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.

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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.

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 7)

Some movement in the area football rankings this week.

Former No. 4 Verndale and No. 10 Wheaton-Herman-Norcross losing shuffles things around a little bit. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s massive win over previously undefeated Pequot Lakes gets the Rebels in.

 

1. Mahnomen (6-0)

Last week: 42-0 win at home over Fertile-Beltrami

Next up: at Red Lake County (2-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Mahnomen quarterback (right) Tom Pavek is getting better with each week for Mahnomen. Photo provided to the Forum by Tom McArthur

What a shock. Mahnomen won again. That’s 34 in a row and during the streak Mahnomen is outscoring opponents 1,468-168 with 18 shutouts.

Quarterback Tom Pavek gets better every week. He rushed for 193 yards and two TDs on 15 carries in Week 6. With him and running backs Dylan Reitan and Mitch Foss healthy, pick your poison in the run game against Mahnomen.

If you somehow limit Mahnomen’s run game then they’ll stop you on defense. The Indians gave up 28 yards of total offense to Fertile-Beltrami and forced nine turnovers.

 

2. Hawley (6-0)

Last week: 28-0 win at Concordia over Staples-Motley

Next up: host Barnesville (5-1) at Moorhead, Friday, 7 p.m.

Good news for Barnesville is they are 5-1. Bad news is the Pelican Rapids team they lost to 27-26, rival Hawley beat 42-0.

Barnesville’s wins are against five teams that are a combined 4-26. This is their chance to show the state something. Not sure they’ll be able to with Hawley’s running game.

Dillon Omberg continued to roll with 137 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries in Week 6. The Nuggets can run the ball down your throat with Omberg and Anthony Loegering, which allows North Dakota State tight end commit Ben Ellefson to run wild on defense at linebacker. If they get in a bind, quarterback Jordan Harms can throw to Ellefson all day.

The formula is unstoppable right now.

 

3. Moorhead (6-0)

Last week: 40-0 win at home over Fergus Falls

Next up: at Brainerd (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Moorhead’s running game featuring Mike Duginski is not the only thing opponents should be afraid of with the Spuds. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

I’m sure the Spuds are getting antsy for that final game of the season against No. 3-ranked Bemidji at home. Brainerd, however, can’t be overlooked.

Brainerd has played four similar opponents to Moorhead, outscoring Fergus Falls, St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Tech and Alexandria 120-58. Spuds outscored those opponents 148-33.

Jade Lawrence is having a monster season and the Spuds keep rolling. The Spuds offensive line has been huge, as quarterback Matt Bye has barely been touched and Lawrence/Mike Duginski are running all over the place.

 

4. Waubun (6-0)

Last week: 47-6 win at Park Christian

Next up: at Cass Lake-Bena (0-6), Friday, 7 p.m.

Waubun continues to run the ball down team’s throats. They had 446 yards of total offense to Park Christian’s 135 and 414 of those yards were on the ground.

Waubun has passed their tests of Ada-Borup, Win-E-Mac and Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal with flying colors. With 0-6 CL-B and 1-5 Rothsay left on the schedule, the Bombers are headed to the playoffs undefeated.

 

5. Underwood (5-1)

Last week: 33-0 win at home over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

Next up: at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (4-2), Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Underwood really did nothing to deserve Waubun jumping them in the rankings, but Class 9-man, Section 4 is getting harder and harder to predict thanks to Underwood, Verndale and Wheaton-Herman-Norcross fighting it out.

Waubun is just a better guarantee to get to the section title game.

Underwood beat Bertha-Hewitt on the road 51-22. Verndale beat Bertha-Hewitt at home 26-6. Underwood beat Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 33-0 at home. Verndale beat HLA 35-14 at home. Underwood beat Ashby 40-6 at Ashby and Verndale beat Ashby 56-6 at Ashby.

Underwood outscored similar opponents to Verndale 124-28. Verndale outscored those opponents 117-26. It really couldn’t get closer and Verndale’s 14-13 overtime win at Underwood doesn’t help much.

