Four of the top 10 lost in Week 6, causing quite the shakeup in the rankings for Week 7. Here are 10 area teams with the best chance to win a state title after six weeks of football in Minnesota.
1. Mahnomen (6-0)
Last week: 36-0 win over Fosston at Fosston
Next up: Host Lake Park-Audubon (4-2), 7 p.m., Friday
Mahnomen coach John Clark Jr. said Mahnomen was itching for a competitive game. LP-A could provide just that after Mahnomen notched its fourth shutout of the year in the team’s 20th straight win in Week 6 over Fosston. It didn’t matter that the Indians had their third-string quarterback in. They gave up 27 total yards on defense and ran for 386 yards on offense.
2. Detroit Lakes (6-0)
Last week: 14-7 win over Park Rapids at Park Rapids
Next up: Host Perham (4-2), 7 p.m., Friday
Detroit Lakes had its toughest task of the season and their stars answered. Quarterback Michael Herzog ran for 180 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown and running back Jarrett Nosal ran for 97 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries to lead Detroit Lakes over Park Rapids 14-7.
Perham will be no easy task, coming off a 34-14 loss to Thief River Falls.
3. Barnesville (6-0)
Last week: 61-6 win over Upsala-Swanville at Barnesville
Next up: Wadena-Deer Creek (1-5) at Wadena, 7 p.m., Friday
Barnesville’s game with previously undefeated Upsala-Swanville was over early and, after running back Michael Strand became the all-time rushing leader in Barnesville history on his second carry of the game, the Trojans were looking for something to really cheer for. They got it when the announcers told the crowd Hawley lost to Breckenridge 7-6.
Coach Bryan Strand said Barnesville is not overlooking any opponent, but the Hawley game is what they focus on. The teams would meet in the playoffs.
4. Hawley (5-1)
Last week: 7-6 loss to Breckenridge at Hawley
Next up: Pequot Lakes (3-3) at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m., Friday
Hawley had their hiccup in Week 6 with a 7-6 loss to Breckenridge. Teams now have a blueprint on how to stop their offense, as the Cowboys held them to 183 total yards of offense. How will the Nuggets answer?
5. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (5-1)
Last week: 44-6 win over Brandon-Evansville at Wheaton
Next up: Host Bertha-Hewitt (1-5) at Bertha, 7 p.m., Friday
The lone trip on the season is losing to the defending Class 9-man champion and top-ranked Class 9-man team in the state in Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. No team has come within 30 points of C-G-B. The Warriors lost by 20.
Paul Berger had 212 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in Week 6 for Wheaton-Herman-Norcross. Their running attack gets better each week.
6. Ada-Borup (5-1)
Last week: 54-8 win over Norman County West at Ada
Next up: Host Rothsay (1-5) at Ada, 7 p.m., Friday
Ada-Borup’s lone loss to Win-E-Mac doesn’t look as bad as it did originally. Win-E-Mac is 6-0 and at the top of the QRF rankings in Class 9-man. The Cougars pistol offense continues to put up big numbers.
7. Verndale (5-1)
Last week: 44-14 loss to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley at Verndale
Next up: Brandon-Evansville (3-3) at Brandon, 7 p.m., Friday
Verndale’s five wins are against teams that are a combined 8-22. The Pirates first test of the season was top-ranked and returning state champs C-G-B at home and they fell hard 44-14.
Hard to know exactly what kind of team Verndale is. The Pirates could use a big win over Brandon-Evansville to show exactly what kind of team they are.
8. Otter Tail Central (5-1)
Last week: 62-0 win over West Central at Henning
Next up: Host Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sundburg (0-6) at Battle Lake, 7 p.m., Friday
Otter Tail Central lost Week 1 to Barnesville 37-14 and has since won six straight, outscoring opponents 215-7. The Bulldogs apparently were not happy after that Week 1 loss and have since taken it out on every opponent.
9. Park Rapids (4-2)
Last week: 14-7 loss to No. 2 Detroit Lakes at Park Rapids
Next up: East Grand Forks (0-6) at East Grand Forks, 7 p.m., Friday
No team played Detroit Lakes tougher than Park Rapids. The Panthers had a 7-0 lead on the Lakers at half, but the Lakers run game woke up.
10. Breckenridge (4-2)
Last week: 7-6 win over No. 4 Hawley at Hawley
Next up: Host Warroad, 6 p.m., Friday
Can’t ignore Breckenridge after the Cowboys became the only team to stop Hawley’s offense.
Dropped out of the rankings (previous ranking)
Knocking on the door
Moorhead (4-2) – Spuds take on undefeated Brainerd Friday at home. Win would get them back in the top 10.
Perham (4-2) – Would be hard to keep Perham out of the top 10 if they beat Detroit Lakes this week.
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (4-2) – The Rebels should win in Week 7, but they will need some help from other teams to get back into the top 10.