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Featured Prep Football: Monte at Albany will be huge!

Here are some of the featured games in the area this Friday:

Montevideo (2-0, 3-0)

at Albany (2-0, 3-0)

The first big matchup of undefeated West Central North teams in 2011. The Thunderhawks' offense has exploded early this season. They are averaging 37 points per game and have a quarterback ranked third in passing in the area (Brett Bergeson, 688 passing yards, 7 touchdowns) and the No. 2 rusher (Jake Douglas, 497 yards 6 TDs).

Where Albany might claim an edge is on defense. The T-hawks are allowing 23 points per game while the Huskies are giving up an average of 14 points per game. And while their style is different, the Huskies are the T-hawks' equal offensively, averaging more than 35 points per game.

NLS (2-0, 3-0) at Holy Family Catholic (3-0)

This game will serve as a preview for 2012, when both the HFC Fire and the Wildcats will begin play in the Wright County Conference.

NLS is undefeated but had some trouble downing a solid Paynesville team in the season-opener, had to rally to defeat Morris in overtime the next week and defeated a winless Minnewaska team by six points last week. But a team with Ronnie Johnson (357 rushing yards, 5 TDs) and quarterback Tanner Tobkin (471 passing yards, 3 TDs) can turn it in an instant.

Holy Family Catholic is playing an independent football schedule this year, but obviously have the ability to score and avoid being scored upon: The Fire are averaging almost 40 points per game while holding opponents to just 12 per game.

Benson (0-2, 0-3) at Morris/CA (0-1, 1-2)

This is an intriguing matchup of West Central South teams that don't have the best records but are tantalizingly close to breaking through.

Benson's three losses have come against teams that, so far, are a combined 8-1 this season. They led Albany at halftime, were tied with BOLD at halftime last week, and they lost a wild 46-40 shootout at Paynesville. The Braves have an emerging young star in quarterback Matt Ahrndt, who has a combined 1,069 yards and 9 TDs running and passing.

After defeating Minnewaska in its opener, Morris/CA lost in overtime to undefeated NLS and then lost by four points to ACGC last week. Quarterback Jake Torgerson also is coming into his own, ranking No. 7 among area passers with 461 yards and 2 touchdowns.

ACGC (1-1, 1-2)

at LQPV (1-0, 2-1)

One West Central South team - LQPV - seems to have found its stride after a 41-12 defeat against Montevideo in the Eagles' opener. LQPV has since outscored YME and Sauk Centre 43-13 in two straight wins. Running back Sam Haas is No. 3 in the area in rushing (455 yards, 6 TDs) and is also a feared return man.

ACGC is still looking for consistent performances. The Falcons were shut out in their opener and lost to BOLD before hanging on late to defeat Morris/CA last week. Running back Erik Whitcomb is playing well, ranking No. 6 among area runners with 364 yards and 3 TDs.