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Ridgewater football preview

Ridgewater (1-0, 2-3) at Minnesota West (0-0, 1-4)

1:30 p.m. today at Worthington

MINNESOTA WEST: This meeting rates a toss-up with neither team showing an edge. The Bluejays beat Northland, which beat the Warriors. But in Week 1, Ridgewater beat Itasca, which dumped Minnesota West 24-14 last week. This is the Southern Division opener for the Blue Jays, who average 198 yards of offense while allowing 229 yards per game against the five teams in the North. Quarterback Chris Bible has thrown for 407 yards with five interceptions and two touchdowns. The rushing game averages just 72 yards, but it's still more than the Warriors' 57-yards average. Logan Korkow is a dual threat with three touchdown receptions and a 17-yard average per punt return.

RIDGEWATER COLLEGE OVERVIEW: The Warriors' offense sprang to life last week with a convincing win over Fergus Falls. Coach Rob Baumgarn said Jackson Illies' throw to Pat White speeding down the sideline in the first quarter lit the fuse that led to the 32-3 victory. South Offensive-Player-of-the-Week Jackson Illies threw for three touchdowns on 8 of 12 attempts, with no interceptions, while enjoying good protection. Four running backs totaled 157 yards. Eric Orth (9-47), who along with tight end L.W. Frost is one of only two sophomores starting on offense, got his first college touchdown (He backed up All-America Alex McLaughlin last year). Defensive end Craig Gartner was in the Fergus Falls backfield all game and earned Player of the Week honors. The defense profited from the return of linebacker Joe Doubler and tackle Robert Johnson, though Johnson suffered a knee injury. The Warriors are chasing Central Lakes for second place and a win today would bring their record to .500 before heading to Cloquet to play improved Fond du Lac.

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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