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Soccer preview part: Esko faces greatest take a look at but in Pequot Lakes – Duluth Information Tribune

ESKO — It might be straightforward to pencil Esko into the Minnesota Class AAA playoffs this season.

The Eskomos are the top-ranked AA workforce in Minnesota and an ideal 10-0. They have not actually been challenged to this point in 2022, with six of their 10 victories being shutouts, they usually’ve scored no less than 50 factors in seven video games.

Earlier than they transfer on to the state playoffs, they are going to face their hardest opponent thus far in Pequot Lakes (8-2) at 7 pm Thursday at Malosky Stadium in Duluth.

Esko sophomore quarterback Jacion Owens (No. 1) runs to his proper earlier than firing a landing move to junior broad receiver Jace Stewart within the first quarter of Esko’s Part 7AAA quarterfinal soccer recreation Oct. 25 at dwelling vs Hibbing. The Eskomos will face Pequot Lakes within the part championship recreation Thursday at Malosky Stadium.

Dan Williamson/Duluth Information Tribune

“Pequot is excellent, very well-coached,” Esko coach Scott Arntson stated. “They have plenty of expertise within the quarterback place and the receivers — they have plenty of children that may run. They supply a special problem to us than different groups that we have been seeing. We prefer to pack it in and bang somewhat bit.”

The Eskomos should defend a special type of quarterback within the Patriots’ Grant Loge. Loge is averaging greater than 225 yards per recreation passing and has 32 touchdowns to simply six interceptions.

Whereas the Pequot Lakes offense will current a special type of problem, the Eskomo protection has been completely dominant. In just one recreation this 12 months has Esko allowed a couple of rating, a 37-14 win over Two Harbors Sept. 30.

Defensive coordinator George Perich stated whereas Esko has all the time tried to foster an “aggressive protection,” the gamers have additionally been devoted to bettering their expertise, each within the weight room and the movie room. The result’s a dynamic protection that can provide offenses a variety of completely different appears.

Joey Antonutti.jpg

Esko junior Joey Antonutti is pictured throughout a Sept. 9 recreation vs. Mora at Esko.

Amy Arntson / File / Cloquet Pine Journal

“I attribute it to the children’ excessive athletic IQ,” Perich stated. “They’re capable of shift gears and fly round it doesn’t matter what entrance we current and I feel that presents an enormous problem to our opponents. They have to arrange for a number of fronts and that’s one thing you do not see fairly often in Northern Minnesota.”

Quarterback and defensive again Ty Christensen is aware of they’ve a special form of problem, however the Eskomos have the personnel to get the job completed.

“Pequot is an excellent workforce, however we’re additionally an excellent workforce,” Christensen stated. “They seem to be a move workforce, so we’ll need to run much more move coverages and shut down the move recreation, however I feel we have positively obtained the ability set and the blokes to do this.”

MLWR prepared for ‘bodily’ Crosby-Ironton

Moose Lake/Willow River plowed by way of a lot of its schedule this 12 months similar to it has in a number of latest years, overpowering opponents and operating the ball.

The Rebels (8-1) misplaced their season opener to Class AAAA Hermantown to start out the 12 months, however solely two video games since have been inside one rating, a 7-0 win over Rush Metropolis within the common season finale Oct. 19 and a 12 -6 win over Crosby-Ironton Sept. 23.

MLWR will face Crosby-Ironton once more within the Part 7AA championship at 7 pm Thursday at Esko’s Stadium Subject.

MLWR had 228 speeding yards to simply 66 for the Rangers, however the Rebels nonetheless needed to sweat out a one-score recreation and did not discover the tip zone after two Jaxsyn Schmidt scores within the first quarter.

“I do not suppose our children have been ready for the way bodily Crosby is that this 12 months and I feel that shocked us or caught us off guard somewhat bit,” Rebels coach Dave Louzek stated. “It is actually vital for our offensive and line of defense to manage the road of scrimmage on this recreation.”

They performed in unhealthy climate their first time round, however it may very well be raining in Esko when the groups meet once more Thursday.

“Crosby has some actually good athletes and are very effectively coached, a really bodily ball workforce,” Louzek stated. “The climate was actually unhealthy that night time, fixed rain and wind was an element for each groups and neither workforce performed their finest recreation, so we’re very a lot trying ahead to the rematch.”

What: Part 7AAA championship recreation

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

The place: Malosky Stadium, UMD

Data: Esko 10-0; Pequot Lakes 8-2

Radio: WMOZ-FM 106.9

Moose Lake/Willow River vs. Crosby Ironon

What: Part 7AA championship recreation

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

The place: Esko Excessive College

Data: MLWR 8-1; IC 5-4

Radio: WKLK-FM 96.5

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