Week seven area football match-ups and previews
With only two games remaining in the regular season football teams in the area are jockeying for playoff position, a home game or a first round bye, while others are more tightly focused on reaching their potential in the final fortnight.
Detroit Lakes is certainly one of those latter teams at 1-5 overall.
The Lakers have been victimized by themselves more than their opponents at crucial moments of five losses.
DL is a few plays away from what could be a 5-1 record if not for mental mistakes that have to go away in week seven.
The Lakers got handled in Perham week two losing 32-20 but have been in all of the other four losses with the opponent finding a way to win late in the game.
The season-opening game with Rocori was thwarted by an ill-timed fumble and a flag to give the Spartans an opportunity to take command in the final eight minutes.
Week three’s game versus Fergus Falls was decided on a fourth down Laker incompletion in the Otter red zone that turned the tide in the fourth quarter.
Pequot Lakes and DL managed a combined 31 penalties in week four, but the Patriots converted and took advantage when given the opportunity after halftime. Pequot also held the Lakers scoreless in the first half.
Last week, DL was down two scores to start the fourth quarter in Glyndon but began a drive with momentum to get back in the game to start the fourth quarter. The season nemeses of penalties and a fumble did DL in again.
Week seven presents East Grand Forks (2-4) at home. The Green Wave defeated Park Rapids at home 32-14 and Thief River Falls 13-6 on the road. The Lakers face 1-5 Thief in the regular season finale on the road. Like the Lakers, the Prowlers have one win over Park Rapids.
DL should be favored in both games and can push into the playoffs with an improved 3-5 mark and some confidence from more than defeating their opponents. The Lakers can get a big boost by playing up to their potential.
Undefeated No. 5 Rocori (6-0) and 5-1 Fergus Falls will likely have the first round byes in 8AAAA.
Willmar and Apollo are 3-3; Little Falls is 2-4 and DL is in sixth place at 1-5. Willmar has the toughest schedule remaining of the four teams facing both Becker and Rocori on the road.
Waubun, Stephen-Argyle this week’s top 9-man game
Area 9-man football has seen plenty of big games within Section 6, the home of four of the best teams in the state.
Last week, Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal road tripped back from Nevis in good spirits after knocking off the No. 5 Tigers. Nevis players know that feeling having busted Waubun’s bubble in Waubun when the Bombers held the No. 1 ranking. Waubun had their own winning road trip after taking down the Titans in Ulen.
The one outsider of the group is Rothsay, who won’t play any of the section teams in the regular season but enters week seven with a matching 5-1 record. All four teams are jumbled between No. 11 and No. 16 in Minnesota-Scores’ QRF rankings.
Section 6 9-Man Standings
(QRF rank, Team, (QRF Points), Section, Overall)
No. 11 NCE/U-H (28.1) 2-1, 5-1
No. 14 Nevis (26.3) 2-1, 5-1
No. 14 Waubun (26.3) 2-1, 5-1
No. 16 Rothsay (25.7) 1-0, 5-1
No. 41 Win-E-Mac (14.2) 0-3, 2-4
No. 59 Laporte (4.9) 0-1, 0-6
Waubun will be seeking another big road win Thursday night when they try to quell the Storm in Argyle. No. 3 Stephen-Argyle, the top team in Section 8, is 6-0 and has yet to face a real challenge. The closest game the Storm played was in in Grygla in a 34-14 victory over the Chargers.
Only Stephen-Argyle and Kelliher/Northome have winning records in Section 8 and the Bombers will certainly be the biggest test of the year. The teams have played three times since 2015 with Waubun winning each game.
Stephen-Argyle will be plenty pumped up Friday night from the two meetings in 2016 alone.
The Bombers handed the Storm their only two losses last year 35-0 in week two and 41-18 at Bemidji State University in the state quarterfinals. Those two losses will not be forgotten in less than a calendar year.
Waubun will continue to look for success in their spread formation behind quarterback Jayden Heisler and his versatile corps of receivers, including Parker Syverson, back for his second week in a row.
