FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Delano returns home looking for a win against St. Cloud Apollo

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

DELANO — “It will be nice to be home.”

That is the thought of Delano football coach Merrill Pavlovich heading into Friday night’s home game against St. Cloud Apollo.

It will be just the third home game in seven weeks for the Tigers, who are limping into the game with a 3-3 record after losing three straight games to three ranked opponents.

Delano is coming off a 30-12 loss at Hutchinson, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 4A. That game was preceded by a 26-13 loss at No. 7 Becker. The first loss was a 27-7 defeat on the Tigers’ homecoming night to No. 10 Rocori.

Delano is hoping the return home will help them do to St. Cloud Apollo what five other teams have done this season, defeat them.

After topping St. Francis 31-24 in Week 1, the Eagles have dropped their last five games, and stand at 1-5.

Three opponents Delano had already seen have handed St. Cloud Apollo losses.

Becker and Hutchinson combined to out-score the Eagles 129-0 in weeks three and four.

Becker won 53-0 and Hutchinson won 76-0.

The other like-opponent between Delano and St. Cloud Apollo is Willmar.

The Eagles fell 16-3 to the Cardinals. Delano went on the road to defeat Willmar (2-4) 28-7 in Week 2.

Despite its subpar record, St. Cloud Apollo should not be taken lightly, according to Pavlovich.

“A lot of talent and a lot of speed. We will have their size and speed to deal with,” said the coach. “They’ve given up a lot of points in the past, but we don’t know what team is going to show up.”

The game against St. Cloud Apollo caps the time frame of full-week of practices to prepare for an opponent. Following the game, Delano will have just four days before it hits the game field again. The Tigers will end the regular season at home Wednesday, Oct. 16, against Big Lake.

Big Lake is 2-4 entering this Friday night’s home game against Hutchinson.

The Hornets’ two wins were over Grand Rapids (25-6 in Week 1) and St. Cloud Apollo (39-22 in Week 5).

The Delano versus Big Lake game is important, as both reside in Section 6-4A during the postseason. They could meet against right away if nothing changes in the QRF rankings.

As we stand entering Week 7, Delano would be the No. 3 seed for the playoffs and Big Lake would be No. 4, according to the QRF.

Becker sits atop the section standings. Zimmerman is second, and Princeton is down at the bottom in fifth.

The Section  6-4A playoffs begin Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the homes of the higher seeds.

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