The most prolific football team in the area this season has been the Paynesville Bulldogs.

Paynesville is averaging 48.0 points per game after its first two contests, which makes it the fifth highest scoring team in the state in Class AA.

For anyone who has followed Paynesville coach Max Meagher’s program, this is hardly a surprise. The Bulldogs like to score early and often. Their push on offense is relentless. Add in that almost every point-after-touchdown attempt is for two points and often a trick play, and it makes the Bulldogs one of the most interesting teams to watch as well.

Running the show for Gang Green is Chase Bayer. The senior quarterback has put two excellent games together. In last week’s 62-34 victory over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Bayer completed 15 of 23 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He also ran 12 times for 84 yards and three TDs.

Tom Elliott
Tom Elliott

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That’s coming off a Week 1 performance that also stood out. In a 34-26 win over Melrose, Bayer completed 12 of 20 passes for 211 yards and three TDs. He threw three interceptions. He also ran 16 times for 75 yards.

He’s definitely a person to watch when the Bulldogs play Friday at Sauk Centre. According to his profile, Bayer is 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. He runs a 4.69-second 40-yard dash. Can you say college prospect?

Bayer is accompanied in the backfield by running back Hiltner. In two games, Hiltner has rushed for 286 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries.

The Bulldogs have a plethora of receiving options, including Grayson Fuchs, Gus Johnson, Tafadwza Juma, Max Athmann and Eli Nelson.

They’re worth checking out.

The Top five in AA:

Here are the top five offenses after two weeks in Class AA:

1. Rush City (2-0) — Rush City is at 62.0 points per game after wins over East Central (64-6) and Mille Lacs Area (60-14)

2. Blue Earth Area (2-0) — Is averaging 51.0 ppg after wins over Windom Area (59-0) and Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (43-13)

3. Pipestone Area (2-0) — The Arrows average 50.0 ppg after beating Le Sueur-Henderson (43-0) and Worthington (57-20).

4. Blooming Prairie (2-0) — The Awesome Blossoms moved up to Class AA this season and are averaging 49.0 ppg. Their wins are over Hayfield (57-6) and Lester Prairie (41-26).

5. Paynesville (2-0) — The Bulldogs average 48.0 ppg and have beaten Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (62-34) and Melrose (34-26).

Top offenses in area

Paynesville leads the West Central Tribune area at 48.0. The area’s top five are: No. 2 Litchfield (40.0), No. 3 BOLD (35.5), No. 4 Dawson-Boyd (33.0) and No. 5 New London-Spicer (24.5). Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (23.0) and Lac qui Parle Valley (23.0) are tied for sixth.

Player, game to watch

Benson junior Thomas Dineen has now rushed for 341 yards and five touchdowns on 59 carries in two games, likely leading the west central area.

Dineen and the Braves (1-1) are host to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (2-0). The Jaguars are one of the top turn-around teams in the area after breaking a three-year losing streak. BBE has beaten Kerhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (26-0) and Maple Lake (20-19).

Hall of Fame

Central Minnesota Christian girls basketball coach Jessica (Wedel) Bulthuis is being honored by Northwestern College of Orange City, Iowa. Bulthuis, a 2012 Northwestern grad, is receiving the Barnabas Award “which recognizes Raiders who encouraged others to strive for their performance athletically, academically and personally, and who used their sport as a way to bring others to a knowledge of Jesus Christ,” according to a press release.

Bulthuis was a four-year member of the basketball team, including national championship squads in her final three seasons. She teaches high school science at CMCS.