 

6. Verndale (5-1)

Last week: 28-8 loss at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley

Next up: host Brandon-Evansville (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

That was a bad loss for Verndale. The Pirates really could have separated themselves from Underwood and put the pressure on the Rockets to beat C-G-B on the road.

Now, if Underwood is to roll C-G-B then the doubt around Verndale starts. On top of that, the Pirates have a 4-2 Brandon-Evansville team that just beat Wheaton-Herman-Norcross for the first time in two decades and the Pirates just lost to a team W-H-N beat 42-18 on the road.

 

7. Frazee (5-1)

Last week: 20-6 win at Breckenridge

Next up: host Pelican Rapids (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Tanner Bachmann (ball) has been big for Frazee this season. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

No Class 2A team has come closer to knocking off Hawley than Frazee. The Hornets face a Pelican Rapids team Hawley beat 42-0 and a Barnesville team Hawley plays this week.

If Frazee wants a shot at Hawley in the section title game, Hesston/Tanner Bachmann and company will have to prove themselves the next two weeks.

Barnesville doesn’t go down easy when it comes to having the chance to play Hawley.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (5-1)

Last week:48-6 win at Prairie Valley

Next up: host Wadena-Deer Creek(2-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

OTC is on fire at the moment, outscoring opponents 234-18 in five straight wins.

What should be scarier for opponents is quarterback Tony Ukkelberg is a junior. He’s only getting better, as he was 4-for-4 passing for 82 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns on five carries in Week 6.

 

9. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (4-2)

Last week: 13-0 win at Pequot Lakes

Next up: host Roseau(1-5), Friday, 7 p.m.

D-G-F’s defense shut out No. 3 Pequot Lakes in Week 6. PL’s lowest point total was 35 in previous five games. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

D-G-F has probably played the toughest schedule in the area. They lost to the best team in Class 2A in Hawley 18-6 and to a team in a class above them in Detroit Lakes 14-13.

The Rebels have played one team below .500 and just shut out the No. 3-ranked team in Class 3A and a team they will likely face in the section title game 13-0 on the road. Their opponents so far are a combined 24-12.

 

10. Detroit Lakes (6-0)

Last week: 21-0 at Park Rapids

Next up: at Perham (3-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Detroit Lakes hasn’t played the toughest schedule, so winning out is a must for the Lakers. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Detroit Lakes drops to 10 to make room for a D-G-F team that has played teams with a combined record of 24-12. The Lakers have played teams with a combined record of 12-24 and only one team in Class 4A.

They have Class 3A’s 3-3 Perham and 5-1 Pequot Lakes to close the season. There’s really no room for error for DL with their schedule. The Lakers will have to prove people wrong come playoff time.

The good news for DL is they have Forrest Schleske and Sam Champa to lead the running game as the conditions get colder outside.

 

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.

 

Moorhead’s Jade Lawrence is a lot closer to Chase Morlock than you think

Any running back that puts on the Moorhead Spuds uniform will forever be compared to former Spud and current North Dakota State running back Chase Morlock.

His immediate replacement isn’t too far off. Senior Jade Lawrence was the first guy to fill Morlock’s cleats last season as a junior. As a senior, he’s putting up numbers that could be compared to Morlock through six games.

Here’s a look:

Jade Lawrence

Jade Lawrence had a slow start, but has come on with some monster games for the Spuds. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh/St. Cloud Times

Carries: 60

Rushing yards: 791

Yards per carry: 13.18

Total touchdowns: 19

Receptions: 11

Receiving yards: 165

These are Lawrence’s numbers through six games. If he plays 10 games, as Morlock did in his senior season, Lawrence is on pace for 100 carries for 1,318 yards and 31.66666 total touchdowns to go along with 18.333 receptions and 275 yards receiving.

