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Prep football: Willmar Section 6AAAAA quarterfinals preview

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Last time: Willmar 40, Buffalo 19 (Aug. 31, 2012)

Last week: Willmar 42, St. Cloud Tech 13; Buffalo 47, Duluth East 8

BISON OVERVIEW

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The No. 6-seed Bison did a lot of throwing last year but the quarterback graduated and the team is more ground-based this fall. Willmar coach Jon Konold feels the 2-6 record is not indicative of the Bison’s real strength which is a physical defense, especially strong up the middle, and a solid running game. The offense averages 22 points while the defense has allowed 30 points per game. Five times opponents have put up 34 or more points. “The challenge will be to stop the run and control the line of scrimmage both on offense and defense,” said Konold.

CARDINALS OVERVIEW

The winner of tonight’s game gets No. 2 St. Michael-Albertville (7-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday in St. Michael. The Cardinals’ (6-2) two losses this season both came to No. 1 seeds Brainerd in Section 7-5A (8-0) by a 21-7 score and St. Cloud Apollo in 8-5A (7-1) by a 24-13 score. Brainerd finished No. 1 in the Minnesota Scores Quality Results Formula ratings in Class AAAAA. Willmar trumped St. Cloud Tech (No. 2 in 8-5A) 42-13 after playing a domineering first half that ended 29-0. The defense blunted the Tigers’ rushing game using its speed to close down the corners and stuffing attempts between the tackles … Willmar has had several opponents put away early in the second half, allowing the sophomore reserves playing time. Running back Sam Kerfeld has rushed for 111 yards in 29 attempts and nabbed 5 passes for over 100 yards. QB Zach Radermacher has rushed 15 times and thrown for 165 yards and 2 TDS. Sophomore tight end Max Trochlil is no reserve when it comes to kicking; he’s 25 of 26 on extra points and consistently inside the 10 on kickoffs …. Since this is a section game, passes or punch cards are NOT accepted for admission. Weather.gov shows the temperature dipping to the mid-30s by kickoff but with only a 2 percent chance of precipitation.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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