Football Preview: On the road againPublished 10:51am Thursday, September 26, 2013
Week four of the football season saw a close call and two blowouts as the Fergus Falls football trio went 1-2.
The Fergus Falls Otters looked to breeze past Sauk Rapids building a 14 point halftime lead, but the Storm hung around the game long enough to scare the Otters straight in a 35-34 Fergus win.
“We have not come out and played exceptionally well in the second half the past couple games,” Otter coach Steve Olson said. “We need to learn how to handle it when things are going good for us just like we need to learn how to handle it when things aren’t going so good.”
This week, the Otters travel to St. Cloud to take on the 3-1 Apollo Eagles. The Eagles are coming off its first loss to a tough Brainerd team and are looking to get back on the right track.
Fergus will need to stop Eagles’ quarterback Ben Avold in order to be successful as he is a threat not only by air, but on the ground.
“He has a lot of poise and is a big strong kid who doesn’t come down easy and throws well,” Olson said of Avold.
Offensively, the Otters will need to attack a very quick 3-4 defensive scheme that has caused problems for Apollo’s opponents this season.
The Hillcrest Comets are coming off a tough home loss to Verndale 58-8, but are looking to overcome the bumps and bruises they sustain in last week’s contest.
This week the Comets will travel to take on the 1-3 Ortonville Tigers.
Ortonville has had a rough road this season as they fell in the opener by one point to Underwood, while taking on two state-ranked teams in Wheaton/Herman-Norcross and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. Last week, the Tigers finally got in the win column as they blew out, then undefeated, Brandon-Evansville 41-13.
“They like to pass the ball,” Comet Coach Charlie Brue said. “They defeated Brandon-Evansivlle last week and they are hungry for wins, just like us.”
Brue’s Comets will look to defend the pass, while also finishing off offensive drives with scores.
“We’ve been able to move the ball, but have allowed mistakes to keep us from the endzone,” Brue said.
The M State Spartans have been searching for the magic of game one the past three weeks as it fell to Ridgewater 37-7.
The Spartan defense was pushed around last week by a tough Warrior running attack, while the offense was unable to finish successful drives down the field.
M State hopes the padgentry and nostalgia of homecoming will spark its once promising fire as it welcomes in the 3-1 Central Lakes Raiders.
The Raiders suffered its first loss last week as it fell to Rochester 48-21.
The Spartans’ offense rediscovered its air assault as freshman quarterback Jesse Vanilau went 12 for 22 with 124 yards and a touchdown.
In a highly anticipated match up, the Otter Tail Central Bulldogs will travel to take on Prairie Conference South opponent No. 10 (Class A) Royalton.
The match up pits the Royals, who averages more than 46 points a game, while the Bulldogs have shutout its last three opponents.
The Royals schedule has been soft as their previous four opponents have combined for a 3-13 regular season record so far. The Bulldogs only loss comes from an undefeated Barnesville Trojans team in the opening game.
The Otters, Comets and Bulldogs will be on the road for 7 p.m. Friday games, while the Spartans will hit the gridiron at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.