The X factors for each top-seeded area football team in Minnesota

These area top seeds need these guys to perform big on the playoff stage to get to the Minnesota football state tournament.

Cody Dorow/Jade Lawrence – Moorhead (Class 5A, Section 8)

Jade Lawrence leads the run game into the playoffs for the Spuds. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh/St. Cloud Times

Cody Dorow has made it so teams must respect the pass for Moorhead. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

The Moorhead offense runs on these two. Dorow has 36 catches for 555 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games for the Spuds in his first year every playing football. Lawrence has 91 carries for 1,061 yards and 22 total touchdowns for Moorhead. That’s 11.66 yards per carry.

 

Tony Ukkelberg/Nick Trosdahl- Ottertail Central (Class 2A, Section 6)

Nick Trosdahl (44) will lead the rushing attack/defense of Ottertail Central in the playoffs. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

OTC has won seven straight behind Ukkelberg at QB and Trosdahl leading the Bulldogs defense that has given up 18 points in those seven games and the running game.

Ukkelberg has thrown for 843 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for six touchdowns and returned a punt for a touchdown. Trosdahl has rushed for 684 yards and 19 total touchdowns for OTC.

 

Tom Pavek – Mahnomen (Class 1A, Section 8)

Tom Pavek hasn’t been healthy all season, but he has the chance to lead Mahnomen to its third straight state title. Photo by David Samson/Forum

The quarterback hasn’t been healthy all the season, but he has Mahnomen undefeated and in line to make a run at the Indians third straight state title and the second with him at quarterback.

Pavek has played in seven games, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for 12 TDs and 833 yards on just 67 carries, mostly coming in the first half of games. That’s 12.4 yards per carry. Mahnomen can win if Pavek gets hurt, but they dominate with him even somewhat healthy.

 

Ben Ellefson/Dillon Omberg – Hawley (Class 2A, Section 8)

Ben Ellefson is the go-to guy for Hawley. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

Hawley starting RB Dillon Omberg (ball) left Week 7′s game with an injury and hasn’t played since. The Nuggets will need him come playoff time. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

The health of Omberg will alter the role of Ellefson. Omberg has 839 yards and nine touchdowns on 90 carries and two touchdowns and 115 yards on five catches. He was injured early in Week 7 and sat out Week 8. When he’s healthy, the Nuggets offense is a machine.

Ellefson – a North Dakota State tight end commit – hasn’t had massive numbers this season. He’s rushed for three touchdowns and 48 yards on 12 carries and caught 21 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Where he has been a monster is at linebacker. He has 64.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and one interception.

A healthy Omberg means Ellefson isn’t totally relied on offensively, which frees him up to run wild on defense. However, Ellefson is still the go-to target come crunch time. That’s what playoff time is.

 

Dillon Card/Colter Ehrmantraut – Verndale (Class 9-man, Section 4)

Dillon Card (right) will lead Verndale to possible redemption over last season’s section-championship loss. Photo by David Samson/Forum

The Pirates offense, which is averaging more than 34 points a game, runs through quarterback Dillon Card and running back Colter Ehrmantraut. Card was relied on heavily last season, but Ehrmantraut was able to take the burden off Card.

The two were both on the field last season when Underwood scored a touchdown to tie the game with no time remaining in the section championship. The Rockets won it with the extra point.

 

Jordan Spaeth/Ryan Weber – Waubun (Class 9-man, Section 6)

This is the Waubun offense behind Jordan Spaeth (left) and Ryan Weber (right). All teams know it. No team has stopped it. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

Spaeth and Weber have run the read-option offense to perfection this season. Spaeth has 694 yards and nine TDs on 93 carries to go along with 280 yards passing and six touchdowns and Weber has rushed for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns on 131 carries.

They not only hold the ball for Waubun, but the key to the state tournament.

 

Ben Nordmark/Ryan Cihak – Detroit Lakes (Class 4A, Section 8)

DL has two senior backs that can run the ball, but it could be a freshman that takes them to the top in Ben Nordmark. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newpapers

With a backfield of seniors Sam Champa and Forrest Schleske, freshman Ben Nordmark could really change things for the Heart O’Lakes North champion Lakers. He leads the team in rushing and has been getting more carries each game and torched Pequot Lakes for 163 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the regular-season finale.

