Moorhead escaped Alexandria thanks to a last-second TD in Week 1. Photo by Eric Morken/Echo Press
Some shuffling at the bottom of the Top 10, but the first five remain intact after Week 1 of Minnesota high school football. Breckenridge drops out and Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal gets in.
1. Mahnomen (1-0)
Last week: 44-13 win at Pine River-Backus
Next up: Host Red Lake (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Business as usual for Mahnomen. Indians won their 29th straight game behind a running game and a strong defense. Quarterback Tom Pavek rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries and Mitch Foss ran for 139 yards on seven carries and each had two touchdowns.
Indians looking to extend the longest active winning streak in the state to an even 30 games Friday.
2. Hawley (1-0)
Last week: 18-6 win at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
Next up: At Breckenridge (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Ben Ellefson was everywhere for Hawley in the Nuggets’ Week 1 win. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum
Hawley can be happy they escaped Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton with a win, considering quarterback Jordan Harms played one of his worst games in recent memory with two interceptions and a fumble, which was taken back for a touchdown.
Dillon Omberg (25) was a big threat in Week 1 for Hawley. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum
Tight end and North Dakota State commit Ben Ellefson is as good as advertised, hauling in four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 29 yards and a touchdown on six carries and getting in on 14 tackles on defense in Week 1. Nuggets have a backup plan if the passing game isn’t there and that’s Dillon Omberg, who rushed for 119 yards on 21 carries.
Nuggets are 24-1 in their last 25 regular-season games. That one loss is thanks to a 7-6 loss to Breckenridge last season.
3. Underwood (1-0)
Last week: 36-0 win at Ortonville
Next up: Host No. 5 Verndale (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Underwood had 372 total yards against Ortonville and 353 of them were on the ground with 177 from Noah Thompson and 89 from Cole Kugler.
This week’s matchup with Verndale has “section championship preview” written all over it. Last time these two teams met a touchdown and extra point with time expired in regulation gave Underwood a 13-12 win and a ticket to state.
4. Moorhead (1-0)
Last week: 18-13 win at Alexandria
Next up: Host St. Cloud Apollo (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Jade Lawrence led Moorhead to an 18-13 win over Alexandria in Week 1. Photo by Eric Morken/Echo Press
Spuds needed a hook and ladder with less than 30 seconds to escape Alexandria with a win. Probably not the best sign for a Moorhead team that beat Alexandria 28-12 and 40-7 last season, but a win is a win.
Running back Jade Lawrence had 88 rushing yards on 10 carries and junior receiver Tristen Nelson had a coming out party with four catches for 68 yards, a touchdown and the game-winning lateral to Lawrence.
Spuds premiere their new field turf Friday.
5. Verndale (1-0)
Last week: 45-6 win at Hancock
Next up: At No. 3 Underwood (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Much was expected from fourth-year starter and quarterback Dillon Card this season for Verndale. Colter Ehrmantraut made things easier for Verndale and could make this blog explode with trying to spell his last name if keeps putting up numbers like he did in Week 1.
He had 144 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and scored again on a 33-yard punt return. The Pirates are frightening with a duo running game of Card and Ehrmantraut.
Pirates will look for revenge against the team that ended their season in Underwood.
6. Frazee (1-0)
Last week: 26-23 win at home over Park Rapids
Next up: At Warroad (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Class 2A Frazee was able to take care of Class 3A Park Rapids and rather handily. The Hornets were up 20-0 at half and 26-7 with 10:01 to go before Park Rapids had a comeback.
Hesston Bachmann led the way with 176 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and Garrett Malstrom had 12 tackles and recovered a fumble.
7. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (0-1)
Last week: 18-6 loss at home against No. 2 Hawley
Next up: At Thief River Falls (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Alex Fuchs (45) helped the D-G-F running game, but the Rebels couldn’t score offensively against Hawley in Week 1. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum
D-G-F didn’t do itself any favors in the first three weeks, scheduling three teams that played in section championships last season, two of which made it to state.
The good news is the Rebels stuck with a really good Hawley team behind two interceptions from Jordan Olson and a fumble recovery for a touchdown from Adam Olson. It was 12-6 early in the fourth before Hawley milked the clock.
Brandon Wayne had 34 rushing yards on nine carries, Joe Flatt had 86 yards on 15 carries and Alex Fuchs had 11 rushes for 21 yards. That’s four yards per carry from their big three and junior quarterback Blake Kragnes looked OK in his first varsity start, but D-G-F just couldn’t get in the end zone.
8. Waubun (1-0)
Last week: 18-0 win at home over Clearbrook-Gonvick
Next up: At Ada-Borup (0-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
The duo of Jordan Spaeth and Ryan Weber are going to be fun to watch this season. The two rushed for 281 of Waubun’s 294 rushing yards and scored every touchdown for the Bombers in their Week 1 win.
Next up is an Ada-Borup team that ended Waubun’s season in the section title game last year.
9. Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (1-0)
Last week: 48-14 win at home over Polk County West
Next up: At Norman County West (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
It was all Hunter Thompson in Week 1, as he took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and had 115 yards and two touchdowns rushing for NCE-U-H.
The Titans won three games all of last season. They’ll be one away from matching that after Week 2.
10. Otter Tail Central (0-1)
Last week: 21-20 loss at home to Upsala-Swanville
Next up: At New York Mills (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Hard to excuse a Class 2A team losing to a Class 1A team at home, but Upsala-Swanville was 10-2 last season and qualified for state. Plus, the Bulldogs lost via an Upsala-Swanville touchdown and 2-point conversion with 45 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs have weapons, as Cody Seedorf (13 carries, 85 yards) scored on a 64-yard touchdown run, Andrew VanErp (4 carries, 38 yards, 3 catches, 35 yards) scored on an 89-yard kick return and Nick Trosdahl (14 carries, 72 yards, 3 catches, 30 yards, 11 tackles) scored on a 12-yard touchdown.
That’s a tough loss to open the season, but the Bulldogs need to wipe themselves off and get ready for New York Mills quarterback Dustin Gaudette, who is fresh off a game in which he rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.