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Bluejays aim to make it two in a row on gridiron

Minnesota West taking on Fergus Falls at home

MWest Bluejays

WORTHINGTON -- After a poor showing offensively in the first game of the season, the Minnesota West football team found a little rhythm in last week’s victory.

“We played pretty well,” West head coach Jeff Linder said. “We still gave up too many sacks. Our offensive line improved quite a bit, but we need to get much better. If we can continue to get better as the season goes, I will be happy and so will (quarterback) Drew (Ortiz).”

After falling on road to Itasca, West held on for a narrow 20-14 victory last week against Central Lakes.

“It got a lot a little nerve-wracking at the end against Central Lakes and I don’t really care for that too much,” the coach said. “That’s how games go. They had a perfect onside kick; it was just beautiful. They happened to get it, and the defense held.”

Saturday, the Bluejays will look to continue that improvement against Minnesota State-Fergus Falls in the first division game for both teams. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Trojan Field in Worthington.

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“They’ve been working hard and focusing on getting better and that’s exciting to see,” Linder said. “We have some good leadership, and we have some really good kids.”

The Spartans enter the game 0-3, including two losses by 30-plus points. But they shouldn’t be taken lightly, according to Linder.

“Offensively, they like to motion guys and do RPO (run pass option) stuff,” he said. “They even run the option from time to time. That’s something you don’t see too often anymore. They are a good team. Fergus Falls has always given Minnesota West a hard time, and I’m sure they’d say the same thing about us.”

To be successful, West will need to be able to move the ball on the ground.

“Defensively, they like to run a 3-5,” Linder said. “They are going to try to stop the pass. We’re going to have to establish some kind of running game and deal with pressure because they will come.”

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Thursday night high school sports roundup:
The Worthington Trojans girls’ and boy’s hockey teams both played home games on Thursday night. The girls’ team celebrated Senior Night and played the non-conference Austin Packers. Austin beat Worthington 6-1.
Trailing at halftime, the Worthington High School girls basketball team outscored Albert Lea 49-27 in the second half Thursday night in Worthington
The Minnesota West men's basketball team was defeated by conference opponent Rochester Wednesday night. Bie Ruei had a big night with 26 points and four assists.