Cihak is the leading receiver for DL. He had a 90-yard punt return and a 29-yard TD catch in that win against Pequot Lakes. He keeps defenses from focusing completely on the DL run game.

 

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton running game (Class 3A, Section 8)

D-G-F’s run game is getting going at the right time. Alex Matthews (ball) is a big part of a trio of Rebel runners. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

There’s really no hiding what the Rebels do. They run the ball a lot behind Brandon Wayne, Alex Matthews and Joe Flatt.

Wayne has rushed for 716 yards and eight touchdowns on 112 carries, Matthews has 477 yards rushing, four rushing TDs and two receiving TDs without playing in the regular-season finale and Flatt has 649 yards and nine touchdowns on 97 carries. They even have a fourth option with Alex Fuchs.

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.

West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country teams donate time to good cause

WEST FARGO – Today, in addition to preparing for the upcoming North Dakota high school cross country state meet, the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country teams volunteered at the Great Plains Food Bank to package up food to be donated to people who need in the community.

Members of the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country team helped package food at the Great Plains Food Bank on Friday morning. Submitted photo

Students across the state have had a few days off this week and it’s always good to see individuals take a little time to help out those in need.

West Fargo Sheyenne High School has implemented a “Day of Giving” program for its varsity athletic programs this year where teams go into the community and volunteer their time to a program/place of their choice.

Many athletic teams at high schools in the F-M metro area have participated in programs similar to one Sheyenne organized today and I figured it was a good time to recognize the efforts of the student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have pitched in for good causes.

Members of the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country team helped package food at the Great Plains Food Bank on Friday morning. The group packaged a total of 6,000 pounds of food. Submitted photo

Sheyenne’s boys and girls cross country teams packaged a total of 6,000 pounds of food this morning. That’s 6,000 pounds of food that wasn’t organized into deliverable packages yesterday and no doubt that food will be going to good use as the Holiday season is approaching fast.

The Sheyenne boys cross country team is coached by Tyler Carlson and the Sheyenne girls cross country team is coached by Troy Thorson.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

No. 2-ranked Oakes plays No. 5-ranked Carrington to decide Class 1A, Region football championship

FARGO – Like I alluded to in my post yesterday about Saturday’s prep football matchup between North Dakota Class 3A, No. 1-ranked Fargo South and No. 3-ranked Fargo Davies, there certainly is not a short supply of highly anticipated football games tomorrow.

Another meeting of ranked teams occurs in Class 1A where No. 2-ranked Oakes travels to No. 5-ranked Carrington in a showdown of undefeated Region 1 teams. Oakes and Carrington are both 7-0 overall and 6-0 in Region 1 play.

Oakes senior quarterback Bryce Meehl has passed for 1,125 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Photo by David Samson / The Forum

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Carrington High School and the winner of the game will earn the Region 1 championship and the highly coveted No. 1 seed for the 1A playoffs, which begin Oct. 25. Regardless of the outcome both teams have clinched a home playoff game next week.

These two teams have been on a collision course for several weeks and both have been ranked in the state 1A poll most of the season.

Something has to give on Saturday. Will the torrid Tornadoes keep their pace going heading into the postseason or will the cunning Cardinals claim the region crown.

Carrington has posted three shutouts this fall and are led on the defensive side of the ball by senior Easton Paeper, who has 42 tackles and junior Cole Ferguson, who checks in with 41 tackles.

Offensively the Cardinals feature a balanced run game led by senior running back Seth Abaurrea. Abaurrea, who also is a standout track and field and basketball athlete at Carrington, has rushed for 763 yards on 74 carries this fall. He is averaging 10.3 yards per carry and 109 yards per game. Abaurrea also has 13 touchdowns this fall.

Senior Brady Smith has passed for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith has been efficient completing 61 percent of his passes (31 of 51), but will be going up a very tough Tornadoes secondary tomorrow.

