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Vikings to have new looks for 2009

A Viking stretches out before practice. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)2 / 3
A Pelican Rapids' defender takes down a Laker running back during a scrimmage between the two teams. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)3 / 3

It will be a work in progress to replace one of the best quarterbacks who has donned a Pelican Rapids football jersey.

With the graduation of three-year starter Tyden Storrusten leaving behind a gaping hole in the Viking offense, it will be up to one of three quarterbacks to lead the Pelican Rapids' offense -- with the Vikings making the last four Section 8-2A championship games, but losing them all to Hawley.

"All three guys bring something different to the table," said Pelican Rapids head coach Dave Haugen. "It will be a situational thing leading up to the season opener. I do prefer to have one guy playing at quarterback."

The three vying for the starting snaps this season include juniors Andy Johnson (6-4, 165 pounds) and Brady Morgan (6-1, 190), along with sophomore Casey Bruggeman (5-11, 150).

"All of them have limited experience," Haugen said. "So we will emphasize our rushing game and try and establish the run."

That job will come down the offensive line, which has some good sized players and experience back.

Senior Lance Erickson (6-1, 250) is a two-year starter at guard.

Senior Justin Keller (5-10, 235) and junior Dan Wood (6-5, 225) each will provide size on the line of scrimmage.

The three top Viking rushers have departed to graduation, with McKale Evenson leading the way in 2008 with 696 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Senior Dan Ditch (6-1, 185) will see plenty of carries and can be a between-the-tackle runner, as well as the ability to bounce it outside.

If Morgan doesn't win the quarterback job, he will line up as fullback to provide holes for Ditch, as well as taking on some rushing duties.

"Depth at running back is a concern," Haugen said.

To go along with the possession style of offense will be possession-like wide receivers in senior Mike Strand (6-1, 175) and sophomore Luke Halbakken (6-5, 175).

"We should see some decent yards after the catch with our receivers," Haugen added.

But with a load of talent gone from last year's seniors, the offense maybe a work in progress throughout the schedule.

"By playoff time, we should be pretty competitive, but it may take the first playoff game to get there," he said.

Keller and Erickson will anchor the defensive line for the Vikings, while Morgan will solidify the linebacking corp.

Ditch will return in the secondary.

"The defense is similar to the offense, where it may take some time," Haugen said. "But we'll need to control the line of scrimmage.

"Overall, these guys have been around a lot of winning and they are expecting it to happen again. They just want their chance to prove it."