A new week, a new opponentPublished 9:07am Thursday, September 5, 2013 Updated 11:10am Thursday, September 5, 2013
As the first week of the 2013 football season got underway, only one of three Fergus Falls teams started on a positive note.
The M State Spartans were able to end a drought, that extends over a decade, as it defeated Mesabi Range 34-12 Saturday.
The Spartans offense racked up four touchdowns, three coming from a ground attack that produced over 200 yards rushing, to top the Norsemen at home.
“I was very happy with how we ran the ball,” Spartan Offensive line coach Randy Elenberger said. “You always want to go into a game and establish a good strong run game and then let your offense evolve and work off it. I’m extremely proud of our offensive linemen and the effort they put forth in paving the way for our runningbacks.”
M State will look for its first road win this Saturday as it travels to take on Northland Community College in Thief River Falls. The Pioneers will look to defend its home field with a spread style offense that uses option and zone read concepts. Defensively, Northland will be without All-Division linebacker Cole Christianson, after he suffered a broken leg in the Pioneers loss to Rochester, but expect strong play from this unit as they apply ample pressure to opposing offenses.
The Spartans will look to keep the ball in the hands of runningbacks Hayden Zenner and Shaquille Cole after they combined for 188 yards on the ground.
On the opposite end of the page, the Fergus Falls Otters will look to regain its footing after a 72-14 pile on by the Brainerd Warriors last Friday.
Head Coach Steve Olson has he team focusing on improving its assignments, both offensively and defensively. “Defensively, we have been focusing on trusting our reads especially at the LB and DB positions,” Olson said. “Offensively, we have been working on cleaning up some little things with our assignments.”
The Otters will look to take on the Rocori Spartans in another Central Lakes Conference dog fight. The Spartans are primarily a spread offensive team, while they run a 3-4 defensive scheme. Olson noted that Rocori rarely lines up for an extra point, opting to try and put two on the score board after each touchdown.
Olson feels the Otters will have to improve on staying mentally sharp late in the game and to dig deep and play four quarters of football if they are going to take the win.
The Hillcrest Comets will also be searching for its first win as it opens its home season Friday against Bertha-Hewitt. The Comets, a 20-8 loser to Brandon-Evansville, hope that the home crowd will play the 12th man against a very young, but experienced, Bears team.
“We love playing at home,” Comet head coach Charlie Brue said. “Our field is in great condition and we get a good home crowd cheering the boys on.”
The Bears also enter the game searching for its first win after playing 9-man powerhouse Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. The Wolverines were able to dispatch the Bears 54-8.
Coach Brue and the Comets will not let last week’s outcomes affect their game preparations as Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley is a tough opponent to start off with and some unusual weather forced Hillcrest out of its usual schedule.
Expect the Comets to improve this week as coach Brue has the boys focusing on the small stuff, such as winning the turnover battle, executing their offense and not giving up the big play on defense.
The area game of the week pits Pheasant Conference foes Ashby Arrows on the road against the Brandon-Evansville Chargers.
The Chargers quickly established themselves as a formidable opponent last week with a win over Hillcrest, while Ashby is still looking to find its comfort level with new head coach Jeff Risbrudt.
In last season’s meeting, the Arrows were able to roast the Chargers on its home field 30-6. B-E head coach Tim Pattrin and his squad have not forgotten about last season’s loss and will look to get revenge in front of a home crowd.
The Arrows will need to stop Charger quarterback Tom Bosek from causing them problems on both sides of the ball. B-E will also have to keep a watchful eye on Arrow quarterback Blake Ohren as his arm and legs can give defenses fits.
The Otters, Comets, Arrows and Chargers will all play Friday night at 7 p.m., while the Spartans will take the field Saturday at 1:30 p.m.