Oakes defenders Bryce Meehl (7) and Ethan Zetocha defend a pass intended for Hillsboro-Central Valley’s Kyle Henningsgard Friday, Sept.26, 2014, in Hillsboro. David Samson / The Forum

Oakes has put together another solid season and it all has started with senior quarterback Bryce Meehl. Meehl (6-foot-1, 160 pounds) has passed for 1,125 yards and rushed for 454 yards this fall. He’s been especially consistent in the passing game throwing for over 100 yards in all seven of Oakes’ games this fall. Meehl has thrown for 15 touchdowns and is 61 of 96.

Meehl’s top targets are listed below:
1. Sr. Blake Hollingsworth (14 catches for 337 yards, 2 TDs)
2. Sr. Carter Zetocha (18 catches for 289 yards, 6 TDs)
3. Jr. Ethan Zetocha (17 catches for 275 yards, 4 TDs)

The Tornadoes also excel in the running game. That department is led by senior Erik Loepp. Loepp, who also is a standout wrestler at Oakes, has rushed for 813 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 116.1 yards per game and has been clicking of late posting three 100-yard games in a row.

Here are Loepp’s lines the last three games
vs. Milnor-North Sargent (151 yards, 3 TDs)
vs. Kidder County (112 yards, 3 TDs)
vs. Hillsboro-Central Valley (199 yards, 3 TDs)

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

Forum prep sports chat (Oct. 17)

Live Blog Prep Sports Chat
 

SATURDAY PREVIEW: No. 1 Fargo South at No. 3 Fargo Davies (3A football)

FARGO – There are several highly anticipated high school football matchups across the state of North Dakota on Saturday. One of those ‘can’t-miss’ games will be played at Fargo Davies High School when the No. 1-ranked Fargo South Bruins play the No. 3-ranked Eagles at 1 p.m. (Link below is a video clip of Fargo South’s James Johannesson, Ty Brooks and head coach Troy Mattern discussing South’s upcoming games against Fargo Davies and West Fargo)

Fargo South vs. Fargo Davies football preview

I promised I’d breakdown this matchup and this post will do just that. For starters here is a quick snapshot of what each team has done thus far in 2014.

FARGO SOUTH: The Bruins have been ranked No. 1 all season long in the North Dakota Class 3A polls and are 7-0 overall and 5-0 in Eastern Dakota Conference play entering Saturday’s game against Davies. … The Bruins are averaging 46.9 points per game and are currently in the midst of a 12-game winning streak dating back to last season.

FARGO DAVIES: The Eagles are coming off their biggest win of the season – a 14-13 win over West Fargo. The win over the Packers served as a big rebound after dropping a road game to Grand Forks Red River in Week 6. … Davies has been ranked in the state 3A poll all season after opening the season with a convincing win over Bismarck Century. … The Eagles are 6-1 overall and 5-1 in EDC play.

ALL-TIME SERIES: South leads the all-time series 4-0 between the two schools. Saturday will be the fifth time the schools have played. South won the 2014 meeting 17-14 that was played at Sid Cichy Field.

Now that we know the teams, I’ll do a couple comparisons of the teams in five key areas of the game (running game, passing game, receiving, defense and special teams).

Fargo South senior running back James Johannesson has rushed for 1,036 yards this fall on 109 carries and has scored 21 touchdowns. Forum file photo.

RUSHING: Fargo South’s running game is powered by senior all-state running back James Johannesson. Johannesson has rushed for 1,036 yards on 109 carries and has scored 21 total touchdowns. The University of Minnesota football commit eclipsed 5,000 career rushing yards last week and is averaging 148 yards per game this fall. The Bruins also work in senior wide receiver Ty Brooks into their rushing attack. Brooks is a 1,000 yard rusher for South and like Johannesson is a threat to pop off a big gain at any moment. Davies counters with Ty Jochim, who has 774 yards on 108 carries this fall. Jochim has scored six touchdowns, but is coming off a poor game against the West Fargo more so because the Packers are very good against stopping the run. All together, Johannesson, Jochim and Brooks are the top three rushers in the conference and both teams feature solid offensive lines.

