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College football: Minnesota West in need of a win

WORTHINGTON -- On a freshman-dominated team, it makes sense to be patient. But only up to a point. The Minnesota West Community and Technical College football team has played five games during the 2017 campaign. The Bluejays are 1-4, coming off a...

WORTHINGTON -- On a freshman-dominated team, it makes sense to be patient.

But only up to a point. The Minnesota West Community and Technical College football team has played five games during the 2017 campaign. The Bluejays are 1-4, coming off another rough defensive performance in a 51-23 road loss to Dakota College.

It’s time, said head coach Jeff Linder this week, to begin playing like a veteran unit.

“I’ve said before that we’re young, but I’m not gonna use that excuse any more. We should be acclimated to the game right now,” Linder said.

The Bluejays are not in a good mood this week. Their defense continues to struggle, and last weekend the offense -- which had operated smoothly in recent weeks -- was controlled by Dakota College. Reginald Colson III, the MCAC’s top receiver, caught just four passes for 49 yards. Quarterback Peyton Kendrick, one of the conference’s most prolific quarterbacks, completed just six of 14 passes for 55 net yards.

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Today (Saturday, Oct. 7) at 1 p.m., Minnesota West hosts Northland Community College at Trojan Field.

“Last year was a really close game,” Linder recalled about the 2016 meeting. “They’re a very physical team. They like to get down the field in a hurry and they swarm with their defense.”

For Kendrick, it’s a reunion of sorts. He transferred this year from Northland to West.

Further complicating matters for Minnesota West is the injury situation, particularly on the defensive side. Three players are coming off concussions. Another had an MRI scheduled on Thursday for what could be a broken arm. Still another player saw his season come to an end due to a knee injury.

“We’re down some players and we’re going to have to have some guys step up,” Linder said.

Northland (4-1) is coming off a 38-35 victory over Ridgewater. The Pioneers’ quarterback, Shannon Patrick, leads the MCAC in passing yards per game (355.4) and touchdowns (15). His favorite receiver, Malik Williams, is No. 2 in the conference in yards receiving per game (124.2) and touchdowns (9).

Colson is still the leader in yards per game (146.0) and touchdowns (11).

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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