 

Chase Morlock

Chase Morlock had 1,000 yards through his first 6 games of his senior season for Moorhead. Photo by David Samson/Forum

THROUGH 6 GAMES

Carries: 86

Rushing yards: 1,000

Yards per carry: 11.63

Total touchdowns: 18

TOTAL

Carries: 155

Rushing yards: 1,820

Yards per carry: 11.74 (school record)

Receptions: 26

Receiving yards: 406

Total touchdowns: 31 (school record)

Total yards: 2,226 (school record)

With the Moorhead offense far more balanced this season than in 2012, Lawrence probably won’t get the amount of carries Morlock did, but his efficiency should be there.

Lawrence has a chance to break the touchdowns record and yards-per-carry record, but he can’t really touch Morlock’s receiving and total yardage numbers. It also requires the Spuds to get to the Class 5A quarterfinals, as they did in Morlock’s senior season.

 

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 6 in Minnesota

Here are your top area performances from Week 6 of Minnesota high school football.

Jade Lawrence – Moorhead

Jade Lawrence had a big Week 6 against Fergus Falls. Michael Vosburg/Forum

Lawrence rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries in Moorhead’s 40-0 shutout of Fergus Falls.

Gauge Lee/Blaine Gorton – Pelican Rapids

Pelican Rapids’ QB Blaine Gorton rushed for 146 yards and three TDs on 16 carries and RB Gauge Lee rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in the Vikings 50-27 win over Crookston.

Tony Ukkelberg – Otter Tail Central

Ukkelberg was 4-for-4 passing for 82 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns on five carries in OTC’s 48-6 win over Prairie Valley.

James Huisman – Brandon-Evansville

Brandon-Evansville had much to celebrate in Week 6 in large part to James Huisman. Photo by Blaze Fugina/Echo Press

Huisman led Brandon-Evansville to its first win ever over Wheaton-Herman-Norcross in two decades of playing. He finished with 182 yards and four touchdowns in B-E’s 36-34 double OT win.

Brandon Wayne – Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

D-G-F’s Brandon Wayne helped knocked off No. 3 Pequot Lakes. Photo by David Samson/Forum

No team had a bigger win than D-G-F’s win over No. 3 and previously undefeated Pequot Lakes. Wayne had 182 yards and a TD on 24 carries in the Rebels 13-0 win over PL.

Dillon Omberg – Hawley

Dillon Omberg (25) had another big week for Hawley in Week 6. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

Top-ranked Hawley moved to 6-0 with a 28-0 win over Staples-Motley behind 137 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries from Omberg.

Ryan Weber/Jordan Spaeth - Waubun

Weber and Spaeth combined for 258 yards and four touchdowns rushing on 30 carries in Waubun’s 47-6 win over Park Christian in Week 6. Weber had 169 yards/2 TDs on 22 carries and Spaeth had 89 yards/2 TDs on eight carries for the Bombers. Weber also had two sacks on defense.

Ethan Ishaug/Connor Meyer – Barnesville

Ishaug was 5-for-9 passing for 98 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Meyer, who added 63 yards and a TD rushing on 10 carries in Barnesville’s 45-12 win over Warroad.

Tom Pavek – Mahnomen

Pavek had 193 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in Mahnomen’s 42-0 win over Fertile-Beltrami.

David Skari – Norman County West

NCW fell to Ada-Borup 21-20, but Skari had 237 yards and a TD on 27 carries and had 67-yard kick return for a TD.

Hunter Thompson – Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal

Thompson had TD runs of 38, 27 and 52 yards in NCE-U-H’s 56-20 win over Rothsay in Week 6.

Noah Thompson – Underwood

Noah Thompson pushed Underwood to 5-1 in Week 6. Photo by Davide Samson/Forum

Thompson ran for 199 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in Underwood’s 33-0 win over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.

 

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.

 

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 6)

Everyone remains in the same spot except for Wheaton-Herman-Norcross replacing Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal at No. 10 in the area football rankings for Minnesota.

