LAKERS CLASH WITH PERHAM IN HOL SHOWDOWN: Lots on line as Yellowjackets venture into DL
Imagine having a football game with all the intrigue of a sprouting rivalry, with a potential championship on the line and a showdown between two evenly matched teams, featuring the two of the top quarterbacks in the area.
That's exactly what will go down Friday at Mollberg Field as Detroit Lakes (5-1) will host Perham (3-3) in a Heart O'Lakes Conference face-off.
"It's a big game for us, not only because it might be for the conference championship, but because it will set us up better for the section seeding," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "These (DL) kids have not been in a real rivalry game, because we haven't had one since the Moorhead, Fergus Falls days.
"This is a game which is creating some excitement. If you want a good seat, come early."
The Lakers are in the midst of a four-game winning streak, while the Yellowjackets are coming off an emotional high after making a stunning 28-27 victory over Thief River Falls last week.
Both teams are near the top of the conference with 3-1 HOL records, with Pequot Lakes still on top at 4-1.
The game also will feature two of the more-productive quarterbacks in DL senior Joe Mollberg and Perham's Jordan Hein.
It's a game with much at stake and one which will bring in Mollberg Field's biggest crowd since DL hosted Moorhead over five years ago.
Perham is led by the Hein brothers, Jordan and Jesse, who is a force on both lines.
Jordan Hein is a dual threat QB, with 732 rushing and 889 passing yards, with a total of 18 touchdowns on the season.
He is averaging 122 yards rushing per game and 148.2 passing per game.
"Jordan is one unique individual, because he can bring it on the ground and through the air," said Perham head coach Mike Jordahl. "There's never been a question since day one of the season, that if there is open green grass in front of him, he goes."
Perham's 3-3 record is a little deceiving, since they have lost all three games by a combined 15 points. After the win over Thief River Falls, Jordahl hopes his team has plunged over the hump.
"It was a huge win and now we are going to work on keeping that wave of momentum," the Perham coach included.
In the victory, Jesse Hein had 13 unassisted tackles from his nose guard position, while Jordan Hein accounted for 257 of Perham's 303 total yards with 126 on the ground and 131 through the air.
Jordan Hein's counterpart on the field, Mollberg, is just starting to get his legs underneath him after missing basically the first two games of the season with a high-ankle sprain.
Mollberg tore apart the Park Rapids' defense Friday for 294 passing yards, while connecting touchdown passes of 63, 58, 56 and 75 yards in DL's 36-7 victory.
"We still want to run the football and we want to determine when we pass the football," Motschenbacher said. "We want to throw when we want to."
For much of the season, the Lakers' decision has been made for them, with defenses stacking the box with up to nine defenders, thus leaving the defensive backfield with one safety and lots of real estate for Mollberg to find one of his top receivers in Brian Labat, Rick Hutchinson, Aaron Marsh or Michael Herzog.
Stopping the run will be up to senior Jesse Hein, who has done just that this season.
"Jesse is a force on the line," Jordahl said. "He's been double and tripled teamed, but he still finds a way."
The Lakers defense will also be left the duty of containing Jordan Hein, something most teams have not been able to do.
But the DL defense has been as consistent as water is wet, by allowing just 14 points per game.
One thing is for certain, the Laker defenders will know where Jordan Hein is at all times.
"He can run, scramble and throw," Motschenbacher said of Jordan Hein. "He has a good group of receivers, too. He will be the best quarterback we have seen by far this season and he will be a hard one to contain."
Even though the two offenses run different schemes and looks, they have similar skill players, which will see each other on both sides of the ball.
Perham's set of receivers is the most skilled the Yellowjackets have had for quite sometime, with the majority of them also playing in the secondary.
"We have tremendous wide receivers and we rotate them," Jordahl said. "Collectively, I don't remember having a group like them here before."
The two teams have already seen each other -- somewhat.
The two faced each other in DL's scrimmage, the same one Mollberg sprained his ankle on the first play of the day.
"They took it to us that day," Motschenbacher said. "But this type of game is the reason why we coach and the players lift every day in the offseason."
Jordahl believes the two teams match-up well and sees this game as a spark to a great rivalry, not only because traditionally the two have been good, but as well as the vicinity of the two communities.
