Two ranked teams.
An outright Central Lakes Conference title awaits the winner.
Two of the state's top high school football teams will tee it up 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Brainerd Warriors visit the Sartell Sabres in the final game of the regular season.
"We're looking forward to playing them for the undisputed conference championship," Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. "I think our kids are looking forward to it, our staff is, and I'm sure (Sartell is) too."
Brainerd head coach Ron Stolski (right) gave some advice to Warriors senior fullback/defensive tackle Clinton Strother in Friday's game. Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
Brainerd has won or shared the last four conference titles. Sartell, in its 10th season as a conference member, has never won one.
"We're thrilled to be in a conference-championship type game," Sabres coach John Ross said. "We know we've got our work cut out for us. You've got two undefeated conference teams playing each other the last week of the season."
The Warriors, ranked fourth in Class 5A, have a shot at their second unbeaten regular season in three years. They are coming off a 42-12 pounding of Willmar.
Against Willmar, halfbacks Geoff Roberts and Brady Prince combined to rush for 120 yards and four touchdowns. Other than the game's last play the Warriors' defense restricted Willmar to 100 total yards.
Sartell is rated fourth in 4A. The Sabres edged then third-ranked and previously unbeaten Rocori 28-21 last week when quarterback Brian Kampa ran 4 yards for a touchdown with 24 seconds remaining.
Against Rocori, the Sabres' Wade Plafcan rushed for 146 yards and fullback Trent Phelps added 124.
"They like the running game, but (Kampa) is an accomplished passer, and they have good receivers," Stolski said. "They're good defensively too."
Rocori quarterback David Sauer passed for 191 yards. Eric Decker, a University of Minnesota recruit, caught six passes for 76 yards and a score.
"As far as throwing and catching the ball, I don't know if we will see a much better team than that," Ross said. "They've got a great combination, a good scheme.
"We played pretty well all-around to have a chance to beat them. They were throwing the ball, running trick plays. We wanted to keep it on the ground and pound it at them."
Brainerd will try to play a similar game against the Sabres. Prince leads the team with 822 yards and 68 points. Roberts has added 614 yards and is second in scoring with 50 points.
Linebacker Korey Horn and noseguard Ryan McKay led the defensive effort against Willmar with 11 tackles apiece. Linebacker Will Kassulker added 10.
Brainerd has outscored the opposition 244-46 and has averaged 386 total yards to its foes' 154.
"They're by far the best offensive line we're going to face," Ross said. "They've got their typical, hard running backs who come at you and pound you.
"It's going to be a big challenge for us defensively to step up against that. We've played good defense so it will be a little bit of strength on strength."
Ross believes Brainerd linebackers Horn, Kiel Browne and Kassulker inside and David Beilke and Brett Abrahamson outside might be as talented as any in the state.
"You can't match up against five guys like that, especially the three inside guys," he said.
Joe Yunek leads the Sabres in rushing with 449 yards and 3 scores. Plafcan has added 433 yards and 10 TDs and Eric Freihammer has 374 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Kampa has passed for 502 yards and 7 TDs.
Mike Bialka can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.