 

1. Mahnomen (5-0)

Last week: 47-0 win at Badger-Greenbush-Middle River

Next up: Host Fertile-Beltrami (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Make that 33 in a row for Mahnomen and the scary thing is now they are somewhat healthy. Tom Pavek is back, rushing for 79 yards and a TD and throwing for a TD in Week 5 and both running backs Mitch Foss and Dylan Reitan are back for the Indians.

Reitan had 117 yards and a TD on four carries in Week 5.

They beat teams when they’re injured. They beat teams when they’re healthy. Indians just beat teams.

 

2. Hawley (5-0)

Last week: 42-0 win at the Fargodome over Pelican Rapids

Next up: Host Staples-Motley (0-5) at Concordia College, Friday, 4 p.m.

Hawley is now playing for their assistant coach Lee Eklund, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. They wore blue stripes on their helmets for him in Week 5. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

So much for Pelican Rapids being a challenge for Hawley. The Vikings came to the Fargodome 3-1 and left the Fargodome shut out.

Jordan Harms, Dillon Omberg and Ben Ellefson get the attention and for good reason, but guys like running back Anthony Loegering, wide receivers Parker Hanson and Dawson Tusow and linebacker Aaron Regnier and d-lineman Cody Cook are what separate the Nuggets.

Hanson and Tusow make it impossible to key on Ellefson. Loegering makes it impossible to key on Omberg. Cook and Regnier make it impossible to score.

Only thing standing in the way of a perfect 8-0 season for Hawley is Barnesville.

 

3. Moorhead (5-0)

Last week: 51-12 win at home over Sauk Rapids-Rice

Next up: Host Fergus Falls (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Moorhead’s Nate Stich (47) has been everywhere on defense for the Spuds. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

The Spuds are frightening. Mike Duginski and Jade Lawrence running the ball, Matt Bye finding Tristen Nelson and Cody Dorow through the air and Nate Stitch tackling anything that moves on defense.

This is probably the best Moorhead team coach Kevin Feeney has had and he’s put all four in the section title game.

Spuds have some dynamite tests at Brainerd (4-1) and hosting Bemidji (5-0) to end the season. Regardless, Section 8AAAAA should come down to the Spuds and Sartell-St. Stephen.

 

4. Verndale (5-0)

Last week: 56-6 win at Ashby

Next up: At Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (3-2), Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Verndale has a couple 3-2 teams in C-G-B and Brandon-Evansville before closing the season with Ortonville.

Week 6 and Week 7 will be good tests for the Pirates. Quarterback Dillon Card and running back Colter Ehrmantraut seem to get better each week.

 

5. Underwood (4-1)

Last week: 51-22 win at Bertha-Hewitt

Next up: Host Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

The road doesn’t end easy for Underwood with 4-1 HLA and 3-2 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley before taking on Hancock.

If the Rockets keep rushing for 352 yards like they did against Bertha-Hewitt, it won’t matter who they play.

So much attention to Noah Thompson for leading the state in rushing yards last season, but Dylan Kalenze is complimenting Thompson perfectly in the run game.

 

6. Waubun (5-0)

Last week: 22-7 win at the Fargodome over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal

Next up: At Park Christian (2-3), Friday, 5 p.m.

Dayton Makey was huge in Week 5 for Waubun. He had 137 yards and two touchdowns on four carries. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

For the first time this season the read-option offense wasn’t working for Waubun and the Bombers faced their first deficit all season.

The Bombers adjusted and knocked off a solid NCE-U-H team. What remained constant was the Bombers defense. They held NCE-U-H to 165 yards of total offense. Darius Woods-Steichen was everywhere with seven tackles and three sacks in the game.

Waubun looks to have a ticket to the section title game.

 

7. Frazee (4-1)

Last week: 38-15 win at home over Crookston

Next week: At Breckenridge (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Hesston Bachmann was once again huge for Frazee in its Week 5 win. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Hesston and Tanner Bachmann are the Frazee offense. The two combined for four touchdowns and 151 yards rushing on 31 carries in Week 5 and Hesston had a touchdown pass.

