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.
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.