They both started out with a loss, but when the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines and Staples-Motley Cardinals knock helmets at 7 p.m. Friday at Wadena look out.
The Cardinals lost their opener to Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 20-8 while W-DC fell to Crookston 36-14 last week. After a week of practice both teams hope to have ironed out any problems.
Last year, the Cardinals blanked W-DC 21-0 at Staples. Quarterback Matt Mosack leads an experienced Cardinal team that will look for their first victory of the season as well as their first Northern Lakes Conference win.
"They have just about everybody back and they're good at every position," said Wolverines coach Ryan Kapping. "Their fullback (Kyle Detloff) is a big kid. He runs hard and when he gets the ball he's hard to bring down. (Mosack) has been playing for three years now so he knows how to win.
"Plus, you have to worry about their tight end (Adam) Barnett. I don't know if he had a bad game last week, but he's one of the best athletes in the conference."
For W-DC, the Wolverines need to establish the run, something they couldn't do against Crookston. With a new-look backfield, W-DC will look to an offensive line that is equally inexperienced because of injuries.
"The offensive line needs to step up," said Kapping. "We need those guys to play well and maintain their blocks."
S-M will run the option and Kapping is also concerned about that. He's also hoping that his players can match the Cardinals' toughness.
What S-M and head coach Ryan Beachy are worried about is themselves. Last week against LP-GE the Cardinals had 12 fumbles and 14 penalties. They'll have to clean up their play in order to win.
"Our quarterback needs to step up and take a leadership role," said Beachy. "It's just simply somebody saying that's it. No more mistakes."
W-DC's inexperience might be a plus as nobody knows much about the Wolverines. Beachy must rely on his past knowledge of W-DC in order to plan for the blue and yellow.
"I don't know a whole bunch about their team," said Beachy. "They're pretty young. They still get off the ball like they've always done. We have to be prepared for them getting after us."
Unless the Pillager Huskies make it back to the section finals (which they should), this Friday might be their biggest game of the year.
It's a rematch of last year's Section 6A final between the Huskies and Bertha-Hewitt Bears.
Last year, Pillager upset the Bears 19-14 at the Fargodome after losing to B-H 49-6 early in the regular season.
Last week' Pillager cruised past Browerville 41-8 behind the quick feet of Jeff Pace while Bertha-Hewitt snuck past Upsala/Swanville 21-12.
The question for Pillager will be which back, if any, can break open this week's game.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pillager.
The Pierz Pioneers volleyball team is 5-0 under new head coach Wally Brown. The Pioneers will get their chance to move to 6-0 when they travel to Big Lake Thursday.
Tracy Bell and Kari Block both had exceptional games Aug. 30 in a 3-0 win over Crosby-Ironton. Bell finished 9-of-10 serving with one ace while Block was 11-11 serving with two aces, eight kills and six blocks.
The two also combined for 25 set assists which Jodie Solinger collected five kills, Lexie Palo six and Allyson Kloss five.
The Pioneers will need more great play from Bell and Block if they hope to continue their winning ways.
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