RECEIVING: The featured players in this category with be Fargo Davies senior wide receiver Tristan Hartness and South’s Brooks. Hartness has 38 catches for 848 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brooks has 16 catches for 308 yards and three TDs. Look for the Eagles to also work in Mitch Vetter, JD Arguelles and Kaden Steiner into its passing attack.

Fargo Davies senior quarterback Aidan Hartness (12) leads the Eastern Dakota Conference with 1,300 passing yards this fall. His top target has been his twin brother Tristan Hartness (19) who has 848 receiving yards and has scored 13 touchdowns. Forum file photo.

PASSING: Fargo Davies senior Aidan Hartness has thrown for 1,300 yards this fall. He has 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Hartness has completed 63 of 125 passing attempts (50.4 percent). South senior quarterback Jake Solem has passed for 609 yards but has been just as accurate as Hartness completing 36 of 72 attempts (50 percent). It is very hard to say what this game will come down to, but if Davies’ passing game gets any traction things could get very interesting and the scoreboard could wind up showing very big numbers.

DEFENSE: The offense is going to be the feature part of this game most likely, but the game could be decided by a defensive stop. Davies has several crafty defensive backs and senior all-state defensive lineman Gunnar Kollman anchors the whole unit. Kollman had 2 ½ sacks last week against West Fargo. South will be tasked with stopping the Eagles passing attack. Brooks leads the Bruins defensive secondary, which will get challenged. Jason Klug leads South in tackles with 32 ½.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Both teams have dynamic returners on punts and kickoffs. Davies’ JD Arguelles had a big kickoff return last week against West Fargo. Johannesson and Brooks each have a kickoff return for a touchdown for the Bruins this fall. South’s kicking game led by senior Josh Weiler is very strong. Weiler is 2 of 3 in field goal attempts this fall and has one 40-plus yarder made. He has 42 points, which leads all Eastern Dakota Conference kickers. Davies’ kicker – Cy Cyr – has made one field goal this season and is 13 of 18 on extra points.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

NDHSAA Board of Directors passes the ’15-’16 football plan

FARGO – The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved the new two-year football plan that will be used in the state for the 2015 and 2016 seasons on Wednesday in Bismarck.

The plan didn’t come without a little shakeup to the current North Dakota High School football landscape. The plan is constantly reviewed as enrollments are in flux across the state, but in football the two-year plan method is used so schools can schedule opponents in advance and have some sort of stability year to year.

Most of the shakeup with this plan came at the Class 1A and 9-man divisions.

Class 1A will remain at four regions, but is going from 32 teams this fall to just 24 in 2015. Below are the changes to the current 1A division.

1A SCHOOLS LEAVING 1A FOR 9-MAN: Kidder County, Linton-HMB, Mayport-CG, Midway-Minto, North Border, North Prairie, Surrey, Williams County, Central McLean and New Salem-Glen Ullin.

SCHOOLS JOINING 1A FROM 9-MAN: Fargo Oak Grove, Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn

SCHOOLS JOINING 1A FROM 2A: Minot Ryan

The 1A division next fall will have six teams to each of the four regions. The top three teams from each region will qualify for the playoffs (12 total teams) with the four region champions receiving first round byes.

The shifting of teams I listed above, also means that the 9-man division will balloon in size. The 9-man division will increase from 37 current teams this fall to 45 next year. It loses two schools, but gains 10.

Starting in 2015, there will be six regions in 9-man football. The top four teams in each region will qualify for the playoffs (24 total teams). The region champions will receive first round byes as will two of the No. 2 seeded teams from the six regions on a rotational basis system that will be determined by a coaches advisory committee.

The Class 2A division loses Minot Ryan, but gains Hillsboro-Central Valley. Valley City will move to the West Region in 2A to accommodate the addition of Hillsboro-Central Valley keeping the two 2A regions at eight teams each.

The only change to the 3A division will be the addition of Bismarck Legacy to the West Region. That will make each region in 3A equal at eight teams.

Playoff structures in 3A and 2A will remain the same.

