After two weeks, all even again: Success, pitfalls put Fergus teams at 1-1 [UPDATED]Published 9:50am Thursday, September 12, 2013 Updated 9:51am Thursday, September 12, 2013
Wow. How much of a difference a week can make. The Fergus Falls football teams saw complete 180 degree turnarounds from their previous week’s outcome.
The Fergus Falls Otters were able to shake off a rough opener as they were able to run away with a 32-12 win over Rocori last week.
“I don’t know if we are more relaxed or if I even want them relaxed but it definitely is a step that needed to happen for an inexperienced team to learn that they can win,” Otter coach Steve Olson said about getting its first victory.
After getting the proverbial monkey off their back, the Otters are set to take on a 2-0 Bemidji Lumberjacks team.
Olson expects the Lumberjacks to bring speed, speed and more speed in its spread option offense. Quarterback James Hendricks poses match up problems for any team that faces Bemidji as his legs are just as strong as his arm.
Defensively, the Otters will once again see a 3-4 defense.
For the Otters to compete, Olson expects to attack the holes in Bemidji’s defense and play smart, sound football defensively.
“We are going to have to try to go right at them with our veer game. We don’t have the speed to go around them. Defensively, we have to be aggressive and play the ball when it is in the air and take our chances when they throw. We also have to take good angles on ball carriers and bring them down at first contact,” Olson said.
Across town, the Comets celebrated a 36-26 home victory over Bertha-Hewitt. But this week they take on not only Pheasant Conference rival Ashby, but former Hillcrest alum and new Arrows head coach Jeff Risbrudt.
After the win, Head Coach Charlie Brue and the Comets got right back to work and got ready to focus on the Arrows.
“One win will not go to our heads,” Brue said. “I sense the players want to improve every day and take hard work as a challenge.”
The Comets expect to see a very balanced offense from the Arrows as Coach Brue highlighted how evenly dispersed the talent is.
In the side story of the game, this will be the first time that Brue faces off against his former player, Risbrudt.
“Coach Risbrudt was always a very smart player. He knows what we do. I will trust my players to execute to the best of their ability,” Brue said.
Risbrudt and the Arrows are still looking for their first win and nothing would be more special to the new coach.
“I am very excited to be able to coach against Hillcrest,” Risbrudt said. “I never thought I would ever get a chance to do that and if I end up getting my first win against my old coach and old team, it would be a memorable win for me.”
The M State Spartans saw its season take a turn for the worse last week as it was dominated by the Northland Pioneers 51-7.
The Spartans struggled to get its offense going, while the defense was put in awkward situations that put them at the disadvantage.
This week, M State and Head Coach Steve King hope that the comforts of home will bring back the positive momentum from week one as it hosts the Vermillion Ironmen.
The Ironmen come into the game with nothing to lose as they have not recorded a win in over three seasons.
The Spartans will not take them lightly as last season’s team nearly ended the skid, but rallied to win 27-26 in Ely.
“After last week, I think we found out what we can and can’t do as an offense,” Spartan runningback coach Nick Sorum said. “We need to eliminate mental errors and excute offensively. We need to take the field the way we did in week one; with a purpose and with a positive attitude.”
Expect the Spartans to return to its offensive roots, while defensively bringing more pressure to force the quarterback to make quick decisions.
In a game that had many thrills, twists and turns, the Pelican Rapids Vikings were able to get back to .500 as it topped Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 28-22 last Friday.
The Vikings saw a lucky fumble and the legs of Ryan Bruggeman lead them to its first win as the senior rushed for 310 yards on 11 carries with four touchdowns.
This week , Pelican will face another Heart O’Lakes Conference opponent in the Hawley Nuggets.
“Hawley has a very good football team and is especially good skill players,” Vikings’ coach Dave Haugen said. “Ben Ellefson, a junior, is one of the best football players in the area. Hawley will move him around quite a bit so we’ll need to know where he is lined up all the time.”
Sure tackling and establishing the run game will be the keys to success for the Vikings at home.
The Otters, Comets and Vikings will all play Friday at 7 p.m., while the Spartans will take the field Saturday at 3 p.m.