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Cardinal Football Preview: Confident Cards prepare for TRF

After playing arguably its best game of the season, Willmar has a shot to keep things rolling as football section play begins Tuesday. The 2-6 Cardinals earned the No. 4 seed in the 8AAAA tournament, and will host fifth-seeded Thief River Falls a...

After playing arguably its best game of the season, Willmar has a shot to keep things rolling as football section play begins Tuesday.

The 2-6 Cardinals earned the No. 4 seed in the 8AAAA tournament, and will host fifth-seeded Thief River Falls at 6 p.m. this evening. The Prowlers also enter with a mark of 2-6.

Willmar closed the regular season in style last Wednesday, gaining 531 yards of total offense and playing turnover-free for the first time all season in a 39-22 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice.

"We're finally getting into a groove," head coach Jon Konold said. "We're getting everybody comfortable with what we're doing and getting guys into their best spots to be successful."

Seemingly playing with more confidence, the Cardinals turn their attention to a TRF team they outgained 377-90 en route to a 42-0 win in last season's section opener.

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Those same results aren't guaranteed this time around, as both teams have many new faces.

None of the players that accounted for Willmar's six touchdowns are still on the team, and TRF has a different coach in Jeff Mumm.

Mumm has tried to implement a physical, run-first offensive attack, which has yielded mixed results. Thief River Falls is averaging just 12.6 points and has scored 14 or fewer in seven of its eight games.

A major problem the Prowlers have faced is wearing down late in games. In their six losses, they've been outscored 97-24 in the second half.

Though saying it will be up to his players to execute, Konold seems to like his team's chances of advancing to the next round.

"The scoreboard will end up how it ends up if we control the line of scrimmage and take care of the football," he said.

Related Topics: FOOTBALLTHIEF RIVER FALLS
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