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Dylan Bremseth (12) keeps a hold of East Grand Forks' running back Ryan Boushee Friday evening. Photo by - Brian Basham

DL's defense will try to contain Park Rapids Panthers' explosive offense

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

An explosive offense will clash with a suffocating defense Friday, as the high-flying Park Rapids Panthers visit the home of the Detroit Lakes Lakers in a Heart O'Lakes Conference showdown.

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One or the other will more than likely give, as the Class 4A No. 6 ranked Lakers (5-0) have literally pull the switch on opponents' offenses by allowing just three touchdowns in their first five games.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Panthers (2-3) have produced 159 points, with 141 of them coming in their last three games and a current two-game winning streak.

"They are a hot team right now," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "They are playing with confidence and run their power offense well."

What the Panthers have done the last two weeks is score, and score plenty.

They have defeated Pequot Lakes 54-12 and Thief River Falls 41-35, while losing to Crookston three weeks ago 53-46.

"They run the ball hard and come right at you," Motschenbacher said. "They will lull you to sleep with their power game and then hit you with the big play."

Park Rapids' skill players are athletic and quick, as running backs Cory Gartner and Ian Johnson each possess breakaway speed, but can run it between the tackles, as well.

Quarterback Tyler McCollum has a good arm, with his main target being tight end Kyle Goplerud.

But while the Panthers have feasted with a strong rushing game and big-play capability, the Lakers have sealed up any explosive plays opposing offenses try to serve up.

The Lakers have allowed just 3.4 yards per rush, while giving up 186.8 yards per game.

But the biggest stat is points and DL has not allowed many, just 20 points on the season, while scoring 143.

"We need to be solid and not allow the big play," Motschenbacher said. "Hopefully our physicality will be one of our strengths against them."

The DL defense not only keeps points off the board, they add some. Last Friday's 69-yard interception return by senior Kirk McLeod was the unit's second defensive score of the season -- the other being a 60-yard interception return by Sam Champa.

"That was a big play last week," Motschenbacher said of McLeod's interception return. "Any time the defense can score, it's huge."

The Lakers' offense is also starting to click and become more versatile.

Junior quarterback Michael Herzog has now hit for touchdown strikes through the air of 45 yards in back-to-back games.

He also is a brute of a rusher, punishing those trying to tackle him, with 452 rushing yards on 106 carries.

"We also want to get more rushes to Stephen Erb, Jarret Nosal and Casey Paskey, because they are very good rushers, too," the DL coach included.

As the season progresses, the DL offense is becoming more and more evolved, which means bad news to defenses.

With Rocori losing Friday to Sauk Rapids-Rice, the Lakers now are in control of holding the Section 8-4A top seed, which will gain them a bye.

DL also is tops in the Heart O'Lakes Conference, tied with undefeated Perham.

The showdown between the Lakers and Yellowjackets will be a featured tilt in the area Friday. Oct. 12, in Perham.

Laker stats

The 2012 Detroit Lakes football stats: Record 5-0.

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

Lakers 143, Opponents 20

Opponents - 7 0 0 13 -- 20

Detroit Lakes - 29 60 27 27 -- 143

Scoring:

Michael Herzog: 60 points (10 rushing touchdowns).

Stephen Erb: 12 points (1 rushing, 1 receiving touchdown).

Kirk McLeod: 18 points (2 receiving touchdowns, 1 interception return).

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

Christian Tigges: 7 points (7-8 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)

Jarret Nosal: 6 points (1 rushing touchdonw)

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 57 44

By Rushing 49 30

By passing 6 11

By penalty 2 3

Net Yards Rushing 1084 661

No. rushes 207 172

Yards gained 1198 735

Yards lost 114 74

Yards per rush avg. 5.2 3.4

Net Yards Passing 458 273

No. passes 46 85

Completed 20 27

Incomplete 23 55

Had intercepted 3 6

Interception yards 184 2

Total Offensive Plays 272 291

TOTAL NET YARDS 1542 934

Kickoffs 26 8

Yards 1215 303

Ave. kickoff 46.7 37.9

Kickoffs Returned 5 18

Yards 99 308

Ave. return 19.8 17.1

Fumbles 12 13

Fumbles lost 2 5

Penalties 31 23

Yards 260 173

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Michael Herzog 106 541 89 452

Jarret Nosal 62 321 15 306

Stephen Erb 16 156 0 156

Christian Hedstrom 6 83 3 80

Forrest Schleske 3 38 0 38

Casey Paskey 3 35 0 35

Jeff Gailfus 5 15 3 12

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 45 19 23 3 434 5

Hedstrom 1 1 0 0 24 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Kirk McLeod 8 222 2

Derek Long 5 143 1

Paskey 2 47 1

Stephen Erb 2 25 1

Brandon Dahring 2 21 0

Herrmann 1 24 1

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Christian Tigges 16 824 51.5

Sam Champa 9 361 40.1

Austin Weber 1 30 30

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Erb 4 96 24

McLeod 1 3 3

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Champa 2 74

Erb 2 0

McLeod 1 69

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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