North Prairie meets Langdon-Munich again
North Prairie and Langdon-Munich met in the regular season finale with the Region 2 title on the line.
The teams will meet again this afternoon, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. in Langdon with far more at stake – a Class A football championship game berth.
The Cardinals defeated NP 20-8 three weeks ago to earn the top seed from the region in the playoffs, and thus gaining home field advantage for this game.
The loss was the Cougars only blemish this season, and it was a game NP coach Davy Zinke characterized as “not a complete effort” by his squad.
NP’s offense could only muster one touchdown and its defense, which normally wears down the opposition, had trouble containing L-M’s running game.
There is no secret in what NP needs to do to have success today. It must contain the Cardinals’ senior running back Jon Dinius.
Dinius has rushed for over 2,000 yards this season and is arguably the best back in Class A. He is coming off a career-high 350 yard game in the quarterfinal home win over Oakes. Dinius has explosive speed and has benefitted from a good offensive line.
The challenge for NP is to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, limiting Dinius’s big runs.
NP’s offense is at its best when it can mix the pass with its run. A key will be whether the Cougars can put together some long, clock-eating drives that keep the Cardinals’ offense off the field. Getting off to a quick start is also critical. NP showed in its quarterfinal win over Cavalier that it can come from behind, but it likely doesn’t want to test its fortunes a second straight week.
It was a loss, oddly enough, that turned the Cardinals’ (9-1) season around. L-M was shutout by rival Cavalier 20-0. In that game, Cardinal quarterback Dylan Crockett also was injured.
The following week L-M moved fullback Travis Beck to quarterback and a good L-M offense got much better.
Beck, who saw limited carries behind Dinius, was getting more carries, and opposing defenses really had a challenge to stop the Cardinals.
NP will try to do it today.
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