Another change to the football plan was moving up the practice reporting dates for 9-man schools. This allows teams a chance to begin games on a Friday instead of the current Tuesday-Saturday-Friday setup. It was not uncommon for teams to play three games in 11 days in recent years and this plan’s timeline eliminates that bottleneck.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

Metro girls swimming standouts turning top times this fall

FARGO – News broke today that Fargo North senior girls swimming standout Ellie Roche verbally committed to swim at Michigan State and I figured I’d roll that news into a quick writeup on some other local girls swimming news.

The girls swimming season is now closing in on its final weeks. Postseason meets are right around the corner and there are several metro area swimmers that have recorded some of the top performances in the state thus far.

Believe it or not, through events timed and posted as of today, Ellie Roche doesn’t hold the fastest times in any individual events this fall. However, there isn’t much to be concerned about as she holds the second-fastest times in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke , 100 butterfly, and 200 individual medley.

Fargo North girls swimming standout Ellie Roche has won the last two 200 IM state championships. Forum file photo

Roche – a six-time state champion – has won the last two 200-IM state championships. Roche is a member of the Spartans’ 400 freestyle relay that has the fastest time in the state this fall at three minutes, 40.50 seconds. The team is made up of Rosche, Leann Mengelkoch, Olvia Roche and Breah Anderson. The Spartans won this relay at the 2012 state meet and figure to be one of the top contenders at the state meet next month.

Anderson excels for North in the sprinting events. Anderson has the fastest 100 freestyle time (53.31 seconds) in the state. The junior standout also swims a leg of North’s 200 freestyle relay that recorded the fastest performance in the state last Saturday at the Fargo Davies meet. Anderson, Mengelkoch, Anna Astrup and Eric Slack raced to a time of 1:43.08.

Fargo Davies eighth grader Kendra Dawson recorded the state’s top time this fall in the 50 freestyle (22.20) at the Fargo North-Fargo Davies dual on Oct. 3.

West Fargo junior Hallie Peterson has the fourth fastest times in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. She is a member of the Packers’ 200 Medley relay team that has the fastest time in the state this fall at 1:53.50. Forum file photo

West Fargo’s 200 Medley Relay made up of juniors Taylor Laufenberg, Mykin Gunning, and Hallie Peterson and eighth grader Andie Peterson have the state’s top time at 1:53.50, which six one hundredths of a second faster than North’s quartet of Olivia Roche, Ellie Roche, Astrup and Slack (1:53.56). Count on this event to be high competitive at the Eastern Dakota Conference meet and the state meet (Nov. 14-15 at Bismarck).

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

Richland and Hankinson meet in 9-man regular season finale

COLFAX, N.D. – I wrote a story on the Richland football team in Tuesday’s Forum this week and I thought I’d add a few notes about the Colts and 9-man, Region 1 on the blog.

First, the Colts are preparing for their regular season finale against Hankinson. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Hankinson and both teams will be playing for the right to host a home playoff game. The 9-man playoffs start Oct. 25.

Richland sits at 6-1 in the Region 1 standings and Hankinson holds a 5-2 mark.

The Richland-Hankinson matchup stands to be one of the most anticipated 9-man games this Saturday.

Regardless of the outcome Saturday, Richland will be erasing a five-year playoff drought. The last time the Colts qualified for the state playoffs was 2008.

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH (HANKINSON VS. RICHLAND)

1. Jake Ihland (Soph., RB/DB, Richland): Ihland has rushed for 1,276 yards this season and averages 10.5 yards per carry. … He has scored 22 touchdowns this season.

2. Carter Mauch (Sr., QB/DB, Hankinson): Mauch is dual threat on offesne and plays both sides of the ball well for the Pirates. … He rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener against Fargo Oak Grove. He also passed for a touchdown in that game.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

 

 

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 8)

Here are the area football rankings for Minnesota, heading into the last week of regular-season football.

Moorhead’s huge loss to Bemidji will switch things up a bit at the top.

 

1. Mahnomen (7-0)

Last week: 39-6 at Red Lake County

Next up: host Pillager (4-3), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Mahnomen has not lost a regular-season football game since Oct. 9, 2009. The Indians have won 41 straight in the regular season and look to close their fifth straight perfect regular season Wednesday.

Quarterback Tom Pavek was out with a hip pointer in Week 7. Indians did just fine with Blake Kahlbaugh at QB. The defense held Red Lake County to six points and 102 yards of total offense.

