MapQuest says the journey from Melrose to Paynesville is 26.89 miles. An ideal midpoint is Clemens Stadium on the St. John’s University campus.
It’s where Paynesville puts its 5-0 record on the line against a very good Melrose team at 7 p.m. Friday in a West Central Conference football game.
The Bulldogs are ranked seventh in the state in Class 2A and have one of the area’s highest power offenses, led by area passing yardage leader Matthew Quade and top receivers Andrew Topp and Nicholas Dingmann.
They go against a Melrose squad that has been led by running back Seth Noll, one of the area’s top ground-gainers, and quarterback Matthew Beste.
While both being Stearns County schools, Paynesville and Melrose haven’t played each other much in football.
The only meeting between the two in the past 10 years was in 2011, when the Bulldogs beat the Dutchmen 28-12 in Paynesville.
Paynesville is looking more and more like the team to beat in Section 5-2A and a victory over Melrose would help that cause.
Minneota/Lincoln HI went into Friday unbeaten and is another team to watch in 5-2A.
Melrose is jockeying for position in a Section 6-3A that includes New London-Spicer, Annandale and Montevideo as top seed contenders.