It didn’t take long for Milaca’s football team to start looking ahead to its final two regular-season games of the season following the Wolves 49-7 loss to Becker last Friday at Becker.
“Becker dominated the game and defeated us soundly,” said Milaca Coach Randy Johnson. “There wasn’t much for us to look back on.
“So, right away our focus went to our final two games, starting with Zimmerman for homecoming this week.”
The Wolves host the Thunder tonight (Friday) at Claffy Field at 7.
“Sometimes homecoming can be somewhat of a distraction for a football team,” said Johnson. “This year I think it’s good for us – it helped take the players’ minds off the Becker game.”
Zimmerman is 2-3 in Granite Ridge Conference play and 2-4 overall following a 22-7 loss at home to St. Cloud Cathedral last Friday.
“We did not protect the football – three of our four turnovers were not forced by Cathedral,” said Zimmerman Coach Tom Kish. “Anytime that happens you are likely to lose.
“We went into this season knowing that because of our lake of experience it would be a rebuilding season. “We’ve played well at Times and not very well at other times.”
The Thunder, which topped Milaca 55-14 last year, owns victories over Mora (36-6) and Little Falls (26-21) this season, teams that Milaca has lost to.
“Zimmerman has the ability to move the ball on the ground and in the air,” said Johnson. “It will be a test but we look at it as a game we can win if we can hold our mistakes down.”
Johnson said the Wolves are “pretty” healthy going into the game.”
Milaca, 1-4 in GRC games and 1-5 overall, closes the regular-season Wednesday, Oct. 16, at home against St. Cloud Cathedral. The Crusaders, who’ve been led by the passing arm of quarterback Jeff Fasching, are 3-2 in conference play and 3-3 overall.
“Fasching’s passing ability has been a challenge for everyone,” said Johnson. “And it will be for us.
“Again, if we limit our mistakes, it’s a game we feel we can win.”
The Section 5AAA Playoffs begin Tuesday, Oct. 22. Foley (4-2) and Aitkin (5-1) are currently the top challengers for the top seed, which gets a first-round bye.
Becker, which leads the GRC with a 5-0 record and is 5-1 overall, took a 30-7 halftime lead and never looked back.
The Bulldogs rushed for 314 yards and added 81 yards passing. The Wolves had 119 yards passing but managed just six yards rushing.
Becker quarterback Michael Veldman threw three touchdown passes.
“I really like the way our defense has been playing lately and it did a very good job Friday,” said Becker Coach Dwight Lundeen. “And, our offense has been playing well – our starters have scored in 13 of our last 15 possessions.
“We’re hoping to continue that kind of play.”
Note: Statistics from the Milaca-Becker game are on page 16.