According to coach John Clark, Pavek will probably sit out the final week just to be safe.

 

2. Hawley (7-0)

Last week: 28-0 win at Moorhead over Barnesville

Next up: at Warroad (1-6), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Hawley starting RB Dillon Omberg (ball) left Week 7′s game with an injury. The Nuggets will need him come playoff time. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

The good news is Hawley is one win away from clinching the Heart O’ Lakes Classic outright and locking up a No. 1 seed.

The bad news is the Nuggets are still waiting on results from tests on starting running back Dillon Omberg’s right ankle. Either way he most likely won’t play against Warroad, which Hawley will still win, but the bigger question is what this will do to him for playoffs.

Hawley still has options with Austin Koenig and Anthony Loegering, but Omberg would be a big loss. He opens up a lot offensively for the Nuggets.

 

3. Waubun (7-0)

Last week: 44-6 win at Cass Lake-Bena

Next up: host Rothsay (1-6), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Waubun is looking for its first perfect regular season since 2008. Ironically, that season they fell to familiar foe Ada-Borup in the section championship.

That’s been how it goes for Waubun, who looks like they have a one-way ticket to the section title game in Class 9-man, Section 6. It may, once again, come down to overcoming Ada-Borup to get to state for the first time since 2007.

 

4. Underwood (6-1)

Last week: 40-0 win at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley

Next up: host Hancock (0-7), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

The hardest thing to do has been to find separation between Underwood and Verndale. Week 7 may have been it.

One week after C-G-B beat Verndale 28-8 at home, Underwood shut out the Wolverines 40-0 at the same venue.

For the first time this season Underwood and Verndale have similar opponents in which one team lost and one team won, outside of their one-point overtime game in which Verndale defeated Underwood.

This time last season, Underwood had lost to Verndale 44-13 in Week 2, only to top the Pirates 13-12 in the section title on their way to a state championship game appearance. This season, Underwood only lost to Verndale 14-13 in overtime in the regular season.

 

5. Moorhead (6-1)

Last week: 56-21 loss at Brainerd

Next up: host Bemidji (7-0), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Moorhead suffered its first loss of the season in a big way in Week 7. Photo by Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch

Well, that wasn’t good for the Spuds. That tied for the worst loss for coach Kevin Feeney as Moorhead’s head coach. Can’t even find the last time Moorhead gave up 50 or more points, but it’s at least a decade.

Now, the doubt starts to set in with the Spuds. Outside of Brainerd, the Spuds have played one team above .500 and are 6-0 against teams that are 12-30 combined.

The section will still come down to them, Sartell-St. Stephen and St. Cloud Apollo, but they were just dismantled by the No. 2 team in Section 7AAAAA.

How they do against Bemidji, ranked in the top 3 in the state, will be a big preview as to what the Spuds can do if they get to state.

 

6. Verndale (6-1)

Last week: 33-8 win at home over Brandon-Evansville

Next week: host Ortonville (3-4), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

The good news is Verndale rolled a Brandon-Evansville team that beat Wheaton-Herman-Norcross in overtime the week before. The bad news is Underwood just rolled a Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley team 40-0 that beat Verndale 28-8.

Thanks to four touchdowns from quarterback Dillon Card, the Pirates were able to separate themselves from W-H-N, but Underwood was able to get a slight edge on them.

Who gets the No. 1 seed for the section tournament will be big because neither wants to deal with W-H-N in the semifinals.

 

7. Frazee (6-1)

Last week: 68-34 win at home over Pelican Rapids

Next up: Barnesville at the Fargodome, Thursday, 5 p.m.

Tanner Bachmann (ball) went off in Week 7 with 271 yards and three touchdowns rushing. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Frazee has shown that they can keep up with Hawley, but the Hornets are going to have to get to the section title game first if they want another chance at the Nuggets.

Bagley or Barnesville will be in the way. Frazee lost to Hawley 25-12, whereas Barnesville just lost to Hawley 28-0.

