Back home again
What's at stake? The Warriors are back home after a two-week absence in which they played competitive games against Central Lakes and Rochester, but each time proved unable to muster the offense to collect a second win. Officially out of playoff ...
What's at stake?
The Warriors are back home after a two-week absence in which they played competitive games against Central Lakes and Rochester, but each time proved unable to muster the offense to collect a second win. Officially out of playoff picture, Ridgewater is playing for pride. Minnesota West is still the playoff hunt and could advance by winning its last three games.
Ridgewater trailed Rochester 10-8 after two quarters but was outscored 15-0 in the second half ... After an 0-4 start, Minnesota West has returned to last year's form on the strength of its defense. After beating Northland 10-8 in the mud, they held Central Lakes to negative yardage in the first half en route to a 27-0 victory.
The Bluejays' file
Demetrius Washington, a 6-1, 245-pound linebacker, leads the Bluejays' stingy defense (200 yards allowed per game). Last week, the Detroit native forced three fumbles, made two sacks and had nine tackles in the shutout. Minnesota West's quarterback Jesse Brown, Jr., has thrown for 456 yards and two touchdowns, but has seven interceptions. Kevin Robinson leads the South in receptions (21). With the exception of last Saturday's win, the Worthington college has struggled to post points and is now averaging 10 per game.
What Ridgewater coach Rob Baumgarn said
On team attitude: "We just want to finish strong. It's important to get these two wins for recruiting."
On Rochester loss: "The wind was crazy down there; about 45 miles an hour. Punts were going 12 yards. Penalties hurt. We were at their one-yard line leading 8-3 and got called for a hold. You hardly ever see that. Strong safety Ryan Ronan had a big game with 10 stops, two forced fumbles and a recovery."
Quarterbacks Lance Bussler and Desmond Moody have combined to throw for 651 yards in seven games and five TDs with five interceptions. Justin Laughlin leads the division in attempts (108) for 405 yards, a 3.8 average with four TDs. Jason Pawelk has 16 catches for 285 yards and four TDs. Linebackers Blake Hagert and Tyler Hoelscher, and cornerback Joey Lux all rank in the division top five in tackles. Lux is tied for first with three interceptions.
The bottom line
The final home game shapes up as a defensive battle. The Warriors have played hard and often well against teams with more depth and talent. A win today would be just reward for their efforts.