The lone loss of the season for Frazee is against the best team in Class 2A in which the Hornets missed on many opportunities inside the Hawley 10-yard line.

Frazee has plenty of chances to prove to the state that it will be them and Hawley in the section title game with Breckenridge, Pelican Rapids and Barnesville to close the season.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (4-1)

Last week: 48-0 win at home over Osakis

Next up: At Prairie Valley (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

After a 21-20 loss in Week 1, OTC is outscoring teams 186-12 in the last four weeks.

The Bulldogs had 496 yards of offense, 414 of which were rushing. The rushing attack of Cody Seedorf and Nick Trosdahl is coming together nicely and Tony Ukkelberg is a good enough quarterback to make teams respect the pass, especially with a receiving threat like Andrew VanErp.

 

9. Detroit Lakes (5-0)

Last week: 42-7 win at home over East Grand Forks

Next up: At Park Rapids (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

DL’s Sam Champa (left) had plenty of reasons to celebrate in Week 5. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Outside of a 14-13 win over 3-2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team, which is in a class lower than DL, opponents of the Lakers are 4-16.

Park Rapids is 1-4, Perham is 3-2 and Pequot Lakes is 5-0 and all are a class below DL. That’s the remaining schedule for the Lakers.

Sam Champa and company will have plenty to prove to the state come playoff time, but 5-0 is 5-0.

 

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

Last week: 64-6 win at home over Hancock

Next up: At Brandon-Evansville (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Time to show the state what you’re made of, W-H-N. The Warriors have outscored teams 198-24 in their four wins. Those four wins are against teams that are 4-16.

The section looks like it will come down to Verndale and Underwood, especially with W-H-N having lost 28-18 to Underwood during the season.

A win on the road against a 3-2 Brandon-Evansville team would help the case for W-H-N.

 

Knocking on the door

Ada-Borup (3-1): Just when it looks like Ada-Borup’s reign over Class 9-man, Section 6 is over due to graduating an entire offense and getting a new coach, the Cougars show why they’ve won five of the last six section titles.

Cougars won a 7-6 game over NCE-U-H, a 19-12 game over Park Christian and won a 29-26 game over Win-E-Mac in which they trailed 26-0 and used a hook-and-ladder with 24 seconds to go to take a 27-26 lead. They keep winning somehow.

 

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 5 in Minnesota

Here are your top area performances from Week 5 of high school football in Minnesota.

Jordan Harms – Hawley

Harms was 7-for-9 passing for 159 yards and three touchdowns and took an interception back 37 yards for a touchdown in Hawley’s 42-0 win over Pelican Rapids. Harms also recovered a fumble and took it back 73 yards for a touchdown, but it was brought back for a block in the back.

Matt Bye/Cody Dorow – Moorhead

Moorhead moved to 5-0 with a 51-12 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice on Friday. Matt Bye was 9-for-11 passing with 194 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Dorow had six of those catches, 121 of those yards and two of those touchdowns for the Spuds.

Cody Seedorf  – Otter Tail Central

Seedorf only needed 10 carries to get 190 yards and two touchdowns in Otter Tail Central’s 48-0 win over Osakis.

Dayton Makey – Waubun

Dayton Makey was huge in Week 5 for Waubun. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

Makey rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on four carries and recovered a fumble in Waubun’s 22-7 win over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal.

Lucas Lindell – Ada-Borup

The game of the week was Ada-Borup and Win-E-Mac. Ada-Borup won 29-26 with a hook-and-ladder with 24 seconds left from 23 yards out after trailing 26-0. Lindell had 229 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Hesston/Tanner Bachmann – Frazee

Hesston Bachmann was once again huge for Frazee in its Week 5 win. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Hesston threw for a touchdown and ran for three and Tanner had 128 rushing yards and a TD on 20 carries in Frazee’s 38-15 win over Crookston.

Sam Champa – Detroit Lakes

DL’s Sam Champa (left) had plenty of reasons to celebrate in Week 5. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Champa ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries and had a 34-yard touchdown reception in Detroit Lakes’ 42-7 win over East Grand Forks.

