Willmar FB Preview: Cards travel to Brainerd in search of first win
BRAINERD--If the Willmar football team hopes to get its first win of the season at Brainerd this Friday, it's not difficult to determine what will be needed of the Cardinal defense.
BRAINERD-If the Willmar football team hopes to get its first win of the season at Brainerd this Friday, it's not difficult to determine what will be needed of the Cardinal defense.
When looking at the stat sheet, there doesn't appear to be much mystery as to what the Warriors (1-1) will try to do on offense. Through two games, Brainerd is averaging 299 yards on the ground and just 40.5 through the air.
This run-heavy formula worked for the Warriors when the two teams met last year. Despite completing just one pass for nine yards, they were able to grab a 26-13 win behind a run game that gained 414 yards.
Coming off a great performance in Week Two (22 yards allowed on 30 carries), the Cardinal run defense will face a much tougher task this week in trying to stop junior Charlie Geraets, who has gained 403 and is averaging 6.8 a carry through two games.
Offensively, Willmar is looking for more balance and may find it with the return of running back Levi Hauser and offensive lineman Alex Miner, who both missed the first two games.
The duo will look to assist a passing game that has, from a yardage standpoint, been one of the most productive in the state. Quarterback Donald Jurek is currently second in Minnesota with 513 passing yards, while top wideout Noah Slagter leads the state with 251 receiving yards.
Ultimately, the Cardinals' hopes for pulling out a win will likely depend on if they can protect the ball, something Coach Jon Konold acknowledged after watching his team commit seven turnovers in the first two games.
"The big thing we've got to do is limit our mistakes, Konold said "If we can do that, we should have some success. I think we match up well with them."
Friday's game kicks off at 7 p.m.