Area high school notebook: Midway-Minto celebrates end to 16-game streak
Wes Jacobson is new to the Midway-Minto losing streak. But he's glad to be a part to the end of it. Midway-Minto snapped its 16-game losing streak when it defeated Hatton-Northwood 27-12 on Friday. The winless streak dates back to the 2008 season...
Wes Jacobson is new to the Midway-Minto losing streak. But he's glad to be a part to the end of it.
Midway-Minto snapped its 16-game losing streak when it defeated Hatton-Northwood 27-12 on Friday. The winless streak dates back to the 2008 season, when Midway-Minto closed the year with back-to-back losses. The team was 0-9 last season and dropped its first five games this year under Jacobson, the team's first-year head coach.
"I knew it had been awhile since they'd won, but I didn't know how far back it went," Jacobson said. "It's nice to have the burden lifted off the kids' shoulders.
"They were ecstatic after the game, jumping around and hugging the coaches."
Nathan Linstad passed for 261 yards and one touchdown, and rushed for another score, to spark the offense. But the key score may have been Kevin Tibert's 58-yard touchdown run on Midway-Minto's first possession. That gave Midway-Minto a 7-0 lead and it never trailed again.
"When you keep losing, when something happens it's like, 'Here we go again,' '' Jacobson said. "Once we get behind, it's seemed like the wind goes out of our sails and it's been hard to get (momentum) back."
Midway-Minto finished with 456 yards in total offense.
"Hopefully, this will be a springboard for us, that the kids see now that they can win some games,'' Jacobson said.
coming on strong
Thief River Falls opened the season with a new-look defense, one that relied on reading plays and reacting. After a 28-6 loss to Warroad in the second game, the Prowlers went back to their old power-football style.
The result has been two straight wins, in which Thief River Falls had allowed a total of three touchdowns.
"We saw that we had a lot of standing around in the Warroad game," Thief River Falls coach Jeff Mumm said.
"That (read-and-react defense) wasn't our style. These kids like to go; it's an aggressive group. We're back to more of an aggressive, attacking defense. We're filling the gaps and going 100 miles an hour after the ball."
Anchoring the defense is the line of tackles John Erickson and Nick Cervantes and ends Ben Olson and Cody Wolter. In addition, opponents in the Prowlers' last two games were a combined 9-of-51 passing, with the Prowlers intercepting five passes.
"We're getting a great pass rush, and we have good, athletic defensive backs," Mumm said. "Our front four are playing extremely well. It's a very physical group, and they're good athletes. I like how our defense is playing right now."
offense on a roll
Hillsboro has a new coach this fall and a new starting quarterback. That hasn't slowed down the high-powered offense of the Burros' football team.
The 6-0 Burros have scored 50 or more points in three of their last four games. Alex McLean has rushed for 831 yards (9.4 per-carry average) this season to lead the way, while junior quarterback Brandon Otto, running the option, has rushed for 500 yards (5.7 average) and completed 23 of 38 passes for 365 yards. Hillsboro's offense averages 424 yards per game.
"Alex is a really good runner," Burros coach Scott Olsen said. "Brandon is making good decisions. And our line is playing well. The triple option is a good offense when everything is working like it has been."
And that option starts with the play of the quarterback.
"Brandon's got a real good football head," Olsen said. "He's been making good decisions. And he's gotten in enough reps in practice that he's instinctively reading the defense and reacting to what it is doing."
Hillsboro faces a Region 2 9-man matchup of unbeatens Friday when it hosts Sargent Central. Both teams are 3-0 in region play. While Hillsboro won the state title two seasons ago and lost in the state semifinals last season, Sargent Central is in the midst of a turnaround season. Sargent Central was winless in each of the past two seasons, but is off to a 5-0 start.
clicking for Falcons
Sam Macy and Lucas Solie have developed into a strong 1-2 backfield combination for the Fertile-Beltrami football team.
The two running backs have both rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the Falcons' last two games. Both were wins for Fertile-Beltrami, evening its record at 2-2.
"Sam is faster, more of a slashing type of back," Fertile-Beltrami coach Brian Nelson said. "Lucas is a muscular 200-pounder who tries to run through people instead of around them.
"They're clicking, blocking well for each other. And our line has gotten better the last few games. We'd tried different people at different positions, and we think we've got our best group put together now."
Macy wasn't an offensive starter in the first two games. When regular Bryce Swiers suffered a toe injury in the second game, Macy got an opportunity. He's rushed for 330 yards on just 34 carries, while Solie has 57 carries for 389 yards.
Swiers is back and, since he and Macy both play defense, Nelson said they'll both get their opportunities on offense.
North Prairie defense tightens
North Prairie opened the football season with back-to-back losses in which it allowed 42 and 46 points. The Cougars have followed the two losses with three straight wins, in which the team has allowed a total of 32 points.
North Prairie coach Davy Zinke credits the turnaround to the return to health of a few players, particularly linebacker Jared Vandal, and a learning curve by a young defensive unit.
"Jared has been one of our top tacklers since he got back,'' Zinke said. "Having him roaming around the field at linebacker is huge.
"And it took time for all the kids to figure out that they had to play team defense and stick to their assignments. Those first two games made the kids wake up in a hurry about what it takes to play good defense.''
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to