Minot High School junior quarterback Alex Yanosko is fully aware that the Magicians got away with a win last week without playing their best football against Mandan.
MHS (4-0 overall) enters tonight's non-conference contest at Fargo Davies fresh off its worst offensive performance of the season. After scoring at least 37 points in each of its first three games, MHS turned the ball over three times and struggled to put up 26 against the Braves.
"We came in thinking we were the stuff and we definitely were not, clearly, because if we were as good as we thought we were we would've ran the score up," Yanosko said. "We clearly did not."
Magicians coach Barry Holmen said his team lacked focus in practice last week and that it transferred over to the game.
This week, there have been no such problems.
"We're pleased with this week's efforts," Holmen said. "I think without too much coach persuasion, I think the kids accepted that they need to do a better job in preparation and it's gone much better this week."
Part of the reason for the lack of offensive success was Mandan's ability to stop Yanosko. The Braves had a linebacker spy Yanosko throughout the game and held the dual-threat quarterback to just 33 yards on 17 carries.
Davies coach Jason Thielges said he doesn't plan on using a similar strategy.
"Anytime in high school football you've got to stop the run and force them to throw," Thielges said. "We're going to play our base defense and see if we can shut (Yanosko) down."
Davies (1-3) quarterback Aidan Hartness completed just 5-of-22 passes and threw six interceptions in the Eagles 25-0 loss to Grand Forks Red River last week.
The Magicians, who have eight interceptions defensively this season, didn't snag a pass against Mandan but forced and recovered two fumbles. Holmen said putting pressure on Hartness will be key for the Minot defense.
"Just watching a little bit of film, I think that Red River was really able to pressure their quarterback and he made a couple bad decisions just throwing it up for grabs," Holmen said. "If we can put a little pressure on that gentleman then maybe we can have similar outcomes there."
Kickoff in Fargo is at 7 p.m.
MHS LB Larson out for season
Minot High School junior linebacker Kolton Larson will have surgery today in Bismarck for a torn tendon in his foot and will miss the remainder of the Magicians' season.
Larson will have his foot in a splint and won't be able to put any pressure on it for three months.
"It will be about six months 'til I can start working at it again, as in running and stuff like that," Larson said. "(The doctor) said it's a time thing, to definitely let it fully heal before you go at it again."