Prep football: Willmar Week 5 preview
CLC overview Oh, the ups and downs of the fall season! Sartell looked like the Seahawks soaring over the Cardinals 49-14 in Week 3, but only a week later, the Sabres crashed to earth at Bemidji losing 31-0. The No. 5 (AAAAA) Lumberjacks stifled t...
Oh, the ups and downs of the fall season! Sartell looked like the Seahawks soaring over the Cardinals 49-14 in Week 3, but only a week later, the Sabres crashed to earth at Bemidji losing 31-0. The No. 5 (AAAAA) Lumberjacks stifled the No. 4 Sabres’ offense (100 yards) while gaining 403 themselves. See a pattern here? Both Willmar and Sartell had won huge games the week before they got knocked into the ropes. Another reversal: St. Cloud Tech whipped the Spuds in Moorhead last year; this time they lost in Collegeville 48-0 (41-0 at halftime). St. Cloud Apollo, looking to beat Brainerd for the first time since 2003, led 17-0 at Michie Field only to fall short 28-24.
The Cardinals outscored visiting Rocori 22-0 Saturday afternoon in the second half in their 36-10 win. Senior RB Justin Cumberland (5-10, 227) rushed for 122 yards and a TD. Sophomore QB Jaran Roste (6-3, 197) ran for a two scores and threw for two others. Alex has had a tougher road to midseason than Willmar, facing teams with a combined 12-4 record (losses to Moorhead 18-13, Sartell 40-13 and Brainerd 20-7), while Willmar’s opponents are a combined 6-10.
Coach Jon Konold on Alex: “They are much improved, very versatile with a good quarterback. What I noticed on film is how physical they are on both lines. I believe they’ve gained a lot of confidence the past two weeks.”
The Cardinals rebounded in Week 4 on the road with a 37-7 win at Grand Rapids (0-4). “It was a good, bounce-back win to get our confidence back, especially throwing the ball,” said Konold. “Auggie (Hahn) and the receivers really clicked. Except for two Grand Rapids’ drives, the defense played really well versus their triple option.” Much like Willmar, Alexandria will run a spread offense, though Roste will go under center as well as shotgun. “This should be a good ballgame, a tough ballgame on what looks to be a beautiful evening,” said Konold. The forecast is partly sunny Friday with a high of 81.
Willmar exploded in the “Pine Bowl” at Grand Rapids for 482 yards of offense. Hahn threw for 372 yards and ran for 40 more. Austin Grove snagged 12 passes for 150 yards. Nine different receivers made catches. Colten Carlson’s two catches included one for a 44-yard gain. The junior safety also had five tackles. The offensive line helped control play. Senior center Alex Khalil makes calls for line-blocking; he has made a smooth transition from starting at left guard as a junior. Two junior linemen have stepped up to provide depth: Gunnar Raths (5-11, 255) made his second start on the D-line while Nate Laurence (6-4, 240) started at offensive tackle after playing nose tackle the week before.
- Rand Middleton