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Football Preview: Mankato West at John Marshall

Mankato West at John Marshall

Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: John Marshall is 2-1 in the Big Nine, 3-1 overall. West is 3-0, 4-0.

Last week:JM had an easy time cruising past Albert Lea 49-7. The Rockets led 35-0 at intermission and held the Tigers to 22 yards rushing (101 passing), while putting up 427 yards of offense. D’Von Vanderbilt had a breakout game with 89 yards rushing on just five carries. Quarterback Jake Kirsch threw five touchdown passes, three of them to Ryan Lakin.

Mankato West, ranked No. 1 in the state Class AAAA poll, turned things on in the second half and buried No. 13 Faribault 63-14. Star quarterback Philip Nelson, a University of Minnesota recruit, was 15-for-17 for 302 yards passing. Hunter Friesen had 150 yards receiving.

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Last meeting:John Marshall fell 48-7 to Mankato West last season. West was ranked No. 2 in the state at the time. The Scarlets scored 28 second-quarter points.

Mankato West notes:West has outscored its four opponents 229-49. However, just one of those wins came against a team with a winning record, Faribault. And Faribault has yet to beat a team with a winning record. West has a much tougher schedule to end its season, with games against JM, Mayo, Century and rival Mankato East. . . Quarterback Nelson is a candidate for the Mr. Football award.

JM notes:JM has torn up the competition in its three wins. But all of those came against seriously struggling teams. The JM loss was to Owatonna, one of the better teams in the state. . . JM might have an altered lineup against West. That’s based on some rumored suspensions to some of the Rockets players. When asked about it, JM coach Jack Drews said, "No comment." . . . JM quarterback Jake Kirsch continues to put up excellent numbers. He’s thrown for 11 touchdowns and just one interception. . . The JM defense has been crushing this season against the run.

Coach’s quote:"In order to beat West we need to limit the big plays and make them work to score. We need to pressure (quarterback Philip) Nelson and get him out of his comfort level. On offense we need to control the ball and pass block efficiently so that Jake (Kirsch) has time to throw." — JM coach Jack Drews

— Pat Ruff

 

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