NCE/UH hosts Northern Freeze (0-6). Nevis travels to Goodridge/Grygla (2-4). Rothsay plays at Underwood (2-4).
Update: Stephen-Argyle scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to upend the Bombers in a wild game where both teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense.
Class 9-man state rankings
School Total Points
1. Spring Grove (6) (6-0) 68
2. Cromwell (1) (6-0) 58
3. Stephen-Argyle (6-0) 49
4. Verndale (6-0) 46
5. Grand Meadow (5-1) 37
6. Red Rock Central (6-0) 35
7. Houston (5-1) 34
8. Cleveland (5-1) 33
9. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal (5-1) 8
10. Nevis (5-1) 5
North Woods (5-1) 5
Others receiving votes: Brandon-Evansville-3, Mountain Iron-Buhl-2, Buffalo Lake-Hector-1, Sleepy Eye St. Mary's-1
Mahnomen back in the state rankings
The Indians have won five straight games since an opening week loss at Class AA Hawley and will go for six in a row and the top spot in Section 8A when Red Lake County comes for a Homecoming slugfest Friday.
Red Lake County and Mahnomen are tied atop the section standings with matching 5-1 records.
The Rebels are coming off a win at Lake Park last week after suffering their only loss 26-22 at home to Fertile-Beltrami in week five.
Losses are something the Rebels are all too familiar with when it comes to playing Mahnomen. The Indians have won all 10 games played since 2008.
Mahnomen victories versus RLC
2016 44-8 (W)
2015 52-6 (W)
2014 39-6 (W)
2013 42-0 (W)
2013 42-14 (W)
2012 46-24 (W)
2012 39-0 (W)
2011 47-8 (W)
2009 20-7 (W)
2008 25-22 (W)
Obviously, history is on the side of the Indians and playing at home in front of the Homecoming faithful should also hamper Rebel efforts. RLC proved they have a solid running attack using the ground game to wear down the Raiders last week.
The defensive schemes won’t be too complicated to pull out a win in this matchup. Not many teams have contained Izaiah Asher and Jon Starkey. Both rushed for more than 100 yards in the loss at Hawley. The numbers have only gone up since then.
Names to watch from the Rebels are Matt Vettleson, Derek Peterson and Chris Longtin out of the backfield. Three of the Rebels four touchdowns against LP-A came on runs of three yards or less. RLC likes to pound the ball but did prove they can go to the air when necessary when Ethan Vettleson scored on a 33-yard pass from Peterson.
Class 1A state rankings
School Total Points
1. Goodhue (1) (6-0) 54
2. Wabasso (3) (6-0) 52
3. Braham (6-0) 46
4. Minneota (1) (6-0) 41
5. BOLD (1) (6-0) 39
6. Ottertail Central (6-0) 32
7. Ada-Borup/Norman County West (6-0) 28
8. Mayer Lutheran (6-0) 18
9. Rushford-Peterson (5-1) 7
10. Mahnomen (5-1) 6
Blooming Prairie (5-1) 6
Others receiving votes: Upsale-Swanville-1
LP-A looks to snap skid with state-ranked Cougars in the way
After a 3-1 start to the season, Lake Park-Audubon has suffered three straight defeats.
Mahnomen and Red Lake County account for the last two. The first of the streak was a 26-0 loss at Fosston.
The Raiders have been without the services of starting quarterback Ryan Voge, but last year’s starter Teddy Schauer has spread out the offense with the passing game. If the Raiders can move the ball through the air consistently to complement running back Carter Raaen, they can compete with any team on their schedule.
The problem is, next up is Ada-Borup/Norman County West (6-0), in Ada.
The No. 7 Cougars and No. 10 Ottertail Central are both undefeated atop Section 6A and both are state-ranked.
The Raider offense will have their hands full with a Cougar defense that has shutout four teams and only allowed three opposing touchdowns all year. A-B/NCW has the fewest points allowed per game average in Class A at 3.8.
