PREP FOOTBALL: Marshall set to meet SWC rival Pipestone

PIPESTONE – Riding high after securing their first victory of 2013, the Marshall Tigers are looking to build momentum during a Southwest Conference football game tonight at Pipestone Area.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Marshall (1-2 overall, 1-0 Southwest) defeated then Class 2A No.8-ranked Luverne 22-7 last Friday at The Schwan Regional Event Center. The No. 11-rated Cardinals (2-1 overall, 1-1 Southwest) dropped out of the top 10 after gathering seven votes in this week’s Associated Press prep football poll.

“We need to build some momentum off of last week after getting that first win, which was hard to come by,” Tigers head coach Terry Bahlmann said. “It’s been a great feeling at practice this week. The guys had been unaccustomed to having a losing streak and I think the weight of the world was lifted off their shoulders with that win.”

Tonight’s clash will be the fifth game this season for Pipestone Area (2-2 overall, 1-1 Southwest). The Arrows won a “Zero Week” game 32-26 on a last-second touchdown pass at St. James, were shut out 36-0 by Madison, S.D., in their home opener on Aug. 30, won 24-14 at Windom Area on Sept. 6 and lost 34-6 at home to Class 2A, No. 12-ranked Jackson County Central last Friday.

The Arrows’ offense features Boyer Bouman at quarterback and Brady Bos at tailback. Some of Bouman’s receiving targets have been Justin Rops and Brayden Baartman.

“We know that Pipestone is going to come out and throw the football because they have been pretty successful doing that,” Bahlmann said. “The (Arrows) will complete some passes, but we need to put pressure on their quarterback and tackle the receivers.”

Bahlmann believes shutting down Pipestone Area’s ground game will be important.

“We want to make Pipestone play one-dimensional football by stopping the run. Then, it will be up to our secondary to step up and make some plays,” Bahlmann said. “If Pipestone is going to throw the ball 30 times, we need to get a couple of interceptions and turn them into big plays.”

Tyus DeBoer and Nick Saugstad have picked off one pass each for Marshall’s defense this season. Linebacker Jason Polzin leads MHS in tackles at 16, while DeBoer has 14 and Brad Bahlmann has 14.

On offense, the Tigers have three rushers among the top 25 in The Marshall Independent area. Brad Bahlmann, the Marshall quarterback, rates 10th after compiling 175 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries. Running back Sam Marshall (45 carries, 159 yards, one touchdown) ranks 11th, while ballcarrier Jack Bock (19 carries, 75 yards) comes in at 21st overall.

Bahlmann threw his first touchdown pass of the season last Friday – a 27-yard completion to Matt Thompson. In 2013, Bahlmann is 22 of 41 for 255 yards with three interceptions.

The Tigers’ top two receivers – Marshall (10 catches, 73 yards) and Andrew Hmielewski (eight catches, 118 yards) rank eigth and 11th, respectively, in The Marshall Independent area.

NOTE: Marshall linebacker Colin Reilly is out for tonight’s game. Jack Bock is among the players who will fill that spot.