Brandon Wayne – Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Brandon Wayne had three touchdowns in D-G-F’s 26-21 win over Perham in Week 5. Photo by David Samson/Forum

Wayne rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in D-G-F’s 26-21 win over Perham on Friday.

Mason/Zachary Deal – Wheaton-Herman-Norcross

The Deals combined for 225 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries in W-H-N’s 64-6 dismantling of Hancock on Friday. Mason had 133 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and Zachary had 92 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.

Reese Mattson – Lake Park-Audubon

Mattson had 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and also threw for a touchdown in Lake Park-Audubon’s 22-0 shutout of Fertile-Beltrami.

Noah Thompson/Dylan Kalenze/Justin Masloski – Underwood

Thompson rushed for 92 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, Kalenze rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and Masloski was 3-for-3 passing for 70 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown on three carries in Underwood’s 51-22 win over Bertha-Hewitt.

Dillon Card/Colter Ehrmantraut – Verndale

Card had touchdown passes of 6 and 27 yards to go along with a 10-yard touchdown run and Ehrmantraut rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown and had an 80-yard kick return for a TD in Verndale’s 56-6 win over Ashby.

Dylan Reitan – Mahnomen

Reitan rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on four carries, as Mahnomen won its 33rd straight game.

David Skari – Norman County West

Skari rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on three carries and returned a punt 23 yards for a touchdown in NCW’s 61-0 win over Cass Lake-Bena.

Zach Kvalvog – Park Christian

Kvalvog threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another touchdown in Park Christian’s 40-8 win over Rothsay.

 

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.

 

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 5)

Hawley’s defense left Frazee just short in Week 4. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

With Hawley’s win over Frazee there is a small shift in the rankings. Here are your top area football teams in Minnesota after four weeks of football.

 

1. Mahnomen (4-0)

Last week: 45-7 win at home over Lake Park-Audubon

Next up: At Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

So much for Mahnomen being injured. Heading into the game against then 3-0 Lake Park-Audubon, Mahnomen’s starting QB and two backups were expected to be out, along with their top two starting running backs.

Starting QB Tommy Pavek played and rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown. No. 2 RB Dylan Reitan also played and rushed for 81 yards on two touchdowns.

Indians push the longest active winning streak in Minnesota to 32 games.

 

2. Hawley (4-0)

Last week: 25-12 win at No. 8 Frazee

Next up: Pelican Rapids (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

There wasn’t many times Dillon Omberg was stopped in Week 4 for Hawley. He ran all over Frazee. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

It was the biggest test of the season for Hawley and the Nuggets passed, surprisingly with North Dakota State commit Ben Ellefson doing very little on offense.

The night belonged to Dillon Omberg, who rushed for 292 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Ellefson did plenty on defense, getting in on 11 tackles, while Cody Cook got in on nine tackles, to go along with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss to lead the Nuggets defense.

The tests keep coming for Hawley, as they have 3-1 Pelican Rapids in Week 5. Every week the Nuggets seem to prove they are worthy of that No. 1 ranking in the AP polls.

 

3. Moorhead (4-0)

Last week: 48-0 win at St. Cloud Tech

Next up: Host Sauk Rapids-Rice (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Week 4 belonged to Jade Lawrence with six touchdowns in the first half. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh / St. Cloud Times

Running back Jade Lawrence broke a Moorhead school record with six touchdowns and he got them all in the first half. He finished with 252 yards on 12 carries.

There is no stopping that running game, but the Spuds continue to show teams they also have to be aware of their passing game. Matt Bye was 12-for-21 for 161 yards and a touchdown, spreading the ball between Cody Dorow, Tristen Nelson and Mike Duginski.

Section 8AAAAA seems as though it will come down to Moorhead and Sartell-St. Stephen.

