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JOHN MARSHALL at NORTHFIELD

7 p.m., Friday

Records: John Marshall is 0-2 in the Big Southeast Red Division, 0-3 overall. Northfield is 0-3, 0-3.

Last week: Northfield lost 43-0 at Mankato West. JM lost 34-7 to visitor Century.

Last meeting: JM lost 40-14 at Northfield in Week 2 last year.

John Marshall notes: The Rockets lost their third-straight game last week but came away from it feeling pretty good. They were in a slugfest with talented Century the entire first half, trailing just 14-7 at the break. JM’s defense, which had struggled mightily the first two weeks, played much more physical against Century and tackled crisply. The second half, however, JM wore out some, as it lacks depth. . .JM is still looking to establish an offensive identity. The Rockets have two up-and-coming quarterbacks in juniors Parker Navitsky and Cole Peterson, but both are experiencing a sizable learning curve.  They combined to complete just 3 of 19 passes against Century. But both have clear potential. . .JM played by far its best game up front last week, a place where it figured to be good, offensively and defensively. JM wants to run more than it has, with hopes of being a 60-40 run-pass team.

Northfield notes: Northfield began the season knowing there was lots of rebuilding to do with just two offensive starters returning. Things have been a major struggle on that side of the ball, with the Raiders having been shut out in two of their first three games. The competition has been rugged (48-15 loss to Mayo, 63-0 loss to Owatonna, 43-0 loss to Mankato West). Those three opponents are a combined 7-2.

John Marshall coach Kevin Kirkeby: “Our players’ attitudes have been great. They came back to practice on Monday with a new energy about them. . .Watching film of our game against Century, it showed even more how well our defense played. They made a few more big plays than us or the game would have been even closer. . .Northfield is aggressive defensively and they give you lots of different looks. We have to pick up their blitzes.”

— Pat Ruff

 

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Sports Reporter

Pat covers tennis, girls basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and baseball. He also writes about Gophers football and basketball, and the Timberwolves. He’s been reporting for the Post Bulletin since 1994.