Lanesboro is the defending champion of Section 1 9-Man football in Minnesota.

LeRoy-Ostrander has been one of the best teams — if not the best — in the section during the regular season over the past two-plus years, going 11-2 in regular season games since the start of the 2019 season.

Lanesboro is ranked No. 5 in this week's 9-Man state poll. LeRoy-Ostrander is receiving votes and on the cusp of cracking the top 10.

L-O coach Trevor Carrier said the Cardinals players are excited for this week's showdown and excited to be playing in a more "normal" season.

"Just the opportunity to play this game we all love," he said. "There is just something special about Friday Night Lights. Maybe it's the camaraderie, maybe it's the week of buildup for one game, maybe it's the uniting a community. I don't know! But I do know that the feeling you get on game days can't be simulated and most of the time can't be reproduced. It's a wonderful game and here at L-O we appreciate that fact. "

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Lanesboro coach James Semmen echoed Carrier, saying this fall has felt much better than the COVID-reduced 2020 season.

"I have enjoyed being outside with a group of kids who seem to want to make themselves better each day," Semmen said. "We had our first flag football date last Saturday and we had as many players from our varsity team coaching as we did kids playing the game. They could have been sleeping in or doing something else, but they were taking time to help our second- through fourth-graders. It was an awesome feeling seeing them help our young kids!"

The Burros and the Cardinals will clash at 7 p.m. tonight at Lanesboro in this week's Post Bulletin Game Of The Week. Here's what to expect from both teams:

PB Game Of The Week

LeROY-OSTRANDER at LANESBORO

Friday, 7 p.m., at Lanesboro

Records: LeRoy-Ostrander is 2-0 in District 9-South, 2-0 overall; Lanesboro is 2-0, 2-0.

Last meeting: L-O beat Lanesboro 27-20 at LeRoy in last year's season opener, on Oct. 10, 2020. Isaac Collier rushed for 150 yards and Chase Johnson passed for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Triston Lewison had 108 yards receiving and caught two TD passes.

Last game: LeRoy-Ostrander won 38-8 at Mabel-Canton last Friday; Lanesboro won 40-20 at Southland last Friday.

LeRoy-Ostrander center Gavin Sweeney (24) gets set for a play during a District 9-South football game in 2019. The Cardinals went undefeated in the regular season that year and have an 11-2 record in regular-season play since then.
Post Bulletin file photo / Andrew Link
LeRoy-Ostrander center Gavin Sweeney (24) gets set for a play during a District 9-South football game in 2019. The Cardinals went undefeated in the regular season that year and have an 11-2 record in regular-season play since then. Post Bulletin file photo / Andrew Link

LeRoy-Ostrander notes: The Cardinals have won three of their past four meetings with the Burros, including last year's season-opening victory in LeRoy. ... Through two weeks, L-O has put up video-game numbers on offense, with 95 points and 1,189 total yards. Dynamic QB Chase Johnson has been nearly unstoppable, accumulating 348 passing yards and 558 rushing yards, for 906 total yards. "Leadership! Determination! Drive to be the absolute best!" L-O coach Trevor Carrier said about Johnson. "Chase is a three-year captain not because of his football accomplishments but more because of the type of person he is. He is a straight-A student who leads by example on and off the field. He is the first person in the weight room and the last to leave. After tough long practices, Chase still wants to stay after and throw routes to his receivers. Chase will be the first one to give credit to the rest of team first. It's never been about him, it's always about L-O Football!"

Lanesboro notes: The Burros are the defending Section 1 9-Man champions. They're ranked No. 5 in this week's state poll. ... Through two games this fall, Lanesboro is outscoring its opponents by an average of 34-10. ... LeRoy-Ostrander beat Lanesboro 27-20 in Week 1 of the 2020 season. That's the last time the Burros lost a game. ... The Burros not only have one of the best running backs in southeastern Minnesota, JT Rein, they also have great size up front. That includes athletic 6-1, 250-pound junior Cooper Ferrie, a guy with loads of potential, as well as 6-foot, 270-pound senior right tackle Trevor Ruen. "Most of our defensive and offensive linemen play one way, which helps as the game gets into the second half," coach James Semmen said. "They are big and strong, but also very coachable young men."

LeRoy-Ostrander coach Trevor Carrier says: "Anytime you face off against a Lanesboro football team you must prepare for a physical football game. They attack defensively and swarm to the ball very well. On the offensive side we need to "contain" JT Rein. Rein is a playmaker with the ball in his hands at RB and WR. He has great one-cut ability and has proven he can score from anywhere on the field.

Lanesboro coach James Semmen says: “(L-O's) offensive line is big and physical and their QB is extremely agile. We have to prepare for cutbacks from him and play good gap-control defense. Their QB can throw well, too, and we have to stay with their receivers. Our defense has done a good job of tackling and the kids seem to be in position to make plays. A couple of three-year starters in linebacker JT Rein and safety Seth Semmen helps also."— Jason Feldman