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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Third-ranked Barnesville was as good as advertised on Friday night as the Trojans came to Osakis with a Prairie North title on the line and left for home with a 41-0 win. Barnesville showed off its speed everywhere on the field from the very beginning. Osakis went three-and-out on the opening possession before Austin Martz blocked the punt as the ball went through the end zone for a 2-0 lead right off the bat.
The Alexandria football team has a chance to gain a little momentum heading down the stretch as it goes on the road to face a 2-4 Buffalo team tonight. Cardinals' head coach Mike Empting said his players put together a couple good days of practice early this week. After getting over the sting of a 21-12 loss to Rocori, Alexandria has shifted its focus to finishing strong in its last two regular-season games. "The kids are still practicing hard," Empting said. "They recognize we still have a lot to play for.
The Parkers Prairie football team got its first win of the season last Friday night after three touchdowns in the final quarter led the Panthers to a 26-14 win over Verndale. Junior Tyler Schlosser capped off a huge night with two of those touchdowns in the fourth that helped the Panthers pull away. Schlosser erased an 8-7 lead for Verndale with a 47-yard scoring run. He then made it a two-possession game with a seven-yard run that gave his team a 20-8 lead. Schlosser finished the night with 162 yards on 14 carries.
The Brandon-Evansville football team is in the midst of a daunting stretch of the schedule that this team never anticipated, heading into the season. The Chargers had a Tuesday night game this week where they took care of Renville County West 30-0 in a contest that was added to the schedule just recently. It was the second in what will be a stretch of four games in 14 days to wrap up the regular season. For the Chargers, it will be a welcome relief just to get out on the field. Brandon-Evansville moved to 2-0 after a 48-12 win at Hancock on September 9.
The fact that the Cardinals had every opportunity to beat the likely top seed in their section was little consolation for the Alexandria football team on Saturday afternoon. Instead, the Cardinals were left lamenting another slow start that ultimately resulted in a 21-12 loss to Rocori. Lightning postponed the game by 20 hours before things finally got under way at 3 p.m. at Citizen's Field. The Spartans showed no effects of two long bus rides as they immediately jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Fergus Falls volleyball team continued its impressive run through the Central Lakes Conference last Thursday on a night when the Otters and Alexandria teamed up in the fight against cancer. Both teams were decked out in pink as they kicked off Cancer Awareness Month with a "Block Out Cancer" night. Fergus Falls then went out and defended its home court and earned its 15th straight win in the process. The Otters have established themselves as the top team in the CLC this season after moving to 10-0 with the 3-1 win over Alexandria.
The Alexandria football team overcame a 14-0 deficit to give itself a chance late in the fourth quarter before coming up short in a 21-12 game against Rocori on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals took over on their own 10-yard line with 10:47 left in the game and down by two. They drove into Spartans' territory before Rocori came up with a stop on fourth and two near the 30-yard line. Two plays later, Rocori quarterback Nate Meyer side-stepped a tackle in the hole before busting off a touchdown run of about 65 yards that made it a 20-12 game.
Things don't get much easier for the Alexandria football team tonight after taking on the No. 5 ranked team in Class 4A last week. The Cardinals saw first-hand the kind of athletes Bemidji has at the skill positions in a 35-6 loss to the Lumberjacks last Friday. Now they have to deal with a similar style of offense from a Rocori team that has won four straight games after dropping a 28-20 game at Brainerd in the season opener. "We're going to see more of the same from Rocori that we saw from Bemidji," Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said on Wednesday. "They run that spread option game.
The Alexandria Blizzard got rid of a bad taste in its mouth left over from a 9-3 loss in Bismarck by playing a much cleaner game in a 3-2 win over Minot last Friday night. Forward Tucker Coborn took advantage of a power play late in the third to break a 2-2 tie. Newly acquired Charlie Aus assisted him with just more than a minute left in the game as Coborn secured the first Central Division win of the season for his team. "We competed hard," head coach Doc DelCastillo said. "The guys found a way to get a win.
Former Alexandria Cardinal standout Thomas Williams has earned the trust of his Blizzard teammates to the point where they named him as the team captain for the 2011-2012 season recently. The second-year forward made progress in his first season with the Blizzard. He worked his way into a position where he was getting steady ice time as he racked up 44 points on 10 goals and 34 assists last year. Head coach Doc DelCastillo saw him taking on a much bigger role heading into this season. Williams has not disappointed through five games played. He already has six points and five goals.