Teams: Northfield (0-2) at Mankato West (1-1), 7 p.m., Mankato West High School.
Last week: Both teams lost big, with the Raiders suffering a 63-0 defeat against Class 5A No. 1 Owatonna, while the Scarlets were blown out 35-14 against Rochester Century.
Last year: Not applicable. The two teams did not play last year.
1. Northfield’s season started with a 12-play, 67-yard touchdown drive on its first possession. Since then, though, the Raiders haven’t been able to replicate that consistent success moving the ball. Northfield didn’t score again in that 48-15 loss to Rochester Mayo until a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter against the second-team defense for the Spartans, before being shut out in a 63-0 loss Friday against Owatonna. While Mankato West certainly represents a formidable opponent, the Scarlets surrendered 35 points and 524 yards, 336 of which came on the ground, in Friday’s loss to Rochester Century.
2. It wasn’t much better for Mankato West on the offensive side of the ball last week. The Scarlets managed only 208 yards of offense and were shut out in the second half against the Panthers. When the offense is clicking, like it was in a season-opening 49-14 win against Rochester John Marshall, it flows through quarterback Jack Foster, who combined 235 yards and four touchdowns through the air with 77 yards and another score on the ground. There is a bit of a turnover bug, though, as Foster threw a pair of picks against the Rockets and tossed another to the Panthers.
3. There will be plenty of introductions being made Friday night, since Northfield and Mankato West haven’t played since 2014, when the Scarlets topped the Raiders twice en route to their fourth state title behind the arm of current Gophers quarterback Zack Annexstad. The present day seniors were seventh-graders that year.
4. One of the bright spots that’s emerged from Northfield’s 2-0 start has been the big-play ability of senior Daniel Monaghan. After the 6-foot-4 wide receiver started the season with three receptions for 70 yards against Rochester Mayo, Monaghan was the most reliable source of offense against Owatonna with three receptions for 62 yards, nearly half of the offensive output for the Raiders.