47

Completed 14 17

Incomplete 19 23

Had intercepted 3 7

Interception yards 61 21

Total Offensive Plays 158 173

TOTAL NET YARDS 831 793

Kickoffs 17 9

Yards 768 385

Ave. kickoff 45.2 42.8

Kickoffs Returned 8 15

Yards 133 272

Ave. return 16.6 18.7

Fumbles 8 4

Fumbles lost 3 3

Penalties 10 21

Yards 63 155

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Dustin Rietsema 43 247 8 239

Reed Oistad 41 221 20 201

Nate Baker 1 41 0 41

Logan Baker 8 33 4 29

Aaron Gnoinsky 8 29 11 18

Max Knoll 6 26 13 13

Joe Mollberg 2 7 0 7

Justin Holm 1 2 0 2

Connor Hedstrom 2 0 5 (-5)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Oistad 35 14 18 2 286 5

Mollberg 2 0 1 1 0 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Joe Mollberg 4 98 2

Rietsema 3 54 1

Stalberger 3 53 1

Knoll 3 49 0

Gnoinsky 1 16 1

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Brock Johnson 16 728 45.5

Edgar Negron 1 40 40

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Gnoinsky 5 91 18.2

Alex Feldt 2 15 7.5

Rietsema 1 19 19

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Andy Pedersen 2 11

Gnoinsky 2 0

Josh Tweeton 1 18

T.J. Manning 1 16

Zane Kotschevar 1 16

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Alex Johnson 1.5 18

Davis Johnson 1 11

Kotschevar 1 9

Brock Johnson .5 13.

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