Prep Football: Pigskin powerplays
With the prep football regular season coming to a close two days ago, every team in the state will now look ahead to sectional play.
Before we at Tribune Sports get there, though, it's time to take a glance in retrospect to remember the eight best individual performances of the year—one for each week of the regular season.
Week 8: Braden Hoekstra vs. E/E
Fellow Tribune Sports reporter Jake Schultz has made many incorrect predictions this football season, but picking Hoekstra to have a big week on Wednesday was not one of them.
The MACCRAY wide receiver exploded for 270 yards and five touchdowns in the Wolverines' regular season finale against Edgerton/Ellsworth.
Hoekstra netted 233 of those yards via the air, as he caught touchdown passes of 24, 35, 58 and 78 yards for the most single-game receiving yards by any area receiver this year.
Week 7: Peyton Mortenson vs. Ortonville
The Lac qui Parle Valley running back set the area season-high by amassing seven touchdowns in the Eagles' 50-47 defeat against the Trojans on Oct. 13.
Mortenson accounted for each of LQPV's touchdowns on the evening. He scored six times via the ground and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
For the game, Mortenson carried the rock 34 times, grinding out 213 yards—the fifth-highest single-game rushing yard total in the area this season.
Week 5: Kaleb Koehl vs. Wheaton/H-N
Hancock's Koehl has proven to be a potent run/pass dual threat and Week 5 was the pinnacle of that to this point in the season.
He completed 13 of 19 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns, posting one of the best aerial performances by any area quarterback this season.
Add to that 18 carries for 189 yards and two scores and you have the most total yards of offense by any area player in a game this season.
Week 5: Bentley Boike vs. Murray County Central
Dawson-Boyd and Murray County Central both entered their Sept. 29 meeting with 3-1 records.
Thanks to Boike, the Blackjacks were the ones that emerged with their fourth win.
The junior running back broke all efficiency scales, accumulating 233 yards on just 15 carries as D-B came away with a convincing 48-6 win.
Even taking away Boike's 85-yard touchdown in the third quarter, he still averaged 10.6 yards per carry. That long scamper included, and Boike picked up 15.5 yards each time he toted the rock.
Week 4: Zach Schroeder vs. Holdingford
All season long, Schroeder has been one of the centerpieces for the high-octane Paynesville offense.
That was no different in the Bulldogs' Sept. 22 rout of the Huskers.
The dynamic running back displayed his prowess both running and receiving the ball, accumulating 245 total yards of offense and scoring three touchdowns.
Schroeder opened the scoring with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Max Weidner.
When Holdingford held the lead in the third quarter, it was Schroeder that helped turn the contest into a comfortable Bulldogs victory. He broke through on a 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give Paynesville the lead, and then iced the game with a 38-yard score in the fourth.
Week 3: Camden Arndt vs. ACGC
The top individual rushing game of the season belongs to Morris/Chokio-Alberta's Arndt after he ran wild against a tough Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City team on Sept. 15.
The junior picked up 305 yards on 26 carries and scored four touchdowns, although the Falcons emerged victorious by a slim 26-25 margin.
Arndt had a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and added scores of 16, 80 and 49 yards in the second half.
As a follow-up act, Arndt ran for 239 yards on 14 carries in the Tigers' game the following week.
I know that this column is featuring the seven best individual performances, but I am the captain now, so we're going to go ahead and cheat by adding Arndt's Week 4 outing to the mix.
Week 2: Luke Ryan vs. Osakis
Ryan displayed his blazing speed on the basepaths for the BOLD baseball team en route to tying the state record for triples in a single season this past spring.
On Sept. 8, he transferred that explosive ability over to the football field.
Ryan caught only four passes, but turned those receptions into 211 yards and three touchdowns.
The junior turned passes from quarterback Jordan Sagedahl for scores of 74, 73 and 21 yards as the Warriors won 39-14.
Week 1: Gavin Vosika vs. Paynesville
Part of what makes the offense for BOLD, the top Class A team according to QRF, so dynamic is its big-play passing threats.
However, that wouldn't exist without a ground-and-pound rushing attack that draws defenses up to play the run.
Vosika has been the main cog for the Warriors in the backfield, and opened up a special 2017 campaign with a memorable Week 1 performance.
The sophomore running back ran for five touchdowns and 150 yards as BOLD downed the Bulldogs.