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Prep football preview: MCC doesn't need to be flashy to be successful

SLAYTON -- Injuries to two key players before the start of the 2018 high school football season seemed especially cruel to Murray County Central, which was expecting big things this fall.

SLAYTON -- Injuries to two key players before the start of the 2018 high school football season seemed especially cruel to Murray County Central, which was expecting big things this fall.

Nonetheless, head coach Patrick Freeman predicted a good year for the Rebels.

So far, he appears to be correct. MCC is 4-0 with victories over Canby 19-6, Springfield 30-14, Sleepy Eye 36-22 and New Ulm Cathedral 34-20. On Friday, the Rebels host 3-1 Dawson-Boyd.

“It’s going to be a true test,” Freeman said Tuesday.

The Blackjacks are big on the line of scrimmage, they have two outstanding running backs, and they play a physical defense.

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Other southwest Minnesota games on Friday include Worthington at Belle Plaine, St. James Area at Luverne, Jackson County Central at Martin County West, Pipestone Area at Redwood Valley, Blue Earth Area vs. Windom Area at St. James, Westbrook-Walnut Grove at Edgerton/Ellsworth, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda at Hills-Beaver Creek, Cedar Mountain/Comfrey at Red Rock Central, Adrian at New Ulm Cathedral, and Mountain Lake Area at Renville County West. In northwest Iowa, Harris-Lake Park is at Remsen St. Mary’s, MOC/Floyd Valley is at Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, and Emmetsburg is at Sibley-Ocheyedan.

Dawson-Boyd’s only loss so far was to top-ranked Minneota 47-0 in Week Two of the season. The Blackjacks’ wins have been against Adrian (58-18), Lakeview (58-20) and Lac qui Parle Valley (56-13).

Murray County Central, which is ranked No. 10 in Minnesota Class A, is led by quarterback Mason Woldt, who has demonstrated versatility as both a runner and a passer. He’s coming off a 180-yard passing performance against Cathedral while passing for two TDs and running for two more.

His passing has been a difference-maker, Freeman said. It has allowed the offense to be balanced.

“Our guys are buying in with what we’re doing,” said the coach, who adds, “We’re not flashy. We’re just doing enough just to win.”

A solid offensive line that offers excellent pass protection, along with running backs Justin Benda and Danny Blankenship, and a few others, has kept the Rebels unbeaten so far.

“It’s controlling the little things,” said Freeman. “We’ve not turned over the ball. I feel our special teams are playing well. And the offense is sustaining drives. It just puts our defense in good situations.”

Another intriguing game this week has 4-0 Pipestone Area at 4-0 Redwood Valley, pitting Class AA’s third-ranked Arrows against the eighth-ranked Cardinals. The Arrows, coming off an appearance in the 2017 state AA title game, have hit the ground running this year, winning all four of their games by 21 points or more.

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The Worthington Trojans (1-3) will be looking to bounce back after losing last Friday’s homecoming loss against St. Peter (4-0). That was a game the Trojans believed they could win, and they showed grit and determination in fighting back from an early 21-7 deficit to pull even 21-21 at halftime. But the Saints won the second half, capturing the game 35-21.

Here are the current district standings of southwest Minnesota teams, with conference records first and overall records second:

SOUTH CENTRAL RED

Jordan 4-0, 4-0

Marshall 4-0, 4-0

St. Peter 3-0, 4-0

Waseca 3-1, 3-1

Fairmont 2-1, 3-1

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Tri-City United 2-2, 2-2

Worthington 1-3, 1-3

Albert Lea 0-4, 0-4

Belle Plaine 0-4, 0-4

New Ulm 0-4, 0-4

SOUTH CENTRAL WHITE

JCC 3-0, 4-0

Pipestone Area 3-0, 4-0

Redwood Valley 3-0, 4-0

St. James Area 1-2, 2-2

Blue Earth Area 1-2, 1-3

Martin Cy West 1-2, 1-3

Luverne 0-3, 0-4

Windom Area 0-3, 0-4

SOUTHWEST EAST

MCC 3-0, 4-0

T-M-B 2-0, 4-0

Springfield 2-1, 2-2

Adrian 1-2, 1-3

Sleepy Eye 1-2, 1-3

NU Cathedral 0-2, 1-3

Wabasso 0-2, 1-3

9-MAN SOUTH WEST

MLA 4-0, 4-0

H-BC 3-1, 3-1

R-T-R 3-1, 3-1

CM/Comfrey 2-2, 2-2

HL-O/Fulda 2-2, 2-2

RRC 2-2, 2-2

W-WG 2-2, 2-2

Edgerton/Ellsworth 1-3, 1-3

RC West 1-3, 1-3

MACCRAY 0-4, 0-4

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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Friday night high school sports roundup:
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WORTHINGTON – The top 10 teams in Minnesota Class A high school gymnastics will be in Worthington on Saturday (Jan. 28) for the state True Team meet. Participating teams are Becker, Benson, Big Lake, Byron, Detroit Lakes, Mankato West, Melrose, New London-Spicer, St. Peter, and Worthington.
Tom Goehle, son of legendary coach Hugo Goehle, was once a star athlete at Hills-Beaver Creek High School. Now he gives back through coaching and his involvement in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.