Archive for HJ Sports




MAYER – The beat went on for the Mayer Lutheran football team as they improved to 4-0 with another blowout win against Medford Friday night. With the win, the Crusaders join Kenyon-Wanamingo as the only undefeated teams left in the district.

Zander Flucas got the Crusaders off to another fast start. Flucas broke a 35-yard touchdown run, and just like that, the Crusaders had an early 7-0 lead. Baden Noennig added another score later in the quarter as he found Kenson Boelke for a 20-yard touchdow pass, extending the lead to 14-0.

The Tigers, who fall to 0-4 on the season with the loss, answered right back after the touchdown pass with a kickoff return for a touchdown, but it was all Crusaders after that. Mayer Lutheran would score 28 unanswered points to pick up the road win and stay undefeated on the season.


LP/HT 26, J-W-P 7

JANESVILLE – Coming off a disappointing loss at home, the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football bounced back in a big way with a convincing 26-7 road victory in the battle of the Bulldogs.

After falling behind early, the Bulldogs rallied with 26 unanswered points to pick up the road win.

Scores from Tyler Scheevel and Dylan Ruzicka paves the way for the Bulldogs on offense, as the improved to 3-1 in the Mid Southeast West district.



WATERTOWN –  In a back-and-forth affair, it was the Dassel-Cokato Chargers who came out with a 22-10 victory Friday night. With heavy hearts as their teammate and friend Jacob Macdonald passed away earlier in the day, the Chargers played some inspired football for their fallen teammate.

The Chargers held a 9-7 lead at the half, but the Royals took the lead shortly before the fourth quarter. A 22-yard field goal gave the Royals the lead at 10-7, but it was all Chargers the rest of the way.

A 15-yard touchdown catch from Trevor Kaiser gave the Chargers the lead back, and they added more to it after a Watertown-Mayer turnover.

With the win, the Chargers improved to 3-1, while the Royals dropped to 1-3.

Check out the September 29 edition of the Herald Journal for complete game stories for Mayer Lutheran, LP/HT, and Watertown-Mayer. 





PREP FOOTBALL: Lakers take step in right direction against Maple Lake

HOWARD LAKE – Coming off a blowout loss a week ago, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted football team was looking to bounce back against their arch rival Maple Lake Friday night. The Lakers did just that with an impressive defensive effort, but ultimately fell short as the Irish held on for a 7-0 victory in a defensive battle throughout.

Maple Lake’s Alex Toedter scored form 25 yards out with just over a minute left in the first quarter, and that’s the scoring there would be as both defenses were in control the rest of the way.

The Lakers, who fall to 1-2 in the Mid State Sub 1 District with the loss, finally got their offense going in the second half, but three interceptions kept them from reaching the end zone. The Lakers had just 54 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half, but controlled things in the second half on both sides of the ball.

With just over nine minutes left to play, senior Quarterback Brennan Barth led his team on a nice drive hoping to tie the game. After getting into Maple Lake’s side of the field, the Lakers were picked off once again as the Irish held on for the win despite just two first downs in the second half.

The Lakers are back in action Friday, Sept. 29 at Paynesville.  Look for a full recap on the matchup between the Lakers and Irish in the September 29 edition of the Herald Journal.




Mayer Lutheran 42, Medford 8

Kenyon-Wanamingo 8, Bethlehem Academy 0

LP/HT 26, J-W-P 7

St. Clair 30, United South Central 26

Southland 27, MN Valley Lutheran 6



Delano 26, Holy Family 6

Dassel-Cokato 22, Watertown-Mayer 10

Annandale 32, Litchfield 22

Glencoe-Silver Lake 21, Albany 14



Maple Lake 7, HLWW 0

Paynesville 48, Holdingford 27

EV-W 27, Rockford 0

Pierz 17, Melrose 0


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Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports

PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Lakers moving on and focused on rival Maple Lake

HOWARD LAKE – Week 3 has come and gone, and the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School football team is moving on. Coming off a 56-0 loss to Melrose last week, it’s nothing but looking forward for the Lakers in Week 4.

