NRHEG Looks to Take Down the Defending State Champs
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva makes its state football tournament debut as its current cooperative. The Panthers are on a six-game winning streak since losing to WEM in midseason. That includes a redemption victory over the Buccaneers in the section championship game.
NRHEG (9-2) will face three-time defending Class AA championship Caledonia (10-0) Friday, November 9 at Burnsville High School at 7 pm with the coverage on Kat Kountry 105FM and the Kat Kountry app.
Here is a tale-of-the-tape statistical rundown for the match-up:
NRHEG is No. 10 ranked in the final AP poll and No. 7 in the QRF ranking. They are averaging 34 points per game and giving up 17. Caledonia is No. 1 in AP and No. 2 in QRF. The Warriors score 36 per game and give up just five. They have four shutouts and gave up more than one touchdown just once.
The Panthers are averaging 159 yards passing and 144 rushing per game while giving up 102 on the ground and just 73 through the air. The Warriors average 224 yards passing and 224 rushing. Caledonia gives up 86 rushing and 89 passing per game.
NRHEG has turned the ball over 27 times and forced 25 turnovers. Caledonia has ten turnovers and has taken the ball away 17 times.
Sawyer Vanmaldeghem leads the Panthers ground attack with 897 yards. Blake Ihrke has thrown for 1,610 yards and 24 interceptions. Brady Agrimson has 27 catches for 574 yards and eight touchdowns. Lonnie Wilson has caught 21 passes for 576 yards and seven scores. Tyler Jacobson leads defensively with 93 total tackles and one interception. Alex Buckmeier has 80 total tackles. Vanmaldeghem has four interceptions.
Nick McCabe is Caledonia's leading rusher with 1,259 yards and 17 touchdowns. Noah King has thrown for 2,084 yards and 34 touchdowns.