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Willmar Football Preview

Brainerd Warriors (1-1) at Willmar Cardinals (2-0), Friday at Hodapp Field, 7 p.m.

BRAINERD OVERVIEW: The Warriors lost to Bemidji for the first time since the 2000 Section 8AAAAA final when the Lumberjacks held the ball for 25 more plays while squeezing out a 15-13 win. The Lumberjacks had five turnovers the week before at Willmar, but just one on their own field and two scoring marches consumed 17 plays and 22 plays. The top players for Brainerd include WR Kyle Crocker, who had a 30-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Warriors' best weapon has been QB Reid Mimmeck (28-for-46 for 354 yards) throwing to Crocker (13 receptions for 227 yards and 2 TDs). The running game was sluggish the first two weeks. The top rusher was Taylor Main, who had 69 yards in 16 carries. In Week 1, the Warriors' defense held St. Cloud Tech to three field goals in a 10-9 win. Last year, in Brainerd, the Warriors shut out the Cardinals 40-0.

WILLMAR OVERVIEW: QB Mark Dunham got six receivers involved in the offense last week against Fergus Falls and five had at least three or more catches: Blake Graves 4-93, Jeremy Schendel 3-30, Taylor Filipek 3-33, Ryan Lawler 3-45 and Grant Schow 3-7. Schow ran for 81 yards in 13 carries. Willmar piled up 390 yards of offense, offsetting three turnovers. The extra-point team is still searching for a rhythm making it work just once in five tries at Fergus Falls. The defense had five takeaways for the second straight week -- three have gone directly for touchdowns.

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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