Prep football: Featured area games
It’s only week three and the West Central Conference race could be all but decided by Friday night.
Four of the WCC’s top contenders face each other on Friday night, and an ACGC victory may put the Falcons in the top spot as a regular-season-ending matchup against Sauk Centre draws closer.
In the Central Minnesota Conference, BBE takes on a strong Holdingford team and two Wright County Conference teams which once were West Central Conference rivals face off in New London.
Paynesville (2-0) at BOLD (1-1)
The Bulldogs struggled a bit early last week against Morris/Chokio-Alberta but quickly righted themselves and won handily for a second-straight week.
Quarterback Matthew Quade is proving to be a aerial threat, averaging more than 200 passing yards per game and he’s thrown 6 touchdowns and only 1 interception. Nick Dingmann leads the area with 11 catches for 219 yards and 5 TDs.
BOLD had turnover problems in a season-opening loss to ACGC but the Warriors got their game untracked in a 17-7 victory over a strong Minnewaska team last week.
Ben Steffel and Trent Athmann have combined for about 400 rushing yards the first two weeks.
ACGC (2-0) at Minnewaska (1-1)
The Falcons are in state-tournament form, averaging more than 40 points per game in victories over BOLD and Melrose.
ACGC, ranked No. 3 in Class A, has a number of threats coming out of the backfield, led by Jordan Nelson, who has gained 225 yards. The Falcons can throw effectively when needed. Quarterback Derek Dengerud has thrown for 234 yards.
Offensively, the Lakers will need to get a ground game going. Quarterback Austin Ostrander is a capable passer, having hit about 50 percent of his throws for almost 200 yards.
BBE (2-0) at Holdingford (2-0)
The Jaguars have a special feeling about this year’s team and this will be a major test of where they are.
Holdingford was 10-2 last year and lost to BOLD on a field goal in the second overtime in the first round of the Class AA state tournament. The Huskers are averaging 24 points per game but, more importantly, are surrendering only 11 points per game.
BBE, ranked No. 8 in Class A, will bring a strong offensive attack against them, led by the area’s leading rushing Austin Kollman (382 yards, 4 touchdowns) and a solid three-year quarterback starter, Brian Goodwin, who has hit 20 of 35 passes for 223 yards and 3 TDs.
Litchfield (0-2) at NL-Spicer (2-0)
The Dragons are down after losing several key players from last year, but they should be motivated to try take down the Wildcats, the No. 3-ranked team in Class AAA this week.
Dragons’ receiver Cody Rau has caught 11 passes for 206 yards and 3 scores.
NLS has the look of a special team this year. The 2009 Class AAA state champs are averaging more than 50 points per game while giving up a paltry 3.5 per game. They’ve got great speed at the skill positions, led by Adam Essler (215 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and a veteran quarterback in Ryan Vraa, who has completed 17 of 21 passes for 267 yards, 3 touchdowns and no picks.