Hawley’s defense left Frazee just short in Week 4. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum
With Hawley’s win over Frazee there is a small shift in the rankings. Here are your top area football teams in Minnesota after four weeks of football.
1. Mahnomen (4-0)
Last week: 45-7 win at home over Lake Park-Audubon
Next up: At Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
So much for Mahnomen being injured. Heading into the game against then 3-0 Lake Park-Audubon, Mahnomen’s starting QB and two backups were expected to be out, along with their top two starting running backs.
Starting QB Tommy Pavek played and rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown. No. 2 RB Dylan Reitan also played and rushed for 81 yards on two touchdowns.
Indians push the longest active winning streak in Minnesota to 32 games.
2. Hawley (4-0)
Last week: 25-12 win at No. 8 Frazee
Next up: Pelican Rapids (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 7:45 p.m.
There wasn’t many times Dillon Omberg was stopped in Week 4 for Hawley. He ran all over Frazee. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum
It was the biggest test of the season for Hawley and the Nuggets passed, surprisingly with North Dakota State commit Ben Ellefson doing very little on offense.
The night belonged to Dillon Omberg, who rushed for 292 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Ellefson did plenty on defense, getting in on 11 tackles, while Cody Cook got in on nine tackles, to go along with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss to lead the Nuggets defense.
The tests keep coming for Hawley, as they have 3-1 Pelican Rapids in Week 5. Every week the Nuggets seem to prove they are worthy of that No. 1 ranking in the AP polls.
3. Moorhead (4-0)
Last week: 48-0 win at St. Cloud Tech
Next up: Host Sauk Rapids-Rice (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Week 4 belonged to Jade Lawrence with six touchdowns in the first half. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh / St. Cloud Times
Running back Jade Lawrence broke a Moorhead school record with six touchdowns and he got them all in the first half. He finished with 252 yards on 12 carries.
There is no stopping that running game, but the Spuds continue to show teams they also have to be aware of their passing game. Matt Bye was 12-for-21 for 161 yards and a touchdown, spreading the ball between Cody Dorow, Tristen Nelson and Mike Duginski.
Section 8AAAAA seems as though it will come down to Moorhead and Sartell-St. Stephen.
4. Verndale (4-0)
Last week: 35-14 win at home over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy
Next up: At Ashby (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Verndale handed Hillcrest Lutheran Academy its first loss of the season. Quarterback Dillon Card and Mitch Blaha connected three times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Mac Schluttner had two interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown.
The Pirates trailed twice in the game before Schulttner’s interception put them up for good. Pirates keep finding ways to win.
5. Underwood (3-1)
Last week: 40-6 win at Ashby
Next up: At Bertha-Hewitt (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
Wheaton-Herman-Norcross probably has something to say about it, but Class 9-man, Section 4 looks as though it will come down to Underwood and Verndale. Verndale won the regular-season matchup 14-13 in overtime.
Noah Thompson was the rushing leader in Minnesota last season, but the Rockets are teaming him with Dylan Kalenze for a frightening rushing attack. The Rockets rushed for 311 yards in Week 4.
6. Waubun (4-0)
Last week: 43-15 win at Norman County West
Next up: No. 10 Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
The read option. Teams know it’s coming. Teams can’t stop it.
Running back Ryan Weber had 124 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Jordan Spaeth had 89 yards on 15 carries. The Bombers rushed for 281 yards in Week 4 and their defense continues to be impressive.
Bombers have given up 28 points through four weeks of football.
7. Frazee (3-1)
Last week: 25-12 loss at home to No. 2 Hawley
Next up: Host Crookston (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Hesston Bachman (ball) did all he could in Week 4, but Frazee came up just short against Hawley. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum
Frazee showed they could play with Hawley. They just couldn’t finish.
The Hornets had three drives inside the Hawley 10-yard line end with no points. That’s the game right there.
Frazee should head into the final two weeks of the regular season at 5-1, but have two 3-1 teams in Pelican Rapids and Barnesville to end the season.
8. Otter Tail Central (3-1)
Last week: 48-0 win at United North Central
Next up: Host Osakis (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
The OTC offense from the United North Central game is what the Bulldogs pictured at the beginning of the season.
They had 554 yards of total offense with Cody Seedorf getting 169 yards rushing and two TDs, Nick Trosdahl getting 103 yards rushing, two TDs and three catches for 66 yards, Tony Ukkelberg passing for 210 yards and two TDs and running for a 69-yard TD and Andrew VanErp catching two passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
That is efficient.
9. Detroit Lakes (4-0)
Last week: 48-8 win at home over Thief River Falls
Next week: Host East Grand Forks (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Forrest Schleske pushed Detroit Lakes to 4-0 thanks to a big running day for the Lakers. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers
Detroit Lakes has beaten three teams that are 1-3 and has a one-point win over a 2-2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team that is in a class below the Lakers.
D-G-F was a game the Lakers had to have. The Lakers will get tested in the final two weeks against Perham and Pequot Lakes. With a rushing attack behind Parker Jackson, Forrest Schleske and Sam Champa it looks like the section title will come down to DL and Albany.
10. Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1)
Last week: 62-0 win at home over Cass Lake-Bena
Next up: No. 6 Waubun (4-0) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
Class 9-man, Section 6 is impossible to predict at this point. It looks as though Waubun should be in the title game, but who the Bombers will face is a total toss-up.
Ada-Borup is 2-1, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is 3-1, Nevis is 3-1 and NCE-U-H is 3-1 with the only game between the teams being a 7-6 win for Ada-Borup over NCE-U-H.
Best way for the Titans to separate themselves is to knock off Waubun. They’ll get their chance on Saturday.
Knocking on the door
Pelican Rapids (3-1): It would be impossible to ignore Pelican Rapids if they were to knock off No. 2 Hawley.
Perham (3-1): It would be incredibly hard to ignore the Yellowjackets if they were to knock off Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and if Pelican Rapids, a team Perham beat 36-21, were to beat Hawley.
Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (3-1): Warriors had their chance to crack the top 10 when they faced Underwood, but they lost 28-18. Their wins are against teams that are 3-9, but they’ve outscored them 134-18, so it isn’t like they’re struggling against bad teams.
Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.