"The big key, since the skill players match up well, is who can control the line of scrimmage, limit their penalties and hold onto the ball," Jordahl added. "When DL was named to the HOL, I was so excited to see them on our schedule. Both are class operations. I truly see a long history starting between these two teams."
The DLHS Boosters will be serving up a turkey sandwich dinner, sponsored by Central Market. The cost is $4 per plate for a turkey sandwich, chips, brownie and a water.
The victor of the game will have the inside track to have at least a piece of the HOL championship crown, depending on what Pequot Lakes does against Hawley (6-0) and Thief River Falls (3-3).
The 2011 Detroit Lakes football season stats: Lakers 5-1 (4-1 in HOL Conference)
Detroit Lakes 34, Little Falls 20
Pequot Lakes 8, Detroit Lakes 7
Detroit Lakes 21, Thief River Falls 20
Detroit Lakes 40, Staples-Motley 15
Detroit Lakes 31, East Grand Forks 14
Detroit Lakes 36, Park Rapids 7
Lakers 169, Opponents 84
Opponents - 13 22 0 49 -- 84
Detroit Lakes - 21 71 50 27 -- 169
Rick Hutchinson - (36 points) 5 receiving touchdowns, 1 punt return touchdown.
Brian Labat - (36 points) 1 rushing touchdown, 5 receiving touchdown.
Joe Mollberg - (30 points) 5 rushing touchdowns.
Michael Herzog - (24 points) 1 rushing touchdown; 2 receiving touchdown; 1 interception return.
Steven Labine - (23 points) 20-22 PAT kicks, 1 field goal.
Taylor Magnuson - (6 points) 1 rushing touchdown.
Jake Hoganson - (6 points) 1 rushing touchdown.
Jarrett Nosal - (6 points) 1 rushing touchdown.
Luke Eggebraaten - (1 point) 1-1 PAT kick.
First Downs 69 72
By Rushing 45 54
By passing 20 17
By penalty 4 1
Net Yards Rushing 920 1071
No. rushes 200 276
Yards gained 1037 1164
Yards lost 117 93
Avg. per rush 4.6 3.9
Net Yards Passing 880 408
No. passes 83 69
Completed 48 30
Incomplete 30 34
Had intercepted 5 5
Interception yards 65 53
Total Offensive Plays 308 384
TOTAL NET YARDS 1800 1479
Kickoffs 31 22
Yards 1360 724
Ave. kickoff 43.9 32.9
Kickoffs Returned 12 27
Yards 215 498
Ave. return 17.9 18.4
Fumbles 5 15
Fumbles lost 5 10
Penalties 30 38
Yards 175 288
* * *
Player NR YG YL Net
Michael Herzog 64 307 33 274
Brian Labat 35 231 20 211
Joe Mollberg 56 216 52 164
Taylor Magnuson 8 83 0 83
Casey Fonder 4 28 0 28
Jake Hoganson 16 66 5 61
Casey Paskey 2 50 0 50
Rick Hutchinson 1 4 0 4
Stephen Erb 1 7 0 7
Nick Groth 1 0 0 0
Dylan Bremseth 4 0 3 (-3)
* * *
Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD
Mollberg 77 45 28 4 844 11
Labat 4 2 1 1 (-6) 0
Magnuson 1 1 0 0 42 1
* * *
Player No. Yds. TD
Rick Hutchinson 20 401 5
Labat 13 305 5
Herzog 6 128 2
Aaron Marsh 5 67 0
Magnuson 2 (-6) 0
Kirk McLeod 1 5 0
* * *
Player No. Yds. Ave.
Steven Labine 30 1317 43.9
Paskey 1 43 43
* * *
Player No. Yds. Ave.
Stephen Erb 6 100 16.7
Magnuson 3 44 14.7
Labat 1 30 30
Brock Johnson 1 22 22
Herzog 1 14 14
Paskey 1 10 10
Nick Groth 1 9 9
* * *
Player No. Yds.
Nick Eckman 1 33
Herzog 1 32
Labine 1 10
Casey Fonder 1 0
Rick Hutchinson 1 0
* * *
Player No. Yds. lost
David Perry 2 5
Labat 1 5
Hoganson 1 5
Brandon Dahring 1 4.