 

4. Verndale (4-0)

Last week: 35-14 win at home over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

Next up: At Ashby (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Verndale handed Hillcrest Lutheran Academy its first loss of the season. Quarterback Dillon Card and Mitch Blaha connected three times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Mac Schluttner had two interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown.

The Pirates trailed twice in the game before Schulttner’s interception put them up for good. Pirates keep finding ways to win.

 

5. Underwood (3-1)

Last week: 40-6 win at Ashby

Next up: At Bertha-Hewitt (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Wheaton-Herman-Norcross probably has something to say about it, but Class 9-man, Section 4 looks as though it will come down to Underwood and Verndale. Verndale won the regular-season matchup 14-13 in overtime.

Noah Thompson was the rushing leader in Minnesota last season, but the Rockets are teaming him with Dylan Kalenze for a frightening rushing attack. The Rockets rushed for 311 yards in Week 4.

 

6. Waubun (4-0)

Last week: 43-15 win at Norman County West

Next up: No. 10 Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.

The read option. Teams know it’s coming. Teams can’t stop it.

Running back Ryan Weber had 124 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Jordan Spaeth had 89 yards on 15 carries. The Bombers rushed for 281 yards in Week 4 and their defense continues to be impressive.

Bombers have given up 28 points through four weeks of football.

 

7. Frazee (3-1)

Last week: 25-12 loss at home to No. 2 Hawley

Next up: Host Crookston (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Hesston Bachman (ball) did all he could in Week 4, but Frazee came up just short against Hawley. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Frazee showed they could play with Hawley. They just couldn’t finish.

The Hornets had three drives inside the Hawley 10-yard line end with no points. That’s the game right there.

Frazee should head into the final two weeks of the regular season at 5-1, but have two 3-1 teams in Pelican Rapids and Barnesville to end the season.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (3-1)

Last week: 48-0 win at United North Central

Next up: Host Osakis (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

The OTC offense from the United North Central game is what the Bulldogs pictured at the beginning of the season.

They had 554 yards of total offense with Cody Seedorf getting 169 yards rushing and two TDs, Nick Trosdahl getting 103 yards rushing, two TDs and three catches for 66 yards, Tony Ukkelberg passing for 210 yards and two TDs and running for a 69-yard TD and Andrew VanErp catching two passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

That is efficient.

 

9. Detroit Lakes (4-0)

Last week: 48-8 win at home over Thief River Falls

Next week: Host East Grand Forks (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Forrest Schleske pushed Detroit Lakes to 4-0 thanks to a big running day for the Lakers. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Detroit Lakes has beaten three teams that are 1-3 and has a one-point win over a 2-2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team that is in a class below the Lakers.

D-G-F was a game the Lakers had to have. The Lakers will get tested in the final two weeks against Perham and Pequot Lakes. With a rushing attack behind Parker Jackson, Forrest Schleske and Sam Champa it looks like the section title will come down to DL and Albany.

 

10. Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1)

Last week: 62-0 win at home over Cass Lake-Bena

Next up: No. 6 Waubun (4-0) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.

Class 9-man, Section 6 is impossible to predict at this point. It looks as though Waubun should be in the title game, but who the Bombers will face is a total toss-up.

Ada-Borup is 2-1, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is 3-1, Nevis is 3-1 and NCE-U-H is 3-1 with the only game between the teams being a 7-6 win for Ada-Borup over NCE-U-H.

Best way for the Titans to separate themselves is to knock off Waubun. They’ll get their chance on Saturday.

 

Knocking on the door

Pelican Rapids (3-1): It would be impossible to ignore Pelican Rapids if they were to knock off No. 2 Hawley.

Perham (3-1): It would be incredibly hard to ignore the Yellowjackets if they were to knock off Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and if Pelican Rapids, a team Perham beat 36-21, were to beat Hawley.

Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (3-1): Warriors had their chance to crack the top 10 when they faced Underwood, but they lost 28-18. Their wins are against teams that are 3-9, but they’ve outscored them 134-18, so it isn’t like they’re struggling against bad teams.

 

 

 

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.