MAYO at ALBERT LEA
7 p.m. Friday, Albert Lea High School
Records: Mayo 2-0 Big Southeast District, 2-0 overall; Albert Lea 1-1 overall, 1-1 Big Southeast District
Last week: Mayo beat New Prague 36-21; Albert Lea beat Red Wing 42-21.
Last meeting: Mayo and Albert Lea's last meeting was in 2010, with Mayo prevailing 28-14.
Mayo notes: Through two games, Mayo sophomore Cayden Holcomb has 11 catches and is averaging 19.2 yards per grab. Defensive back Mason Greseth has two defensive touchdowns -- one on a fumble return vs. Northfield, the other on an interception return vs. New Prague. The Spartans also got a kickoff return TD from Demonte Simmons against New Prague, so Mayo has three TDs from their defense and special teams. The Spartans pass-run balance is almost 50-50, with 377 yards rushing and 383 yards passing through two games.
Albert Lea notes: Javarus Mucha-Owens had 268 yards rushing yards with two touchdowns and also had an 81-yard kickoff return for a score last week as the Tigers topped Red Wing 42-21. The Tigers had 371 rushing yards. Friday's game against Mayo will be the first on new artificial turf at the renovated Jim Gustafson Field in the Hammer Complex. Gustafson, who was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1980, coached the Tigers to five Big Nine Conference championships and three state titles.
Mayo head coach Donny Holcomb: "Albert Lea is a much-improved team, and they have some excitement going on in their program after getting a win last week. We'll need to be ready to execute and treat them like any other opponent. They'll be pretty hyped to start the game off on their new field. The thing we did poorly last week was dealing with New Prague's blitzes and stunts, and they do a ton of that with their 3-4 defense, so that's been our focus this week. We need the kids to be prepared and ready to execute, and not mess around until later in the game."
Up Next: Mayo hosts Owatonna on Sept. 20.
-- Eric Atherton