Terry Vandrovec column: Showdown brings out tough talk
This article will be hanging on the bulletin board in the Detroit Lakes locker room tonight. Not only did Fergus Falls coach Phil Link vocalize his squad's distaste for the Lakers, he all but tacked the words to the wall with those same barbs...
This article will be hanging on the bulletin board in the Detroit Lakes locker room tonight.
Not only did Fergus Falls coach Phil Link vocalize his squad's distaste for the Lakers, he all but tacked the words to the wall with those same barbs.
"We just feel good going in," Link said Wednesday. "Our defense has played well -- and contrary to what their head coach said -- he said we weren't that good on defense and that'll stick with our kids for a long time.
"We got a bad taste in our mouth about that."
The hubbub stems from comments made by Detroit Lakes coach Flint Motschenbacher in regard to a 9-6 loss to Fergus Falls earlier this season. Following the game, Motschenbacher blamed mistakes for the loss, rather than directly crediting the Otters' defense, which held the Lakers without an offensive touchdown.
The rivals meet again tonight in the Fargodome for the Class 4A, Section 8 football title.
And, well, 8 p.m. can't come soon enough.
"It really doesn't matter," said Motschenbacher of Link's comments. "If he wants to think that, that's fine. We're not really going to get into that."
And, talk aside, this still figures to be a juggernaut affair.
Fergus Falls (7-2), ranked No. 6 and without a regulation loss, features a hard-hitting, though apparently underappreciated defense, and the backfield trio of Kirby Carr and Matt Rugg and quarterback Tyler Gagner.
The No. 10 Lakers, meanwhile, are led by the shifty running of Garrett Raboin and Tim Serviss. They also have a healthy Rory Manke at quarterback. He sat out most of the first meeting with an injury.
Prior to this fall, the Otters hadn't beaten the defending state champion Lakers (8-2) since 1994. Now they'll need to do it twice in one campaign to earn their first section title since 1987.
And that'll take more than talk.
"We're definitely the underdog," Link said. "They're the ones who have to be knocked off."
Area cross country fans have many reasons to make the 277-mile trek to Northfield Saturday for the state cross country meet. On the girls side, the Moorhead team, Park Rapids' Debbie Thompson and Perham's Gabriele Anderson have repeat berths. However, Santana Hummel will become the first Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton female to appear at state, while Laura Ciernia of Hawley-Ulen-Hitterdal has qualified as a seventh grader. The boys divisions feature the Moorhead and Perham teams, along with Zach Bruns of Pelican Rapids, Ellis Peterson of Park Rapids, John Nustad and Steve Solum of H-U-H, and Tyler and Jordan Bjorhus, the first D-G-F qualifiers since 1991.
Readers can reach Terry Vandrovec at (701) 241-5548 or firstname.lastname@example.org