Still looking for its first win of 2019, Willmar will go back on the road against Big Lake on Friday.
After picking up a 25-6 Week 1 win over Grand Rapids, the Hornets dropped to the loss column last Friday with a 30-13 defeat at Rocori.
Over its first two games, Big Lake has found the end zone thanks to its big-play abilities. Of the Hornets’ six touchdowns, the shortest score was a 13-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brandon Stern. Against Grand Rapids, running back DeAndre Hill broke off a 21-yard touchdown run while Stern connected with receiver Jack Iverson for a 49-yard touchdown. Hill also contributed with a 78-yard interception return. Then against Rocori, Jayden Dimkpa and Rieley Mullen had touchdown runs of 51 and 64 yards, respectively.
Hill is Big Lake’s workhorse back, running for 238 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries. At QB, Stern has tallied 210 yards, one touchdown and one interception of 14 of 32 passing. His leading receiver is Hayden Thieke, who has five grabs for 115 yards.
Willmar will try to rebound after being held to eight first downs and 202 yards in a 28-7 loss to Delano. The Tigers coaxed the Cardinals into five interceptions as Tanner Bauman was limited to 8 of 17 passing for 53 yards. He did lead the team in rushing with 77 yards on 13 attempts while sophomore Michael Price broke off a 59-yard run for Willmar’s lone score.
Bauman has accounted for over 78 percent of the Cardinals’ offense with 182.5 passing yards and 64.0 rushing yards per game. Adam DeJong has emerged as Willmar’s top target with eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Since Willmar moved to the North Central White district in 2017, the Cardinals are 2-0 against Big Lake by a combined score of 93-13. Last season, Willmar walked away a 55-7 victor.