Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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Having a running back who can rush for 1,000 yards in a season even when the opposing team knows what’s coming is a luxury good programs have at the 9-man level. Barring injury, Brandon-Evansville could have two of those by season’s end. Senior McKenon Plaster and junior Taylor Bitzan have left defenders grasping all season, and nothing changed in an easy 59-6 homecoming win over Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart on Friday night.
The Alexandria boys soccer team snapped a six-game winless streak by shutting out Fergus Falls (1-12) in a 3-0 game on Thursday night. The Cardinals (5-6-1, 3-4-1 CLC) got going in the 15th minute when Michael Kuhn took an assist from Cameron Rice and found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Kuhn added his second of the night in the 31st minute on a penalty kick that made it 2-0 at the break. In the 41st minute, Justin Schmitz put the finishing touches on the win with a goal that was assisted by AJ Bollman.
The Alexandria cross country teams ran in some ideal conditions at the annual John Hermes Invitational in Fergus Falls on Thursday as the boys took second and the girls won the varsity meet with 50 points. The Miller sisters continue to put together strong seasons as freshman Bethany was second overall in 20:08.7, and seventh-grader Aleah was not far behind in fourth place with a time of 20:25.5. Senior Megan Shulstad was also in the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in 21:10.2.
Brandon-Evansville made easy work of Little Eight Conference foe Ashby in the Chargers' homecoming match on Thursday, winning in straight sets 25-9, 25-12 and 25-18. The Arrows (0-13) are struggling to find their way this season as they have yet to pick up a set in 13 losses, and Brandon-Evansville (11-6, 5-2) didn't let them get going.
The Alexandria girls soccer team won its second straight game by a 1-0 final after the Cardinals edged Fergus Falls in Central Lakes Conference play on Thursday. The lone goal came with 12:54 remaining in the second half. McKenna Smith found Kaye Paschka, who beat the Fergus Falls' defense and Otters' keeper Katie Minge. It was the third straight shutout for the Cardinals and senior keeper Emma Ziegler. She finished with five saves, while Minge took the loss despite 13 saves.
Homecoming games tend to bring with them a little more enthusiasm no matter what kind of a season a team is having. For Alexandria, the opportunity to play on Saturday afternoon makes the Cardinals the only show in high school football in the area. Add to it the fact that they are a 4-0 team putting up a district-best 47.8 points per game, and it should make for an exciting atmosphere when Bemidji comes to town for a 2 p.m. kickoff this weekend.
It's cliché in football to say that success starts up front at the line of scrimmage, but most clichés in sports are clichés because they're true. The Brandon-Evansville football team believes wholeheartedly in that popular gridiron mantra. Players and head coach Tim Pattrin are quick to say where three straight dominant wins and a 3-1 record through four weeks has originated.
FOOTBALL Osakis vs. Frazee, 7 p.m. B-E vs. BLH, 7 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Sauk Centre, 7 p.m. WCA-A vs. BBE, 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie at KMS, 7 p.m. GIRLS TENNIS...
VOLLEYBALL Alexandria vs. Moorhead, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at B-EV, 7:30 p.m. B-E vs. Ashby, 7:15 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Melrose, 7 p.m. WCA vs. Ortonville, 7 p.m. BOYS SOCCER Alexandria at...
Football - Offense - Chris Backes, QB, St. Cloud Tech: Finished 28-of-43 passing with 339 yards and rushed 22 times for 117 yards and two scores in a win over Rocori. Football - Defense - Mitch Zayas, Sartell: Eight solo tackles, three assisted tackles and four tackles for loss against Bemidji. Boys soccer - Offense - Aden Davis, Brainerd: Scores four goals and had two assists last week. Boys soccer - Defense - Gabe Villalobos, St. Cloud Tech.