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Bluejays fly to Northland with 3-1 record

Minnesota West Bluejays

WORTHINGTON -- Call them “home warriors.”

The Minnesota West football Bluejays have won three straight games at home and own a nifty 3-1 record. But they haven’t been on the road for nearly five weeks (they lost their opener 26-0 at Itasca and had a second-week bye). Today (Saturday), the Jays get on the bus again to play 2-3 Northland at Thief River Falls.

Head coach Jeff Linder isn’t calling it a “statement” game, but he says the Bluejays still have something to prove. They haven’t had a road game in more than a month, and the last time they were on the road, they didn’t play well.

Though the Pioneers have a losing record, they also have a winning tradition.

“It’s pretty tough to win up there. We need to make sure we start much, much better than we did last week against Vermilion,” Linder said.

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In last week’s 38-33 win over Vermilion Community College, the Iron Men ran back Minnesota West’s opening kickoff for a touchdown. The Jays recovered, but their mistakes down the stretch made what should have been a convincing victory into a close game.

Linder made clear moments after last Saturday’s triumph that the Jays should have played a more consistent game, and this week he said the players responded well.

“I’ve seen a lot of hard work, and I’ve seen a lot of young men who are putting in the extra time to make sure they’re doing things right,” he explained.

Northland is coming off a win, beating MState-Fergus Falls 21-14 last weekend. The Pioneers managed only eight first downs on offense, but they threw for 210 yards while holding MState to 42 yards of total offense. Northland running back Trenod Desrosier gained 145 yards rushing on 18 carries, scoring two touchdowns.

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