Top 10 Area Football Rankings For Minnesota (Week 8)

Hawley answered their first loss of the season with a 20-0 win over Pequot Lakes. Nuggets can clinch co-champs of the HOL Classic tonight.

With games today (Wednesday) and Thursday for area teams there will be a quick turnaround for the Minnesota high school area football rankings, which got a bit of a shuffle due to the Detroit Lakes loss to Perham.


1. Mahnomen (7-0)

Last week: 30-0 win over Lake Park-Audubon at home

Next up: Host Fertile-Beltrami (4-3), 7 p.m., today

The Mahnomen machine keeps pumping, as the Indians made it 21 straight wins. The second longest winning streak in the state is behind the best defense in the state. Mahnomen has given up, on average, 2.9 points a game after their fifth shutout of the season against LP-A. Lakeville North is in second with 5.3 points a game against.


2. Barnesville (7-0)

Last week: 55-0 win over Wadena-Deer Creek at Wadena

Next up: West Central Area (2-5) at the Fargodome, 8 p.m., Thursday

Barnesville is right behind Mahnomen defensively, tied for the 3rd best points against average in the state at 6.3. Barnesville was winning 55-0 with five minutes to go in the second quarter in Week 7 when a lightning delay began. Coaches talked and decided the game should just stop there.
Running back Michael Strand had 121 yards and three TDs on six carries and two catches for 67 yards and a TD. The numbers are mind-boggling to think about if that game continued.


3. Hawley (6-1)

Last week: 20-0 win over Pequot Lakes at Pequot Lakes

Next up: Staples-Motley (0-7) at Staples, 7 p.m., today

Hawley answered their first fork in the road in a 7-6 loss to Breckenridge with a 20-0 shutout of Pequot Lakes. Jordan Harms had a touchdown run, a touchdown pass and intercepted a pass on defense to lead the Nuggets.

Nuggets are tied with Pelican Rapids and Breckenridge at 4-1 in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference Classic. There are no tiebreakers in the conference. Nuggets need a win to be co-champs with the winner of the season finale between Pelican Rapids and Breckenridge.


4. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (6-1)

Last week: 62-12 win over Bertha-Hewitt at Bertha

Next up: Host Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (1-6) at Wheaton, 3:30 p.m., today

Paul Berger has emerged as another running threat in the backfield for W-H-N to go along with Carter Thiel.


5. Detroit Lakes (6-1)

Last week: 14-0 loss to Perham at Detroit Lakes

Next up: Pequot Lakes (3-4) at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m., today

Detroit Lakes couldn’t get anything going against the mud and the Perham defense. The Yellowjackets held DL to 68 total yards rushing and 147 total yards, while running for 289 rushing yards.

Perham also stopped DL four of the five times the Lakers went for it on fourth down. The Yellowjackets stopped the Lakers stars as quarterback Michael Herzog was 5-for-23 passing for 79 yards and rushed 15 times for 76 yards and running back Jarett Nosal had just two yards on five carries.


6. Ada-Borup (6-1)

Last week: 58-12 win over Rothsay at Ada

Next up: Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (6-1), 7 p.m., today

Ada-Borup’s lone loss to Win-E-Mac doesn’t look as bad as it did originally. Win-E-Mac is 7-0 and at the top of the QRF rankings in Class 9-man. The Cougars have a tough test to close out the regular season on the road against W-A-O.


7. Verndale (6-1)

Last week: 44-6 win over Brandon-Evansville at Brandon

Next up: Ortonville (4-3) at Ortonville, 7 p.m., today

Verndale came back from a 30-point loss to top-ranked defending champion Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley and took out their anger on Brandon-Evansville to clinch the Pheasant Conference North.


8. Otter Tail Central (6-1)Last week: 64-0 win over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Battle Lake

Next up: United North Central (3-4) at the Fargodome, 1:15 p.m., Thursday

Tied for third with Barnesville with an average of 6.3 points against a game, the OTC defense is destroying everyone. After a 37-14 loss to Barnesville in Week 1, OTC has given up seven points in six games, outscoring teams 273-7.


9. Breckenridge (5-2)

Last week: 41-0 win over Warroad at home

Next up: Pelican Rapids (5-2) at the Fargodome, 5:45 p.m., Thursday

Breckenridge has won three straight, but two come against teams that are a combined 2-12. The Cowboys are living off their 7-6 win over No. 3 Hawley at Hawley, but if they beat Pelican Rapids then there’s no denying them.

Thursday’s game with Pelican Rapids will decide the Heart O’ Lakes Conference Classic. If Hawley wins today, it will decide who is the co-champ and if Hawley loses, it will decide the champ.


10. Park Rapids (5-2)

Last week: 6-0 overtime win over East Grand Forks at East Grand Forks

Next up: Host Perham (5-2), 7 p.m., today

Park Rapids needed overtime to get by an East Grand Forks team that had not won a game. Can’t allow that against Perham, as the winner clinches a co-championship of the Heart O’ Lakes North. With a DL loss, the winner of Perham and Park Rapids are the conference champs.


Knocking on the door
Perham (5-2) – Would be impossible to keep Perham out of the top 10 after wins against Detroit Lakes and if the Yellowjackets were able to top Park Rapids for the HOL North championship tonight.

Pelican Rapids (5-2) If Pelican Rapids beats Breckenridge then Ryan Bruggeman and company are in the top 10.

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (5-2) – The Rebels should win in Week 8, but they will need some help from other teams to get back into the top 10.


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

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