Hesston and Tanner Bachmann seemingly get better every week. The two had seven touchdowns in Week 7 with Hesston throwing for two and running for two and Tanner rushing for 271 yards and three TDs on 26 carries.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (6-1)

Last week: 67-0 win at home over Wadena-Deer Creek

Next up: at West Central Area (1-6), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

OTC is averaging 5.6 points against per game, which is fifth in the entire state. The Bulldogs continue to get production from all over the field on offense.

In Week 7, five different OTC players scored on offense with two different players throwing touchdown passes. Between Andrew VanErp, Nick Trosdahl and Tony Ukkelberg there’s plenty of weapons for the Bulldogs.

 

9. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Last week: 41-0 win at home over Roseau

Next up: host East Grand Forks (1-6), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

D-G-F’s run game is getting going at the right time. Alex Matthews (ball) had 116 yards on eight carries and caught a touchdown pass in Week 7. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

The Rebels are in full force at the right time of the season. In Week 7, they had five rushing touchdowns scored by four different guys and three guys with over 60 yards rushing.

D-G-F is a win over 1-6 East Grand Forks away from locking up a No. 1 seed for the section tournament.

The last time any part of D-G-F went to state in back-to-back seasons was when Dilworth did so in 1988 and 1989.

 

10. Detroit Lakes (7-0)

Last week: 9-7 win at Perham

Next up: host Pequot Lakes (6-1), Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Detroit Lakes’ defense is seventh in the state in average points against this season. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

DL is averaging 5.9 points against per game, which is good enough for seventh in the state.

The Heart O’ Lakes North comes down to Wednesday. If DL wins, the conference belongs to them, but if they lose they will share with Pequot Lakes and could share with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general. 

Players of Week 7 in Minnesota

Here are your top area performances from Week 7 of the Minnesota high school football season.

Mason Deal – Wheaton-Herman-Norcross

Deal had 258 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries in W-H-N’s 46-18 win over Bertha-Hewitt.

Tanner/Hesston Bachmann – Frazee

Tanner Bachmann (ball) ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns in Week 7. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Tanner ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries in Frazee’s 68-34 win over Pelican Rapids. Hesston threw for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 8-of-12 passing and rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

Justin Masloski – Underwood

In Underwood’s 40-0 win over Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Masloski threw for a 20-yard touchdown and rushed for three touchdowns. He had 124 yards rushing on eight carries.

Ben Schindler – Fergus Falls

Schindler had 99 yards rushing and three touchdowns in Fergus Falls’ 40-7 win over Grand Rapids.

David Skari – Norman County West

Skari had 194 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries to go along with an interception on defense in NCW’s 56-22 win over Park Christian.

Nathan Blaufuss – Breckenridge

Blaufuss completed three passes, two of which went for touchdowns, and also had two rushing touchdowns in Breckenridge’s 40-0 win over Staples-Motley.

Jordan Harms – Hawley

Jordan Harms (left) stepped up big for Hawley in Week 7 against Barnesville. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

With Hawley losing their starting running back Dillon Omberg to an injury early, Harms took over. He had a touchdown pass and ran for two more in Hawley’s 28-0 win over rival Barnesville.

Reggie Undseth – Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

The sophomore had 170 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in Hillcrest’s 34-14 win over Hancock.

Andrew VanErp – Otter Tail Central

VanErp had a 35-yard touchdown reception, took a fumble recovery back 20 yards for a touchdown and had an interception in OTC’s 67-0 win over Wadena-Deer Creek.

Zach Frost – New York Mills

Frost had two touchdowns and 141 yards on 22 carries in New York Mills’ 39-6 win over West Central Area.

Dillon Card – Verndale

Dillon Card (right) had four touchdowns in Week 7 for Verndale. Photo by David Samson/Forum

Card threw for 95 yards and a touchdown and ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries to lead Verndale by Brandon-Evansville 33-8.

Dylan Reitan – Mahnomen

Reitan had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 52-yard touchdown run in Mahnomen’s 39-6 win over Red Lake County.

Gerome Williams/Payton Syverson – Waubun

Both players had big plays every time they touched the ball. Williams had two carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns and Syverson had punt returns of 60 and 50 yards on back-to-back punts in Waubun’s 44-6 win over Cass Lake-Bena.

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.