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PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Top-ranked Dutchmen host G-H-EC tonight

ELLSWORTH -- Early in the season, there is always room for improvement.

Even for the No. 1 ranked team in the state.

"We're off to a good start, but we still have room for definite improvement," Edgerton/Ellsworth head coach Andrew Fleischman said. "We've done pretty well in the games we've played and made a lot of good things happen and made a lot of good plays. The kids are working hard and it's been a lot of fun so far."

The Flying Dutchmen (3-0) host Granada-Huntley-East Chain-Martin Luther (1-2) tonight.

"We feel like we have to be ready to go every Friday," the coach said. "Our biggest thing is that we have to come out and play as well as we can. Granada has a very aggressive line and they have a very athletic quarterback. They have a line that's quite a bit bigger than we are across the board. We definitely have some things where we have our work cut out for us."

While most of the home games are played in Edgerton, tonight's game is in Ellsworth.

"It's really exciting for us," Fleischman said. "It's their Homecoming and we like going down there and playing. The game isn't in Edgerton, but it still feels like a home game and it's a definitely a great atmosphere."

Following last year's state-qualifying season, the Flying Dutchmen have been ranked No. 1 in the 9-man polls every week this season.

"We want to be the No. 1 the week we play," Fleischman said. "We just hope we're the best team on the field every Friday night we play. That's the most important thing. We just kind of take it week by week and game by game and we know those rankings don't mean a lot right now. They mean a lot at the end of the year.

"We can't control much besides how hard we play and how hard we prepare. Right now our biggest task is beating Granada."

Fleischman knows his team can't overlook the Mustangs.

"Every game for us is important," he said. "The thing about football is that you only get eight guaranteed games, so we want to enjoy every one and we want to work hard every one no matter who we're playing. Every game is special. It's going to be a very exciting atmosphere for us in Ellsworth, so we're going to be ready to play."

In other Southern Confederacy Conference action, Westbrook-Walnut Grove (2-1) is at Cleveland (0-3).

Hills-Beaver Creek takes its perfect 3-0 record on the road at Alden-Conger (1-2) in another conference game.

Jackson County Central (3-0, 2-0), which is ranked No. 4 in Class AA is at Marshall (3-0, 1-0) -- which owns a No. 9 ranking in Class AAAA -- in a key Southwest Conference game.

Windom (0-3, 0-1) is at Worthington (1-2, 1-1) in another SWC game. The Trojans, who are fresh off their first victory a week ago, are celebrating Homecoming. It is the second year in a row Windom is at Worthington for a Homecoming contest as the Eagles' game was moved to Worthington due to flooding a year ago.

Pipestone Area (1-2, 1-1) is at Luverne (1-2, 1-1) in the Battle Ax game.

In the Little Sioux Conference, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (1-2) is at Adrian (3-0), while Fulda (0-3) is at Dawson-Boyd (3-0).

Murray County Central (1-2) will look for its second win of the season at Renville County West (1-2).

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (1-2) is at Minneota (2-1).

Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's (2-1) is at Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (1-2) in a Southern Minnesota game, while Red Rock Central (1-2) is at Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart. Southwestern United (0-3) is at New Ulm Cathedral (3-0).

In Iowa games, Spirit Lake (5-0, 2-0) is at Central Lyon/George-Little Rock (3-1, 1-0) in a battle of teams with unbeaten records in Class 2A, District 1.

In the same district, Sioux Center (3-2, 1-1) is at Sheldon (4-1, 1-1) as the Orabs look to rebound following last week's loss to Spirit Lake.

North Sentral Kossuth (0-4, 0-2) is at Harris-Lake Park (4-1, 1-1) in an 8-player, District 2 game.

Sibley-Ocheyedan (2-2, 1-1) is at Pocahontas Area (0-4, 0-2) in a Class 1A, District 2 game.