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Prep Football: Cards look to continue late-season success

Willmar's Jake Evans hauls in a pass during the first half of Friday's North Central White district game against St. Cloud Apollo in St. Cloud. Joe Brown / Tribune

With a first-round bye seemingly wrapped up, Willmar hopes to enter the postseason on high with two more games left in the regular season.

On Friday, that starts with a visit from Becker.

The Cardinals secured a perfect regular-season road record last week with a 40-14 win against St. Cloud Apollo. Willmar rushed for 270 yards, with Alex Wickliff leading the way with 127 yards on 17 attempts. Ethan Roux punched in a pair of rushing scores, and Drey Dirksen had 260 total yards (191 passing, 69 rushing) and three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in the victory. Jake Evans hauled in seven catches for 93 yards and a score.

On defense, Kaden Streed came up with seven total tackles and a sack while Ty Roelofs picked off two passes, including a return for a touchdown that clinched the road win.

This fall, Becker has not been able to live up to its typical state power standards with a 2-4 record. Losers of three straight, the Bulldogs fell into the loss column last Friday after falling 35-21 to Brainerd. Trailing 14-7 in the second quarter, the Warriors rattled off 28 straight points for the home win.

Becker's passing combo of quarterback Josh Fobbe and receiver Kevyn Vilayphanh accounted for 103 yards and one touchdown on six connections. Fobbe finished the game 14 of 24 for 170 yards and one interception. Nick Goth was the leading rusher with 80 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

The Bulldogs have a balanced attack, averaging 141.8 passing yards and 173.2 rushing yards per game. Their best offensive performance came in a loss to third-ranked (AAAA) Hutchinson with 401 total yards in a game where Becker stayed within a touchdown with the Tigers through three quarters.

Last year's Cardinals/Bulldogs meeting proved to be a defensive showdown, with Willmar pulling through with an 8-6 win.