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Willmar faces Moorhead on road Friday

A LOOK AT WILLMAR: The Cardinals have been erratic on offense, but seldom boring. Willmar gained 399 yards against Sauk Rapids but had only three touchdowns to show for it. Penalties negated three scores, plus there was an interception inside the 15 and a missed field goal from close range.

"We still have to execute better on offense," said Willmar coach Jon Konold. "Our defense will have to stop the run. (Moorhead) is another (Class) 5A team, so you know they will come at you with a lot of people. We can see that this is a team that is getting better each week."

The Willmar defense held the Storm to just over 100 yards in posting a shutout. The Spuds have been tough for Willmar to beat; Moorhead has won all five meetings dating back to 1984, most recently 14-12, at Willmar in 2007.

This non-conference meeting is the first of two rough road trips for the Cardinals. Games at Moorhead on Friday and at Sartell Oct. 1 confront opponents each 3-1, at this point, before the Cardinals return home to close out the schedule against St. Cloud Apollo (1-3) and Fergus Falls (0-4). With two losses, the Central Lakes trophy appears beyond reach, but the Cardinals need to pile up wins to improve their ranking in Section 2AAAA.

A LOOK AT MOORHEAD: Moorhead will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Jim Gotta Stadium, an $800,000 project that provided the Spuds their first true home field, ending a nomadic history playing on college fields.

Under first-year head coach Kevin Feeney, a one-time Bison quarterback and Fargo South head coach, the Spuds lost the opener 28-21 at Bemidji (3-1), but then beat Rocori, Little Falls and Fergus Falls, the latter a 47-23 score. Spuds running back Matt Duginski scored on runs of 36, 6 and 63 yards. Quarterback Jesse Doschadis threw for 136 yards and two scores.

- Rand Middleton

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. 
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