PREP FOOTBALL: Game of the week: Red Rock Central at WWG
WESTBROOK – The Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers will look to keep building on what’s been a successful season thus far. The Chargers opened the season with a 4-0 record, but have lost back-to-back close games to bring their record to 4-2. They’ll look to get back on track tonight when they play host to sixth ranked Red Rock Central. The Falcons are 6-0 and coming off a 20-14 victory against Mountain Lake Area.
“We started off 4-0 and we lost last week in overtime, WWG co-coach Leo Theisen said. “The week before that we gave up a touchdown late. It’s been two heartbreaking losses. We have been trying to fix the mistakes that we’ve made the last two weeks. Red Rock Central is 6-0, but they have had some close ones. They scored a touchdown late last week to beat Mountain Lake. The key for us is to eliminate mistakes.”
In the previous two season the Chargers have won a total of four games. The Chargers have already matched that total this year. No win would be bigger for the program then handing RRC their first loss of the season.
“It would be big for us, especially at this stage in the season,” Theisen said. “Let’s face it, losing two games in the last seconds is tough. We’ve been looking forward to this Red Rock game all season. We haven’t played them in 20 years. They are a Top 10 team. This is a key game of the year. It’s a home game. If we win this game we can still end up with a No. 1 seed in the section. We still have a chance to tie for the conference championship. There is a lot on the line. We are very optimistic. We really think we can get the job done.”
RRC and WWG both possess balanced attacks on offense. The Falcons are led on the ground by 1,000-yard rusher Sam Hanson. Hanson is averaging 8.3 yards per carry.
Garrett Marsh is the man under center for the Falcons. The senior quarterback has passed for 698 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Marsh’s go to guy is fellow senior Brady Rasmussen. Rasmussen leads the team with nine touchdown receptions.
“Red Rock is a well balanced team,” Theisen said. “They have a running back that has over 1,000 yards. They also have a wide receiver that has caught seven, eight or nine touchdown passes. They are a team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. We are pretty evenly matched.”
Anthony Ross is a three-year starter for the Chargers at quarterback. At the beginning of the year Ross was in the Top 10 in the state in several passing categories. (Statistics for WWG have not been updated on mnfootballhub.com).
“He’s a three-year starter,” Theisen said. “He’s been through a lot of injuries during his career. He has a lot of determination. He has fought back from an ACL injury and meniscus surgery. He just keeps coming back. He’s a true leader. He’s aggressive and he has the whole team in mind. He’s a great student and and a great leader. He’s good at everything he does.”
Ross has no shortage of weapons around him. Andrew Quade and Kyle Kuehl are two of the leading rushers in the conference, while Nathan Ross is one of the top receivers in the conference. Quade is also one of the top receiving threats in the conference.
“We are balanced,” Theisen said. “We have Quade and Kuehl coming out of the backfield. They are two of the leaders statisticswise in the conference. We are about as balanced as we’ve ever been. That’s definitely our strong point.”
The Chargers have lost back to back one possession games. WWG suffered their first loss of the season to Edgerton/Ellsworth, 18-12. They followed that up with another close call to Renville County West, 34-30. Theisen said the team’s focus this week has been sustaining drives.
“The emphasis this week is to maintain drives,” Theisen said. “We’ve had a couple cases in the past two weeks where we had chances to put a game away, but we were unable to maintain drives in the fourth quarter. That’s been an emphasis for us.”
The Marshall Tigers will look to remain unbeaten on Friday when they hit the road to take on Tri-City United. The Tigers are currently 6-0 and are coming off a 37-7 victory over St. Peter. Tri-City owns a 2-4 record and they are coming off a 40-8 victory over Albert Lea.
Last week the Tigers churned out 455 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Jefferson Lee V led the way with 189 rushing yards and one touchdown. Billy Giannelli crossed the 100-yard mark with 146 yards and three touchdowns. Trey Lance rushed for 50 yards and one touchdown.
MCC at Wabasso
It will be a battle of two 2016 state tournament teams in Wabasso on Friday when the Murray County Central Rebels travel to Wabasso to take on the second ranked Rabbits.
The Rabbits appear to have the makings of another state tournament team, as they are currently 6-0 and coming off an impressive 38-0 win against New Ulm Cathedral.
The Rebels on the other hand are trending in the wrong direction. The Rebels opened the season with three straight wins, but have since lost three straight, including a disappointing, 26-21 loss to Adrian last week.
In the last five games the Rabbits have outscored their opponents, 235-19 and have pitched three shutouts during that stretch.
RTR at Edgerton/Ellsworth
The game in Edgerton on Friday between Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and Edgerton/Ellsworth will have a big impact on the nine-man west standings. Both the Knights and the Dutchmen with identical 4-2 records.
The Knights have won their past two games, including a 54-6 thrashing of the Fulda Raiders last week. The Dutchmen had their four-game winning streak snapped last week when they were tripped up by Hills-Beaver Creek, 32-16.
The Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks will look to extend their winning streak to five on Friday when they travel to Granite Falls to take on Yellow Medicine East. The Sting own a 1-5 record and they’re coming off a 21-6 loss to Lac qui Parle Valley.
The Blackjacks are coming off a 32-0 victory over the Canby Lancers. The Blackjacks had a pair of 100 yard rushers last week and amassed 362 yards on the ground.
Bentley Boike led the way with 202 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Colton Husby rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Cathedral at TMB
The Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers will look to bounce back this week after suffering a 36-0 loss to Sleepy Eye last week. The Panthers will welcome New Ulm Cathedral to town Friday as the Panthers go for their fifth win of the season.
The Greyhounds will come to town with an identical 4-2 record. They are coming off a 38-0 loss to second ranked Wabasso.