Ottertail Central is second at 5.7 as the Bulldogs travel to Menahga to face the Class AA United North Central Warriors (4-2).
LP-A is currently fourth in 6A at 3-4 with Pelican Rapids in fifth (3-3). The Vikings are on an uptick having won two games in a row. Pelican travels to face 4-2 Crookston Friday night. A victory there and a Raider loss will flip the two teams in the standings and create a tight race for a home playoff game in QRF rankings. LP-A played in zero week and completes the regular season Friday night. The Vikings will be hard-pressed to get a win at Hawley in the final game of the season on MEA Wednesday.
Barnesville and Hawley battle for 8-AA supremacy
The Trojans and Nuggets have the game of the week region-wide as the Section 8AA rivals enter Friday’s game in Barnesville with matching marks of 6-0.
The No. 4 Nuggets and No. 2 Trojans are two of four teams in Class 2A that remain undefeated. The Trojans have won 38 straight games at home in the regular season, 29 in a row total, and are 53-1 in Barnesville since losing to Hawley in the regular season on Oct. 5., 2007. Hawley has lost the last three meetings by a combined score of 113-32, including a 24-14 loss in last season's section championship game.
The teams have added a traveling paddle trophy to be unveiled for the first time Friday night in honor of former Hawley assistant Lee Eklund. Read Forum’s Chris Murphy’s story about that, and the game, here.
Class 2A state rankings
School Total Points Prv
1. Caledonia (7) (6-0) 70
2. Barnesville (6-0) 60
3. Minneapolis North (6-0) 59
4. Hawley (6-0) 48
5. Triton (5-1) 43
6. Pipestone (5-1) 24
7. Redwood Valley (5-1) 22
8. Paynesville (5-1) 21
9. Maple River (5-1) 15
10. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (5-1) 14
Others receiving votes: Minnewaska Area-6,. Pillager-3
Other state polls:
School Total Points
1. St. Croix Lutheran (7) (6-0) 79
2. Pierz (1) (6-0) 73
3. Sibley East (6-0) 59
4. Spectrum (6-0) 47
5. Rochester Lourdes (5-1) 38
6. Glencoe-Silver Lake (5-1) 36
7. Fairmont (5-1) 32
8. Perham (5-1) 27
9. Annandale (5-1) 26
10. Esko (5-1) 16
Others receiving votes: Jackson County Central 5, Pequot Lakes-1, Two Harbors-1
School Total Points
1. Winona (6) (6-0) 77
2. Marshall (6-0) 70
3. Benilde-St. Margaret's (2) (6-0) 69
4. Hutchinson (6-0) 56
5. Rocori (6-0) 46
6. Kasson-Mantorville (6-0) 32
Cloquet (6-0) 32
8. Holy Angels Academy (5-1) 26
9. Zimmerman (6-0) 21
10. Mound-Westonka (6-0) 7
Others receiving votes: Delano-2, South St. Paul-1, Waseca-1
School Total Points
1. Owatonna (7) (6-0) 79
2. Chaska (1) (6-0) 71
3. Robbinsdale Cooper (6-0) 66
4. Moorhead (5-1) 46
5. Northfield (6-0) 40
Elk River (5-1) 40
7. Apple Valley (5-1) 33
8. Mankato West (5-1) 31
9. Andover (5-1) 21
10. Mahtomedi (5-1) 7
Others receiving votes: Rogers-3, Chanhassen-3
School Total Points
1. Eden Prairie (6) (6-0) 60
2. Minnetonka (6-0) 54
3. Totino-Grace (5-1) 44
4. Centennial (5-1) 42
5. Edina (5-1) 34
6. St. Michael-Albertville (5-1) 29
7. Maple Grove (4-2) 23
8. Roseville (5-1) 21
9. Lakeville North (4-2) 9
10. Rosemount (4-2) 5
Cretin-Derham Hall (4-2) 5
Others receiving votes: Blaine-4