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Ridgewater football preview

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West Central Tribune
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Ridgewater football preview
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Northland (1-2) at Ridgewater (1-2)

1:30 p.m. today at Hodapp Field

NORTHLAND OVERVIEW: After two losses, the Pioneers nipped Fergus Falls 32-31 in Week 3. Expect nothing fancy from the team out of Thief River Falls. A straight-forward running attack accounts for most of their yards (454 to 139 passing). James Gant has a gaudy 9.9 average in 18 carries. Three other ball carriers have 52 or 53 yards. The defense has been a bit generous, allowing 30 points per game.

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RIDGEWATER OVERVIEW: This is the first of two straight home games. This week is Youth Football Day and Sept. 26 is Homecoming. The Warriors are coming off consecutive losses. The sting of last week's 14-12 setback to Vermilion was increased by the loss of Martell Harris, who is the South's leading punt returner. The freshman defensive back from Minneapolis (Roosevelt) broke both bones in his left forearm in a pile-up along the sidelines while returning a punt. The Warriors are still waiting for the offensive line to gel. Patrick Cincinatus is the top rusher with 70 yards in 29 totes. Shane Black has 12 catches for a 16.3 average. Jackson Illies has the most completions (52), attempts (107), yards (526) in the South, but also the most interceptions (8). Linebackers Phil Herkenhoff, Otimbum Wilson and Mickell Brown rank in the South's top six in tackle points.

-- Rand Middleton

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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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