Losses for Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Ada-Borup shook things up for the top 10, but the contenders are beginning to show themselves
1. Mahnomen (5-0)
Last week: 67-6 win over Red Lake at Red Lake
Next up: Fosston at Fosston (1-4), 7 p.m., Friday
The numbers are obscene. The Indians are looking to extend the second longest winning streak in the state to 20 in a row Friday. They have outscored opponents 272-20 and have done so with nearly 1,600 yards rushing and 21 turnovers forced on defense. They’ve given up 18 first downs and 121 rushing yards total.
2. Detroit Lakes (5-0)
Last week: 28-6 win over East Grand Forks at East Grand Forks
Next up: No. 9 Park Rapids (4-1) at Park Rapids, 7 p.m., Friday
Now that quarterback Michael Herzog became the all-time leader in points in DL history and coach Flint Motschenbacher became the all-time wins leader, the Lakers can get back to business. And business won’t come easy against Park Rapids.
The two teams share two opponents in common. DL beat Crookston 40-6 in Week 2, which Park Rapids beat 38-7 in Week 3. What should scare Laker fans is the Thief River Falls team DL snuck by with a 29-21 win in Week 3, Park Rapids just beat 34-7 last week.
3. Hawley (5-0)
Last week: 27-14 win over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Glyndon
Next up: Host Breckenridge (3-2), 7 p.m., Friday
Hawley had everything against them versus D-G-F. It was homecoming for the Rebels, they had just entered the Associated Press top 10 rankings and they had already surpassed their win total from the previous season. The Nuggets went about their business, made no mistakes and never really gave the Rebels much hope, running the ball behind Chris Buttke and turning to Ben Ellefson when they needed a big throw, pass or run.
D-G-F coach Tony Soderberg said, “Hawley has the luxury of having a player that can play anywhere and do anything,” when talking about Ellefson.
4. Barnesville (5-0)
Last week: 57-0 win over Osakis at Osakis
Next up: Host Upsala-Swanville (5-0), 7 p.m., Friday
Barnesville hates every second of this position, looking up at Hawley, but there’s a good chance they’ll be in that position until the two meet in the section championship. The Trojans are rolling, outscoring opponents 250-38 and running back Michael Strand continues to put up huge numbers.
Next up is an undefeated Upsala-Swanville team that is ranked No. 6 in the Class 1A AP poll.
5. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (4-1)
Last week: 58-8 win over Hancock at home
Next up: Host Brandon-Evansville (3-2) at Wheaton, 7 p.m., Friday
The lone hiccup on the season is losing to the defending Class 9-man champion and top ranked team in the state in Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. The Warriors did give C-G-B their hardest matchup of the season so far.
6. Verndale (5-0)
Last week: 62-8 win over Ashby at home
Next up: Host Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (5-0), 7 p.m., Friday
Yes, Verndale is 5-0 and quarterback Dillon Card has been great for the Pirates. Problem is the teams they have faced are a combined 6-19. The Pirates have the defending champs and the top ranked team in the state at home this week. Time to see what the Pirates are made of.
7. Ada-Borup (4-1)
Last week: 46-27 loss to Win-E-Mac at the Fargodome
Next up: Host Norman County West (0-5) at Ada, 7 p.m., Friday
Ada-Borup was completely manhandled by Win-E-Mac. The Patriots averaged eight yards a play and rushed for nearly 500 yards. Even without the three fumbles in the first half by the Cougars, they couldn’t get a stop, so it may not have mattered what their pistol offense did. If they play how they did against Win-E-Mac come playoff time, the Fargodome will be the last dome the Cougars play in.
8. Perham (4-1)
Last week: 19-6 win over Pequot Lakes at Pequot Lakes
Next up: Host Thief River Falls (3-2), 7 p.m., Friday
Perham has completely transformed. From a team that scored 83 points in their first two wins to a team that has scored 32 points in their last two wins. Outside of a 36-27 shootout with Pelican Rapids in Week 1, the Perham defense has given up 33 points in four games since.
In the Week 5 win over Pequot Lakes, the Yellowjackets held PL to 119 total yards and five first downs. It isn’t pretty, but they’ll take it.
9. Park Rapids (4-1)
Last week: 34-7 win over Thief River Falls at Northland Community College
Next up: Host No. 2 Detroit Lakes (5-0), 7 p.m., Friday
Biggest game of the season for Park Rapids. After their only loss to No. 3 Hawley in Week 1, the Panthers get another chance at a team ranked in the AP polls in the midst of a four-game winning streak. This time though, it’s a Class 4A team.
10. Otter Tail Central (4-1)
Last week: 21-7 win over Royalton at Royalton
Next up: Host West Central (2-3) at Henning, 7 p.m., Friday
OTC nearly cracked the rankings before Week 1, but then fell off after a 37-14 loss to Barnesville. Since then, the Bulldogs have won four straight, outscoring opponents 153-7, including a 21-7 win over then-ranked and previously undefeated Royalton last week on the road.
Dropped out of the rankings (previous ranking)