Willmar football weekly preview
WEDNESDAY, ST. CLOUD TECH TIGERS (3-1, 5-2) AT WILLMAR CARDINALS (3-1, 5-2), 7 P.M.
TIGERS OVERVIEW: Techs’ toughness shows up in five wins, but also a 7-0 loss to unbeaten Brainerd, a team Tech might have defeated but for penalties. The offense hugs the ground by a 4-to-1 margin (30-78-430 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs vs. 1,633 rushing). On Friday, the Apollo Eagles held their in-town rival to a season-low 110 rushing yards. The three most prominent backs each average better than 5 yards per carry: Brennan Paulson (5.2 ypg), Josh Falk (6.2) and Austin Klavercamp (9.3). Two physical linebackers will zero in on the Willmar rush: Klavercamp (108 tackles) and Riley Bates (103), whose father Paul played on Willmar’s 1981 team that went 5-4.
CARDINALS OVERVIEW: This conflict will decide the second-place South finisher in the conference behind Apollo. Moreover, Willmar needs this win to lock up the No. 3 seed in Section 6AAAAA. (Tech appears secure at No. 2 in 8AAAAA). This will be the first time Jon Konald, in his fifth season as head coach, has faced the Tigers. “This is a real good challenge for our players going against a physical team with a solid running game,” commented the Minneota native. The Cards rolled up 377 yards of offense at Cold Spring, a game delayed 2:20 by weather. The team spent the hold relaxing in Rocori’s old gym and then came out and scored 6 more TDs in the 3-quarters plus remaining. QB Auggie Hahn ran for 2 scores and threw for 2 others and now has 2,038 yards of total offense on the season. Senior Nick Coquyt grabbed 5 passes for 44 yards and also saw time on defense. Senior defensive end Joey Lee made 2 sacks and his 6 tackles for loss are second on the team to Vaughn Johnson’s 7. Regardless of Wednesday’s outcome, Willmar will play a home game next Tuesday, facing either Buffalo or Elk River.