Tom's Pick: Spartans, Cardinals look like mirror images

Tom's Pick: Spartans, Cardinals look like mirror images

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Tom's Pick: Spartans, Cardinals look like mirror images

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Imagine a football game with no huddles, where plays are often called at the line of scrimmage and the action seems almost non-stop.

That in all likelihood is what may take place at 7 p.m. Friday at Virant Memorial Field in Cold Spring when Rocori plays Willmar in prep football.

Rocori and Willmar both favor spread, no-huddle offenses.

It should be one of the more intriguing matchups in the Central Lakes Conference.

The Spartans under head coach Mike Rowe ran the no-huddle to perfection in 2011, winning a state Class 4A title, the first in school history.

Rocori seems to have picked up where they left off last November at the Metrodome. The Spartans have one of the state’s top offenses and are 3-0 and ranked third in the state.

Leading the way is senior quarterback Mac Mueller.

Mueller is among the area’s leading rushers, having run for 500 yards and nine touchdowns on 62 carries.

He is also among the top passers in the area, having completed 44 of 62 passes for 497 yards with six TDs and one interception. Nine Spartans have caught passes from him, making it difficult for defenses to key on any one skill position player.

Willmar, meanwhile, is led by quarterback Alex Grove, who is in his third year as starter and has perfected head coach Jon Konold’s offense, which he ran as offensive coordinator at Mankato West.

Grove’s favorite receiver has been senior Austin Rambow. Michael Heitzmann, a sophomore, has been the leading rusher for the Cardinals (0-2, 1-2).

Defensive players will get a good workout and not have a lot of time to catch their breath.

Expect a shootout.

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