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sports Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Mesabi Range (1-0) at Ridgewater (1-0)

1:30 p.m. today at Hodapp Field, Willmar

MESABI RANGE OVERVIEW: The 2008 MCAC champion Norsemen took down Fergus Falls 13-3 in the opener. In his first college game, Avery Walker earned Offensive Player of the Week in the North Division after running for 90 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. That was part of 243 yards rushing as the Norsemen unleashed four running backs that averaged at least 5.3 yards per carry. QB Mario McCollough ran for a TD and threw for 59 yards completing 7 of 14 throws with two INTs. The Norsemen defense will be rugged with four top players from last year's unit back. The Spartans earned just 94 yards rushing and 118 passing.

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RIDGEWATER OVERVIEW: The Warriors beat Mesabi Range 21-14 last season in Week 2 at Virginia, but the Norsemen were just getting organized for a title run. They jelled later and won the MCAC title game 6-0 over Vermilion. The Warriors opened with a 17-6 win over Itasca. The defense gave up only nine yards net rushing and pried away eight turnovers. Making his college debut, Illies threw for 221 yards on 18-of-39 with one pick. But the offense was blanked other than a short field goal by Justin Brown to open the scoring. The running game went no where (27 yards in 26 tries). The Warriors' touchdowns came on a 65-yard punt return by Martell Harris and a 22-yard interception run back by Anthony Adams.

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Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
(320) 214-4334
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