“It’s 24 hours for a win, 24 hours for a loss,” senior quarterback Brennan Barth said.
“That’s how we look at it. You got to move on right away. Still talk about what we can fix, but otherwise, get past it as quick as we can. You just got to come out and go hard. You got to forget about losing. That’s all you got to do. You go to move on.”

In the tough loss last week, the Lakers had their weaknesses shown, which has meant there was a lot of things to work on before their matchup with rival Maple Lake Friday night.

“It exposed our weaknesses,” Lakers coach Ben Anderson said. “It exposed the things that we really need to work on. As long as you take it on the chin and move on from it, you can grow from something like that. That’s what we’ve been kind of preaching from this all week. We’ve been exposed. We know that we got to get better. We watched the film, and there’s about a dozen plays that made the game ugly. A lot of them were self-inflicted wounds, like guys not doing their assignments. Things we can control that really don’t involve the type of athletes we are, just guys in the wrong spots and not where they should be.”

With the loss behind them, the Lakers get to take on their biggest rival, the Maple Lake Irish at home Friday night. Not only is it a rivalry game, it will also be Tackle Cancer night.

“Beyond excited,” Barth said about the rivalry game. “Beyond excited, but I know it’s just like any other game. That’s all we’re treating it like. Just another game.”

As much as Barth and the Lakers are treating it like a normal game, that’s not case. The rivalry between the Lakers and the Irish has been lopsided the past few seasons, with the Irish winning 13 of the past 15 matchups since 2008. The last time the Lakers beat the Irish was back in 2015 in the Section 4AA championship game.

“We talked about it being a rivalry,” Anderson said. “We said we got to up the ante on our end. It’s been about 10 years, and I think we’ve only won one or two games. We’ll try to make it a real rivalry here and get these guys fired up about it. It’s been kind of a mental block in their heads for some of them a long time, and it’s got to go. Otherwise it’s no longer going to be a rivalry anymore.”

When two teams that battle each and every year and know each other inside and out, turnovers are a big factor in who comes out victorious.

“When we have lost to them, we’ve lost the turnover battle or we’ve had some really tough penalties,” Anderson said. “Things that we can control. Turnovers are always big, especially in rivalry games. Special teams are big, as well, but turnovers are always a big one. If any game we win the turnover battle, you got to feel pretty good that you’re going to win the game.”

With a week of practice before taking on the Irish, the Lakers have been focusing on doing the things they can control well, and not worrying about anything else.

“It is eye-opening for them to realize that if I just communicated better with the guy next to me, we would have been fine,” Anderson said. “They’re ready to bounce back. We try to all week focus on things we can control. We can’t control calls, we can’t control the ref’s calls, we can’t control sometimes turnovers. If we take care of the things that we can control, we give ourselves a win every Friday we feel like. Guys came, and they got better this week. We felt like things we needed to improve on have have gotten better. So, hopefully, we’re able to bring our best effort Friday.”

Irish/Lakers Rivalry

Past Matchups

2007: HLWW 12, Maple Lake 0

2007: HLWW 12, Maple Lake 0

2008: Maple Lake 31, HLWW 21

2008: Maple Lake 20, HLWW 19

2009: Maple Lake 27, HLWW 6

2010: Maple Lake 20, HLWW 13

2011: Maple Lake 40, HLWW 28

2011: Maple Lake 41, HLWW 14

2012: Maple Lake 37, HLWW 7

2012: Maple Lake 27, HLWW 6

2013: Maple Lake 48, HLWW 21

2013: Maple Lake 34, HLWW 21

2014: Maple Lake 51, HLWW 6

2015: Maple Lake 46, HLWW 14

2016: Maple Lake 40, HLWW 0

PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bulldogs ready to move on after suffering first loss

LESTER PRAIRIE – It was one of those games where everything seemed to go wrong for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football team against United South Central. With the game in the past, there’s only one thing the Bulldogs can do.

“We need to let this game go and move on,” Bulldogs coach Joe Scoblic said. “JWP is not going to feel bad for us. That all being said, I feel this is a talented group of young men. This is only one game. The season is not even half over. We need to have a good week of practice so we can feel we deserve to win again, and I believe these guys will do it.”

After looking back on the game and seeing the things that went wrong and what went right, the Bulldogs have set their focus on J-W-P.

