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H-BC, MCC, PA dominating area prep football ranks

Half of the regular season has been played in the Minnesota high school football ranks, and several area teams have been particularly impressive.

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Football practice Murray County Central Slayton Minnesota Wednesday. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

HILLS -- Thar’s gold in them thar’ hills.

And in Beaver Creek, too, apparently.

Half of the regular season has been played in the Minnesota high school football ranks, and several area teams have been particularly impressive. Hills-Beaver Creek is one of them, tearing up the 9-Man ranks despite the fact that the Patriots graduated some uniquely spectacular athletes from the previous season.

Even without now-gone speedsters Gavin Wysong (quarterback) and Tyson Bork (running back), the Pats have confidently picked up where they left off. Now the offensive star is Cole Baker, who rushed for 150 yards with four touchdowns last Friday in a 43-8 win over Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Baker, a solid basketball player and a member of the H-BC 4x100 team that competed at state last summer, was pressed into his running back position out of need.

“He’s just a good athlete,” said H-BC head coach Rex Metzger on Monday. “He didn’t play running back at all last year. He was a receiver. We knew coming into this year that we had some linemen and had some receivers, but we really didn’t have a running back. We basically just put him out there and gave him the ball.”

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And Baker’s been running with it, to put it mildly.

Hills-Beaver Creek, ranked sixth last week among the state’s 9-Man teams, is 4-0 with wins over GHEC/Truman 56-0, Madelia 51-0, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 45-12 and W-WG. The Patriots go on the road to play 2-2 Renville County West this week, then go on the road again to face a 3-1 Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey team on Oct. 8. Their final regular season game is also a toughie, against 3-1 Edgerton.

“Definitely, we’re going to be tested,” said Metzger. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’ve got a good team.”

MLA/Comfrey outscored its first three opponents 93-12 but lost 33-0 to LeRoy-Ostrander last Friday despite coming in as the top-ranked 9-Man team in the state. In its last game, the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen beat a good Red Rock Central squad 24-0 as eighth-grader Michael Gunnink rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns and senior Nolan Buckridge added another 161 yards rushing.

In Class A, Murray County Central couldn’t have hurt its No. 2 state ranking with its most recent win, a 73-0 shellacking of St. James Area on Saturday. Carter Benda scored three touchdowns and ran for 133 yards in that one, and the MCC defense held the Saints to a minus-28 total yards.

The Rebels are at 1-3 Sleepy Eye this week, then on Oct. 8 host unbeaten Martin County West.

In Class AA, Pipestone Area continues to shine. Unbeaten, the third-ranked Arrows defeated fourth-ranked Redwood Falls 14-7 on Friday. Running back Maddox Biever, who was very impressive in a Week Two 57-20 victory over Worthington, set a school record for single-game points in a Week Three 34-9 win over Sibley East. He had 247 all-purpose yards in that contest, rushing for three touchdowns and receiving a pass for another. Just for good measure, he returned an interception for a touchdown, too.

Pipestone Area is at 1-3 Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial this Friday.

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