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Willmar football Week 7 preview

Apollo Overview

The Eagles were held to 44 net yards and fell 30-0 at the Brainerd homecoming as their rugged season continued. The Eagles are allowing over 40 points a game but did stand up physically against the Warriors in a game scoreless through one period; the Astronauts' offense has scored 21 points twice in losses to Foley and Sartell.

Willmar Overview

Willmar needs to win this week and next -- a Wednesday night game at Fergus Falls -- to have a shot at the No. 4 ledge in Section 2-AAAA which grants the home field in the quarterfinal round....Mankato West, Hutchinson and Marshall are each 6-0; Waconia, Willmar and Mankato East are all 2-4. The top 2 seeds have byes, No. 4 seed will host No. 5 while No. 6 will travel to No. 3...QRF (Quality Results Formula) rankings at will determine pecking order in all sections, posted Oct. 20.... Coach Jon Konold said the Cards still struggle defensively to get off the field on 3rd down; offensively, emphasis remains upgrading running game by staying on blocks and to just make more plays to keep the sticks moving. Now, about that wild ending to the Sartell game ...

Willmar got the ball back at its own 12-yard line with 30 seconds left and trailing 21-14. Not only were they 88 yards away and empty of timeouts but a spunky south wind was in their face. QB Alex Grove passed to Dean Stier, Austin Rambow and then Chris Cunningham to move the ball up to the 39-yard line. Cunningham slipped trying to get out of bounds and Grove had "clock it" from under center and 1.6 seconds showing on the fourth-quarter clock. With 4 wide-outs, Grove rolled left then scrambled back toward the stadium side with the clock now on 00:00 Cunningham shook free coming across the middle and Grove threw a laser pass that the sophomore grabbed in full stride at the 15 and went in untouched making it 21-20. "We'd talked earlier in the period about going for two if we scored and to go for the win," said Konold. "When a touchdown like that happens, you figure they've got to be in shock and it's as good a time as ever to catch them."

But it was Sartell which ended up celebrating when they stopped Alfred Richards after he took a handoff from Grove on the option. "You've got to credit Sartell," said the coach. "They made the play."

Two-way tackle Cass Herzog (ankle) missed almost entire second half but was back at practice this week.