Battle of the unbeatens [UPDATED]Published 11:09am Thursday, September 20, 2012 Updated 11:10am Thursday, September 20, 2012
Both the Fergus Falls Otters and Hillcrest Comets will be taking on storied rivals this week in gridiron action.
The Otter football team proved last week they are a force to be reckoned with in Class 4A as they defeated Alexandria 48-35 on the legs of running back Walker Heinen.
This week the Otters will test their mettle as they take on No. 10 (Class 5A) ranked Moorhead Spuds on the road.
“Fergus has always had a good friendly rivalry versus Moorhead,” Otter coach Richard Risbrudt said. “Anytime Fergus Falls has defeated Moorhead its huge. We have beaten Moorhead two times in seven years, but many of our losses have gone down to the wire.”
The Otters will need to stop Moorhead running back Chase Morlock, who had 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns last week in a 35-0 win over Duluth-Denfeld.
Risbrudt and the Otters will not overlook the air attack though, as the Spuds’ quarterback Aaron Lein has accurate throws and speedy receivers.
“Our defense we have to tighten things up. Alex scored 35 points against us and we’ve given up 83 points in 3 games. That has to change in order for us to be successful against ranked teams in the future,” Risbrudt added.
The Otter offense will get a steady dose of a 3-5 defense this week as Moorhead will look to smother the run. Fergus must mix a good blend of run and pass to keep the defense off balance throughout the game.
Across town, The Hillcrest Comets will prepare for their second home game of the season as they host the Verndale Pirates.
Hillcrest will look to rebound after a tough 49-7 loss to Prairie Valley last week.
“The boys were disappointed with the loss and have resolved to work harder this week to try get back on the winning track,” Comet coach Charlie Brue said. “We are working on becoming more familiar with our assignments on offense and defense.”
Verndale (2-1) is coming off a win against Bertha-Hewitt, just edging the Bears 14-8.
The Comets have been experimenting with a variety of defensive schemes this week to keep sophomore running back Andy Bounds under wraps.
Offensively, Hillcrest will look to keep a good run to pass ratio this week, while also getting the ball into their playmakers hands.
Brue and the Comets are not overlooking this game as Hillcrest and Verndale have had a long and storied rivalry.
“The Verndale Hillcrest rivalry has been around for a long time. We know it will always be a tough game. We expect it to be a dogfight right to the last buzzer,” added Brue.
The Fergus Falls Otters will take the field in Moorhead at 7 p.m. Friday, while the Hillcrest Comets will look to claim the rivalry against Verndale at 7 p.m. on Hillcrest football field.