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Tigers to tango with Luverne

It’s going to be a Tiger fight Friday night as No. 7 Straughn (7-1, 5-1 in Class 3A, Region 1) and Luverne (5-3, 5-1) meet up to decide which team will get a home playoff spot.

Straughn is coming off a 49-35 loss against T.R. Miller last week and, according to Straughn head coach Trent Taylor, the game tonight will be “no different from any other week.”

“We didn’t play as well defensively as we wanted to play last week,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to do a better job in trying to hem them up. We didn’t tackle very well at all. In this game, we can’t come out sluggish on offense like we did against Miller. We’ve got to come out and play the first half as well as we play the second half.”

Luverne head coach Les Sanders said in order to win tonight, his team will have to contain Straughn’s offense.

“We’ve got to keep Straughn’s offense off the field and hold on to the ball and not turn it over,” Sanders said. “They average nearly 40 points per game. Stopping them is a big problem.”

On average, Straughn scores 41.5 points per game and allows 25.38 points per game.

Sanders said also that Straughn senior quarterback Ryne Taylor knows how to run their offense.

“They are a very good football team and they are well-coached,” Sanders said. “On offense, it all starts on their quarterback. He’s a very good player and does a good job making decisions on running and passing. They have good receivers who can catch and run and good running backs as well.”

In order for Straughn to be victorious, Taylor said the team is going to have to stop Luverne’s offense.

“They are obviously a very good football team,” Taylor said. “They’re very big up front both offensively and defensively. They have two kids playing the quarterback position. One is a junior and throws the ball extremely well and is a good runner. The other one’s Chad Free, who’s a senior. Chad throws the ball well and is a tremendous runner, so they kind of have two different deals there.

“They have a big fullback that weighs 225 (pounds) and they run the gun, get in the ‘I,’” Taylor said. “They have certainly really played well here at the latter part of the year.”

Kickoff in Luverne is at 7 p.m.