“We watched the film. We showed them what they did right and what they did wrong, and we’ve moved on,” Scoblic said. “We just can’t dwell on that game.”

With last week’s disapointing loss behind them, the Bulldogs have a lot to prepare for against J-W-P, a team also coming off a tough 39-6 loss to Mayer Lutheran last week.

“I think they are going to try and bully us,” Scoblic said. “They’ve got some big kids. They’re not super fast on the line, but they’re big kids. I believe they’re going to bully us. They’re going to trap us. If we can do what we’re practicing right now, and shut that stuff down early, it’s going to be a whole different game than if we let them bully us.”

With players like senior Wyatt Teubert, who’s been a monster inside on defense this season for the Bulldogs, the defense is more than capable of stopping the run against the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs know what they’ll have to do to come out with a road win, but they first have to let go of last week’s loss and not let it lead to antother one.

“In my mind, I’ve moved on, and I’ve encouraged the kids to move on,” Scoblic said. “We can’t let one win cost us two wins. They use to say that when Michigan beat you. It costs you two losses because you lost, and then you’re down about it yet and then lost again. We just can’t do that. You’ve go to move on. 3-1 will be pretty darn nice. We can’t be 4-0 anymore, so let’s be 3-1.”

PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Royals need to limit turnovers against Dassel-Cokato

WATERTOWN – What has been the strength of the Watertown-Mayer football team this season has begun to show some cracks, but that’s no need to panic.

The Royals’ defense, which forced eight turnovers and allowed just 16.5 points a game, head into the match up with the Dassel-Cokato Chargers, looking to get back on track after falling 35-14 to Holy Family last week.

The Chargers, who enter the game with a 2-1 record, offer plenty of different formations that will make it tough for the Royals’ defense.

“They do a lot of really good things on offense,” Watertown-Mayer coach Nick Urban said. “They try to get their guys out in space and they’ll still try to run the ball, as well. We got to be consistent with our coverages and tackle well. I don’t think we tackled very well the last couple games. We got to be more precise in our tackling, especially in the open field.”

The battle on first down will be a big one for the Royals Friday night. If they can win that battle, that will give pass rushers like Zac Neaton and Dylan Matter a chance to get going.

“They’ll do some stuff offensively where they’ll try to spread us out and put us in tough positions and try to isolate guys,” Urban said. “We just got to be able to win a couple of those individual matchups on big downs. I think it goes back to winning first down. Putting them in second and long, and continuing to be successful that way.”

Along with winning the battle on first down, the Royals will need to get the running game going, and it starts with the offensive line. After rushing for just just three yards against Glencoe-Silver Lake in Week 2, the Royals ran for 105 yards against Holy Family last week.

“It all starts up front with our offensive line,” Urban said. “We’ve got to be better. We’ll really try to work with those guys and try to communicate a bit more effectively so that we can be more successful. We’ve got to be able to run the ball. I thought we did a pretty good job of throwing the ball last Friday, but we have to be more effective and more consistent in running the football so that we can open up the pass.”

Against Holy Family, the Royals threw the ball more than they have all season long. Sophomore Ansen Dulas was making his first career start at varsity, and may get the start against D-C Friday night, as well.

“We’ll see what happens with him and Jack going forward,” Urban said. “I’m sure they’ll both split time going forward and just see if anyone takes the reigns and really takes over. Just with where our numbers are at, they’ll both have to play offense and defense, so those kids are going to get a ton of time.”

With some uncertainty at quarterback, the Royals will have their hands full as the Chargers present a challenge with their style of defense. With fast and talented athletes, the Chargers like to mix up their formations on defense to keep their opposition on their toes.

“As far as what they do defensively, they really do a nice job,” Urban said. “They play a little more unorthodox defense. Something you don’t see all the time. There’s a 3-4 look and they’ll pull their safety down in the box quite a bit, so it’s a unique challenge for our guys to prepare for that. They do a really good job of flying around, making tackles, and forcing turnovers. They’ve done a nice job the last couple weeks scoring off of turnovers.”

Kickoff between the Chargers and Royals is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at Watertown-Mayer High School.