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For undefeated LaMoure-Litchville/Marion football team, it’s 'iron sharpens iron'

No. 1-ranked LaMoure-Litchville/Marion (7-0) hosts Enderlin-Maple Valley (4-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in the last game of the regular season.

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LaMoure-Litchville-Marion head football coach Andrew DelaBarre works with his linemen during practice in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

LAMOURE, N.D. — LaMoure-Litchville/Marion hasn’t been met with much adversity on the football field this season. The Loboes have given up just 12 points on the year and posted shutouts in six of their seven games.

But that hasn’t been a concern for head coach Andrew DelaBarre. The No. 1-ranked Loboes, who have held steady atop Class 9B rankings this fall, have been battle-tested by playing against each other on the practice field.

“We’ve really honed in on competition and when we run our team drills and our scout team drills, it's a battle,” DelaBarre said. “It’s kind of that ‘iron sharpens iron’ mentality.”

DelaBarre’s Loboes have dismantled opponent after opponent this year. They head into Friday’s regular-season finale against Enderlin-Maple Valley (4-3) with a 7-0 record and average margin of victory of 59.6 points.


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LaMoure-Litchville-Marion head football coach Andrew DelaBarre runs drills with his linemen during practice in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

The competitive practices help keep the Loboes, who are 4-0 against their Region 1 opponents, on their game.

"Everybody’s going 110% every play. Our scout team gives us really good looks on offense and defense," senior quarterback Corban Potts said. "And I think our scout team is just as good as really any defense or offense that we’re gonna see."

The Loboes are capable of attacking on the ground or through the air, and will look to give another defense a fit at 7 p.m. Friday when they host the Falcons. L-L-M is averaging 237.6 yards on the ground, 162.6 yards through the air and 61.3 points per game.

Potts, a three-year starter at quarterback, leads the high-powered offense that averages just over 400 yards of total offense. Potts has passed for 1,137 yards (22.3 yards per completion) and 19 touchdowns this season. Junior Colton Ness has been his top target with 16 catches for 365 yards and eight scores.

LaMoure-Litchville-Marion senior quarterback Corban Potts lofts a screen pass during practice in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

The Loboes are led on the ground by junior running back Brady Lettenmaier, who has tallied 952 rushing yards (10.02 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns in seven games. Defensively, Lettenmaier has six solo tackles, nine tackles for losses and a sack.


“We’ve always been pretty balanced, but I think we’ve become even more balanced this year, with lots of different guys getting the ball,” Lettenmaier said. “I think our passing game has picked up even more this year.”

Lettenmaier stepped into a bigger role this season in the absence of all-state first-team running back Brett Wendel, who graduated this spring. Wendel rushed for 1,802 yards and 18 touchdowns last fall as a senior. DelaBarre, in his 10th year at the helm, is pleased with Lettenmaier’s contributions this season, as well as those of the two new offensive linemen brought in this year.

LaMoure-Litchville-Marion junior Brady Lettenmaier gears up for football practice in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

“I think the guys we’ve filled those spots with are doing a spectacular job,” DelaBarre said. “And they’re improving, too. We can look back from Week 1 to our game last Friday and just see how much better we’ve gotten up on the frontline.”

The Loboes have no plans to let up, either. They have one goal this year — a trip to the Fargodome. Potts said his team isn’t getting complacent.

“We’re working on not getting too comfortable, like we did last year,” Potts said. “Last year, I think we got a little bit too comfortable as the season went on.”

Potts joked that he sounded like a broken record when talking about the team’s emphasis to maintain that drive down the stretch. Coming off a 10-1 season that ended in the state semifinals, the Loboes came into the year with high expectations.


LaMoure-Litchville-Marion senior quarterback Corban Potts passes during practice in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

They reached the semis for the first time since 2014 last fall, but came up short against Linton-HMB in a 46-38 loss. That outcome was a motivator.

“They knew the opportunity they had. It’s not an easy task to even get to the semifinals, let alone the state championship game,” DelaBarre said. “But I think it was a good experience for us because now we’ve been there. This team is almost the same team.

“We know what to expect when we get there, how important these playoff games are going to be coming up and what it’s going to take for us to get over that hump here now, too.”

The top ranked LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes football team runs offensive plays during practice on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in LaMoure, N.D. David Samson / The Forum

L-L-M was scored on for the first time this season two weeks ago by Wyndmere-Lidgerwood in a 42-12 Loboes win. The 30-point margin was the closest all season. DelaBarre said his versatile offense is complemented by an equally strong defense.

Junior linebacker Garrett Hebl is the team’s leading tackler with 21 solo stops and 12 tackles for losses. Hebl has also added two sacks and an interception. Junior Brayden Steffes has 15 solo tackles, five of which were for losses, and two sacks. Junior lineman Brock Wendel has contributed 14 solo stops and 14 tackles for losses.

As playoffs are nearing, DelaBarre likes how his team has been playing. Region seeding will be finalized following the conclusion of Friday night’s games. The eight region champions will be seeded 1-8 in a coaches voting process that will conclude Saturday morning.

The LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes football team stretches to start practice in LaMoure, N.D. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

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