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Prep Football: Game of the Week

Tribune file photo Paynesville's Max Weidner and the rest of the seventh-ranked (Class AA) Bulldogs look to move to 6-1 when they play host top-ranked (AAA) Pierz.

Paynesville has the credentials as one of Class AA's best teams.

The Bulldogs lead the class in points per game (52.3) while ranking third in point differential (plus-33.7) and 20th in points allowed per game (18.7).

One of Class AA's finest will square off with one of Class AAA's finest when the Pierz Pioneers come to town Friday for a 7 p.m. game.

Like the Bulldogs, Pierz sports top offenses and defenses in its class with the second highest-scoring offense (47.8 ppg), the sixth lowest-scoring defense (11.5 pa/g) and the second-best point differential (plus-36.3).

In a 62-0 shutout of Eden Valley-Watkins last week, the Bulldogs had 574 yards of total offense, with 429 coming on the ground. Zach Schroeder had a team-best 167 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Daltin Christinsen neared the 100-yard mark with 92 yards on nine attempts, and quarterback Max Weidner scored twice and ran for 73 yards on 11 carries. Weidner threw for another 130 yards with three touchdowns, all to Mitchel Schlangen.

Since the week one loss to BOLD, Paynesville has averaged 58.8 points per game.

Winners of 18 straight, Pierz had an easy time during its homecoming game last week, rolling through Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 69-7. Keeping the game on the ground, the Pioneers had nine rushing touchdowns, with two from Carson Huls and Alex Poster. Blake Kowalczyk had a team-high 80 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown, on just five carries. Michael Leidenfrost (70), Poster (70) and Huls (60) all ran for over 50 yards in a game that was played in running time through the entire second half.

Brett Kapsner has been the featured runner for the Pioneers with 675 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. But he is far from the only standout in the backfield. As a team, Pierz is averaging 368.7 rushing yards per game.

Last year's matchup was all Pierz with a 42-6 win over Paynesville. The Pioneers are 3-0 against the Bulldogs since district play was instituted in 2015.

Area schedule

(Games at 7 p.m. unless noted)


Becker at Willmar

New London-Spicer at Little Falls

Litchfield at Delano

Ortonville at LQPV, 7:15 p.m.

YME at Dawson-Boyd

Pierz at Paynesville

Montevideo at Benson


Minnewaska at Osakis

Sauk Centre at Morris/C-A


Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley at Hancock

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda at MACCRAY

RCW at Hills-Beaver Creek

Madelia at BLHS