Josh Harlan, Spring Valley linebacker: Leads a defense that has held opponents to 13 points per game
Keep it going
The Vikings (5-0) have their best start since 2007. Heading into this last nonconference matchup, the Vikings have outscored opponents 187-68 and held opponents to 13.6 points per game. Now the Vikings take on their biggest challenge, the first opponent with a winning record and a consistent ability to score. Matching the performance of their first five games here would be confirmation of the Vikings’ resurgence.
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White Knoll’s full steam ahead
The Timberwolves (4-1) have not lost since the season opener, and are on a defensive tear. White Knoll has held opponents to 183.2 yards per game and 14 points per game — comparable to the Vikings’ defensive performance. White Knoll has averaged 32 points per game, scoring five touchdowns in each of the last two games, showing no signs of slowing.
What’s the pass rush?
To improve, White Knoll’s offensive line must be prepared to protect quarterback Delvin Riley from the Spring Valley pass rush. Leading tacklers Josh Harlan and Chaz Tallant are expert at pressuring the quarterback, as is linebacker Christian Miller, who has six sacks. The Timberwolves’ offensive line, led by center Jake Phillips, will have to hold off this threat to keep White Knoll viable.