Flyer Field in Little Falls will more than double its capacity Friday when the Brainerd Warriors play the Flyers in a 7 p.m. Central Lakes Conference football game.
The Flyers will open a grandstand that features 1,400 seats on the south side of the field. Little Falls fans will sit on that side while visiting fans will occupy the north side of the stadium which seats about 800.
Little Falls coach Jack Marmon hopes Flyer fans don't get too comfortable in the new seats. He hopes they will be on their feet cheering the Flyers to touchdowns.
But, Marmon also is realistic. The Flyers have beaten Brainerd only twice since Ron Stolski became the Warriors' head coach in 1975. Marmon also realizes the Flyers will be decided underdogs.
"We're not so worried about what the score says," Marmon said. "We worry about how well we play, in terms of the big picture. That becomes more evident as our schedule evolves. What we do in the regular season against Class 5A schools is not that big of a deal anymore. We want to put ourselves in position to do well in the playoffs.
"We approach this as one more step in the evaluation process, but it's a pretty big step."
While Brainerd was romping past St. Cloud Apollo 44-23 in its opener, the Flyers were getting thumped 45-20 by Sartell. The Sabres amassed 464 yards to Little Falls' 184.
The passing of quarterback Noah Czech accounted for 148 Flyer yards on 11 completions in 14 attempts.
Despite the final margin, Little Falls trailed just 25-20 at one point in the third quarter.
"We never made them punt," Marmon said. "The only time we got the ball away from them was when they threw an interception at the end of the first half.
Defense was one of the Flyers' sore spots. Sartell's Brian Gasser rushed for 123 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries. Sabres quarterback Michael Mitzel completed 13 of 18 passes for 182 yards.
"Our pursuit was good," Marmon said. "We didn't do things quite right on our first step. Offensively, we did some good things but we didn't run the ball like I hope we will. We threw it fairly well."
Brainerd didn't have to throw against Apollo. The Warriors rushed for 365 of their 386 yards and Apollo turned the ball over five times.
Defensive leaders for the Warriors included linebacker Chad Weiss with 20 tackles and a pass interception for a touchdown; linebacker Fred Weiss with 13 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery; defensive back Ben Winterfeldt with 13 tackles; linebacker Mike Weiss with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery; and linebacker Matt Hyland with 11 tackles.
"We opened up pretty well," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. "We looked pretty good, the first half especially. But it's a long season. School has started. There are always a lot of concerns that kids have, and they ought to. We did not well play in our second game a year ago. That's in the back of my mind."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.