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Prep football: Willmar Week 7 preview

Last Week: St. Cloud Apollo 24, Willmar 13; Sartell 56, Rocori 24

Last year: Rocori 22, Willmar 21

Rocori overview

The Spartans mirror Willmar’s no-huddle, spread offense. So far, Rocori has rushed for 701 yards and passed for 1,131. Last week, double-threat junior wide-out Alex Budde (No. 10) caught passes covering 32, 31 and 44 yards for the three Spartan scores. That hardly offset five TDs by Sartell RB Darek Stackowski, who was 27-171 rushing. Coach Mike Rowe has deployed both Tim Hansen (62-94-810-8 tds) and Skippy Virchow (23-47-291-3 tds), both juniors, at QB. The Spartans will bring lots of pressure on defense meaning the pass protectors must be sharp. Offensively, the Spartans will use multiple formations and motions trying to get a mismatch in pass coverage.

Willmar overview

It’s “bounce-back time” for the second time this season. Willmar was not at its best vs. Apollo but the Eagles were a good team whose defensive line used its quickness to shut down the Willmar rush (3.4 yards per carry). “We never got going on the run, though we threw the ball well,” said coach Jon Konold. “Hopefully, we’ll get back on the right track this week.”    

The stretch run

The best scenario for the Cardinals is for the St. Cloud Tech Tigers (2-0, 5-0) to defeat St. Cloud Apollo (2-0, 5-0) on Friday. That would set up Willmar, providing the Cards win at Cold Spring, with the opportunity to tie for the CLC South Division championship by beating the Tigers on Oct. 16 at Hodapp Field. In the North, Brainerd remained undefeated and tied for first place with Moorhead after the Warriors beat Bemidji at HC 24-20.

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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