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Prep football preview: Tough Tigers coming to Worthington

WORTHINGTON -- Look out! The Marshall Tigers are coming to town. The Worthington Trojans football team will find itself a distinct underdog on Friday when it hosts the Marshall Tigers, who are once again -- as they were last year -- a southwest M...

WORTHINGTON -- Look out! The Marshall Tigers are coming to town.

The Worthington Trojans football team will find itself a distinct underdog on Friday when it hosts the Marshall Tigers, who are once again -- as they were last year -- a southwest Minnesota powerhouse.

Marshall is 2-0 with a 70-0 victory over Albert Lea and a 58-0 win over Belle Plaine.

Just like they were last year, the Tigers are early-starters. They outscored Belle Plaine 48-0 in the first half.

Worthington, 0-2, has struggled in the first halves of both of its first two games of the season. The Trojans spotted Jordan a 44-0 lead in the first half of their opener, and then on Friday trailed New Ulm 25-0 in the first half. In both games, the Trojans found some offense, but it was too late as they wound up on the losing ends of 51-21 and 44-16 losses.

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WHS head coach Gene Lais is anxious for Friday’s big test.

“We’re just looking forward to playing Friday night, playing at home -- kind of excited about that -- playing in front of the home crowd,” he said. “Should be a physical game. They have a very good offense, a very good defense. We’re just going to focus on getting better and see what happens from there.”

Marshall, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A, was beaten by Marshall 64-0 in Worthington last year. Friday’s game will be the Trojans’ 2017 home opener.

Speedy MHS running back Jefferson Lee gave the Trojans nothing but air in last year’s game, and he’s back again. Quarterback Trey Lance passed for 230 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s victory over Belle Plaine, which was held to a total of 72 yards of offense.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Battle of 2-0 teams Elsewhere around the area, intriguing matchups have Red Rock Central at Hills-Beaver Creek and Westbrook-Walnut Grove at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. All four teams are 2-0 on the young season.

Red Rock Central defeated traditional 9-Man power Edgerton/Ellsworth 35-24 in its season opener and followed that up with a 48-6 win over Fulda. Sam Hansen carried 15 times for 186 yards against the Raiders and Garrett Marsh completed 7 of 12 passes for 118 yards.

Hills-Beaver Creek, ranked No. 8 in 9-Man, is coming off victories 48-0 over Heron Lake-Okabena and 28-20 over Mountain Lake Area. The Patriots will undoubtedly be playing with a lot of emotion on Friday after losing senior back Trenton Bass to a serious neck injury.

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The W-WG game with R-T-R matches two teams who struggled last year, as the Chargers posted a 2-7 record and the Knights went 3-6. Today, the Chargers are ranked No. 11 in state 9-Man football and hold wins 58-14 over Fulda and 42-34 over MACCRAY.

Junior W-WG quarterback Anthony Ross completed 23 of 32 passes for 249 yards last week and teammate Andrew Quade rushed 25 times for 137 yards.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton earned its wins over Renville County West 46-20 and Heron Lake-Okabena 44-6.

Another area unbeaten, Murray County Central, hosts an 0-2 Sleepy Eye team in its homecoming on Friday. The Rebels are ranked No. 4 in Class 1A.

Jackson County Central, No. 4 in Class 3A, will attempt to win its third straight at home against 0-2 Blue Earth Area.

Northwest Iowa’s Harris-Lake Park Wolves, that state’s 8-Player second-place team in 2016, is coming off a rare regular season loss, 58-32, to Remsen St. Mary’s. The Wolves went undefeated in the regular season last year, but injuries early this fall are doing them no favors. Turnovers also hurt them against RSM, as they surrendered four of them.

On Friday, H-LP (2-1) travels to play 0-2 Clay Central-Everly, which lost its games by a combined 107-18 score.

 

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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