Area high school games to watch this week:
Wins have been hard to come by for Fosston and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo the last few football seasons. This year, losses have been nonexistent. The two teams match 6-0 records when they meet Friday in Fosston. At stake is the lead in Minnesota's Sect...
Wins have been hard to come by for Fosston and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo the last few football seasons.
This year, losses have been nonexistent.
The two teams match 6-0 records when they meet Friday in Fosston. At stake is the lead in Minnesota's Section 8A. One thing won't change, however -- both are guaranteed winning seasons.
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo has been a sub-.500 team each of the past two seasons, going 4-7 in 2006 -- a season in which it was the No. 6 seed in the section but advanced to the section championship game before being eliminated -- and finishing 1-8 last year.
Fosston has been below .500 for the past four seasons, going 7-30 in that span.
"It does get frustrating," Greyhounds coach Les Viken said of the recent struggles. "But we saw that there were classes coming up that had good numbers, kids who were athletic and competitive, and had parents who were very supportive.
"We have a group of kids who are more competitive. That's reflected in football this year. It was reflected in basketball and baseball last year, when we had competitive teams. We've had good athletes (in the last few seasons) but not necessarily kids who were as competitive as this group."
The Ponies struggled the last two seasons with injuries to some key players. This season, they've been healthy. They've also been stingy.
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo has outscored its opponents 141-25. Its defense has registered three shutouts and allowed no more than two touchdowns in any game with a defense led by linebacker Brent Miller and ends Dakota Kasprowicz and Kyle Borowicz.
Defense "is where most of our focus is on as a coaching staff," W-A-O coach Tony Gullikson said. "The kids are athletic. And they've played disciplined ball. They're staying with their assignments. And team speed helps; we have a lot of that."
The offense has a strong passing combination in Casey Larson-to-Ryan Oas, and Austin Owens has been a solid runner.
Fosston has averaged 30.2 points a game with a deep running game. Reed Sander and Andrew Juve are the top two backs, but when Sander missed a recent game, Matt Enerson stepped in and had a 100-yard rushing game. The Greyhounds also have been solid on defense, with a 10.5 defensive scoring average.
"Athletically, we're similar," Gullikson said. "And we run similar defenses. But we're completely different on offense. They run the veer option. We'll do a little bit of everything, throwing more and spreading the field."
In other key games in the area this week:
n Devils Lake at Valley City, Friday: The two remaining unbeatens in North Dakota's Class AA meet with the East Region lead on the line. Defense sets the tone, as neither team has allowed more than 16 points in a game all season.
n Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg at Larimore, Friday: The 4-2 Patriots are on a four-game winning streak and, with a 3-0 record in Region 2A, could take a big step toward a region title with a victory. Larimore (2-1 in 2A, 3-3 overall) stays in the title hunt with a victory.
n Langdon at North Star, Thursday: Langdon handed Rolla-Rock Lake its first loss in District 8 play last week; now the Cardinals (8-0 in district points, 18-3 overall) face the same challenge against North Star (7-0 in district points, 10-3 overall). This is a rematch of the 2007 Region 4 championship, which Langdon won.
n Win-E-Mac at Climax-Fisher, Thursday: Neither team has been beaten by a Section 8A opponent in a best-of-five match this season. They figure to be two of the top challengers for the section title.
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to email@example.com .