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Laker football looking to break two-game skid

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sports Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The Detroit Lakes football team will finally have a familiar opponent when they travel to Thief River Falls Thursday.

After playing the likes of Minnetonka and Shanley, N.D., the Lakers (2-4) will faceoff against the Prowlers (4-2), thus extending a longtime rivalry which dates back to the early 1990s.

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Despite the Prowlers moving out of the North Country Conference last year and into the Heart O'Lakes, TRF still kept DL on its schedule.

The Prowlers are currently on a two-game winning streak, with victories over Roseau 40-32 and East Grand Forks 21-18.

They have also defeated Crookston 19-3 and Park Rapids 42-14, while losing against Class 3A No. 6-ranked Perham 46-14, and undefeated, Class 3A No. 9 ranked Staples-Motley 42-7.

"Thief River Falls scores a lot of points and have a good rushing game," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "They have an aggressive defense. We may know them well and know what we need to do to stop them, but we need to go out and execute."

The Lakers may enter Thursday's affair by seeing the game slowed down a bit, after facing a big and fast Minnetonka squad last Friday in a 42-12 defeat.

The Class 5A team displayed a much faster game then DL has seen in recent years, so even in defeat, the Lakers learned some important lessons.

"We played at a higher level against Minnetonka and we competed at a higher level," Motschenbacher said. "I was happy with how hard the kids played."

The Lakers won't have to deal with the bulk they faced Friday against Minnetonka when they play in Thief River Falls Thursday. But they will have to stop a potent Prowler offense, which has recorded 143 points (24 points per game average) this season.

To be able to match TRF's offensive output, DL will have to rediscover its rushing attack, which has struggled the last few weeks.

The Lakers are averaging 4.2 yards per carry on the season, but still haven't found the consistency they need on the ground.

Sophomore Alex Mason has done an admirable job between the tackles, with 333 yards for a 4.6 per carry average.

The explosive plays have come through the air for the Lakers, more specifically to wide receiver Josh Stalberger.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Mollberg has found Stalberger six times for touchdowns, including a 70-yard haul last week against Minnetonka.

Stalberger has 493 yards and a 21.4 yards per reception average.

Mollberg struggled with three interceptions against a quick Skipper secondary last week, but has seven TD throws on the season and 812 yards, while going 46-105 on the year.

"Our rushing game is still a work in progress," Motschenbacher said.

"One good thing, we didn't put the ball on the ground (against Minnetonka)," he added.

"The last two games will fly by and it's pretty important to play all the facets of the game well."

After suffering losses the last two weeks, a win in Thief River Falls also would go a long way in the confidence category.

"The kids need a boost in confidence, but they are not down and have been focused in practice all week," the DL coach added.

"It's time to start putting everything all together now."

The Lakers will travel to Duluth East Wednesday, Oct. 21, for a 5:15 p.m. start to wrap up the regular season.

They are currently seeded No. 6 for the Section 8-4A playoffs, and will have to travel to No. 3 Sauk Rapids-Rice.

Laker stats

Detroit Lakes 2009 season stats: 2-4.

Lakers 138, Opponents 150

Detroit Lakes - 27 46 27 25 13 -- 138

Opponents - 34 34 43 25 14-- 150

Scoring leaders

Alex Mason -- 36 points (6 rushing TD).

Josh Stalberger -- 36 points (6 receiving TD).

Joe Mollberg -- 18 points (3 rushing TD).

Brock Johnson -- 16 points (2 receiving TD, 2 PAT reception).

Steven Labine -- 8 points (8-12 PAT kicks).

Logan Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

Nate Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

Connor McLeod -- 6 points (1 interception return)

Brian Labat -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

DL Opp

First Downs 69 77

By Rushing 38 50

By passing 28 24

By penalty 3 3

Net Yards Rushing 950 1201

Avg. per rush 4.2 5.1

No. rushes 224 234

Yards gained 1012 1325

Yards lost 62 124

Net Yards Passing 839 653

No. passes 107 99

Completed 47 54

Incomplete 53 36

Had intercepted 7 9

Interception yards 203 129

Total Offensive Plays 344 354

TOTAL NET YARDS 1789 1854

Kickoffs 25 27

Yards 1013 1136

Ave. kickoff 40.5 42.1

Kickoffs Returned 20 17

Yards 313 375

Ave. return 15.7 22.1

Fumbles 14 8

Fumbles lost 10 4

Penalties 38 37

Yards 270 285

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Alex Mason 72 335 2 333

Logan Baker 51 305 1 304

Joe Mollberg 68 236 46 190

Nate Baker 17 87 11 76

Brian Labat 4 49 1 48

Dominic McAllister 3 14 0 14

Casey Fonder 2 4 0 4

Edgar Negron 1 0 0 0

Steven Labine 1 0 1 (-1)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 105 46 52 7 812 7

Brock Johnson 2 1 1 0 27 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Josh Stalberger 23 493 6

Brock Johnson 8 188 2

Tanner Duncan 4 60 0

N.Baker 4 5 0

Mason 3 33 0

L. Baker 3 31 0

Labat 1 15 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nathan Bausman 19 879 46.3

Steven Labine 6 134 22.3

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nate Baker 8 101 12.6

Edgar Negron 4 58 14.5

Erik Larson 3 76 25.3

Connor McLeod 3 46 15.3

Jon Gilson 1 16 16

Rick Hutchinson 1 16 16

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Andy Pedersen 3 26

McLeod 2 89

Alex Feldt 2 66

Tanner Duncan 1 31

Brian Labat 1 0

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Justin Holm 1.5 18

Nathan DuChene 1 6

Andrew Johnson 1 3

Paul Voeltz 1 2

Mason 1 2

Davis Johnson .5 8

Opponets -

Sacks 4 25.

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