Spitza: First full weekend of football begins with more Friday night lights
Moorhead and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton play at home to highlight Week 2 of Minnesota action. In North Dakota, West Fargo Sheyenne heads west for a battle of preseason favorites while Fargo South visits Fargo Shanley in Week 3.
FARGO — We have officially reached that time of year where we're blessed with high school football on Fridays, college football on Saturdays and NFL football on Sundays.
If your significant other hates football, bid them farewell until February. If they love football, then it's the most wonderful time of year for both of you.
However, before you cheer on the Bison, Dragons, Cobbers or whomever else on Saturday, and before you watch my Green Bay Packers top the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, we must remain focused on the stars of the future under the Friday night lights as North Dakota enters Week 3 of its prep season while Minnesota begins Week 2.
Here are some local games to keep an eye on this Friday night:
Brainerd (0-2) at Moorhead (1-0), 7 p.m.
This will be the first conference tilt of the season for both teams. The Warriors are coming off back-to-back losses in Week 0 and Week 1, falling to 21-20 on the road against Coon Rapids to open the season before getting routed 52-14 by Andover at home last week.
The Spuds put last season's heartbreak behind them last week with a season-opening victory at St. Cloud Tech, topping the Tigers 48-12.
Moorhead earned a 10-point victory in this game last season, and I'd expect this one to be fairly close again.
Pequot Lakes (1-0) at D-G-F (1-0), 7 p.m.
I think the main question in this 3A matchup is going to be: Who on the Patriots is going to stop Jordan Summers?
The Rebels senior ran wild against Thief River Falls last week, rattling off 224 rushing yards — 204 of them in the first half — en route to a four-touchdown night and a 32-7 win for Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.
Pequot Lakes opened up with a 28-5 win over conference opponent East Grand Forks last week thanks in part to a 203-yard, two-touchdown performance from senior quarterback Grant Loge.
Loge threw for 171 yards and two TDs in this game a season ago, but the Rebels edged the Patriots 20-18.
This game will come down to which star offensive player can be stopped, so expect another close one here.
No. 4 West Fargo Sheyenne (1-1) at Bismarck Century (0-2), 7 p.m.
This is perhaps the most intriguing game of the week on the North Dakota side of the river. The defending 11AA champions head west to Bismarck for a game with Century, the two preseason favorites which have both stumbled out of the gates a little bit.
The Mustangs are coming off of a brutal loss to Fargo Davies last week — the Eagles pummeled them 35-6 to hand Sheyenne its first regular season loss since 2019.
Sheyenne entered the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association poll, and have since dropped to No. 4 after last week's defeat.
Century was No. 2 in the preseason poll and is now unranked after starting its season 0-2 for the first time since 2014. The Patriots were topped by West Fargo to open the season before falling to Mandan last week for the first time since 2015.
The Mustangs won this game 14-0 on their path to an undefeated season in 2021.
Neither of these teams want to be in a slump forever, and given the recent history between the two programs in which they've squared off in the Dakota Bowl two of the last three years, they'll be at each other's throats trying to get back on track.
11A No. 3 Fargo South (2-0) at 11AA No. 2 Fargo Shanley (2-0), 7 p.m.
We're wrapping it up with another fun matchup between 11A Fargo South and 11AA Fargo Shanley, a pair of undefeated squads who appear strong on both sides of the ball.
The 11AA No. 2-ranked Deacons are off to a 2-0 start after wins against Bismarck and West Fargo. The 11A No. 3 Bruins are also 2-0, having outscored their opponents — Williston and Grand Forks Central — 76-12 over the first two games.
Deacons senior quarterback Michael Rostberg is doing what all-state players do, tossing 10 touchdowns — five in each game — over the first two weeks. Can the South defense stop him with the likes of all-state and all-Eastern Dakota Conference senior linebacker Zack Thomasson and junior defensive end Cole Kegbeh?
The Packers struggled to stop the Deacons' attack last week , but the Bruins defense — despite being in different divisions — may be an even bigger challenge for Shanley if the first two weeks of the season tell us anything.
These squads last met in 2020, a 50-34 season-opening win for the Deacons.
I can see this one coming down to the wire. Prediction? Shanley wins a close one 21-17.