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Willmar Cardinals football preview

Little Falls Flyers (2-1) at Willmar Cardinals (2-1)

Friday at Hodapp Field, 7 p.m.

LITTLE FALLS OVERVIEW: After an opening week loss to Sartell (36-17), the Flyers lifted off with a 16-7 win over Rocori at Cold Spring -- the program's first win since 2006 -- and then shaded Moorhead 34-33 in two overtimes. It's a veteran team with a senior nucleus that has played varsity since 10th grade. Alex Scott, a third-year quarterback (he was injured the first five games last season), was 13-for-16 passing for 164 yards and no interceptions last week, while Zach Horesji ran for three short touchdowns. Scott is also a running threat when not throwing to favorite receivers Hunter Hanowski and Jake Waldvogel. It's the Flyers' homecoming.

WILLMAR OVERVIEW: The loss to Brainerd gave this relatively young team a measure of the type of intensity it takes to match up with a team like Brainerd. "The kids were disappointed," said coach Jon Konold this week. "We all thought we could play a lot better. We're excited to have this chance to redeem ourselves." After viewing tape, the first-year Willmar coach noted that Little Falls has good players at the skill positions, size and overall appears "very formidable." The Cardinals' rushing attacks needs to pedal harder (26 net yards vs. Brainerd), but the passing game produced its second straight 200-yard game (Mark Dunham threw for 269 yards with Blake Graves and Taylor Filipek snagging 11 of the 19 completions). Special teams have done a "tremendous job", said Konold. Junior Taylor Neumann and sophomore Matt Cordes will see addition time on the offensive line. Willmar has won four straight against the Flyers, outscoring them by a combined 75-8 over the last two years.

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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