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Published November 21, 2012, 10:33 PM

Mahnomen football looks for redemption at Metrodome

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - 2012 has been all about redemption for the Mahnomen football team. One win shy of the state championship last year; the Indians have returned to the Metrodome this season and the Indians hope they can re-write the ending this time around.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - 2012 has been all about redemption for the Mahnomen football team. One win shy of the state championship last year; the Indians have returned to the Metrodome this season and the Indians hope they can re-write the ending this time around.

In 2011, the Mahnomen scored a school record 534 points. This year, with one game left, they already have 543 points. Last year's defense gave up just 6 points per game. This year, thanks to 8 shutouts in 13 games, it's even lower: 4.8 a game. But in the title game, the Indians gave up 35 points in losing to Dawson Boyd 35-20.

Jacob Pavek, Mahnomen Senior QB/DB: “Disappointment. Thinking about what you could've done different. You almost made that play, that block, that read.”

John Clark Jr., Mahnomen Head Coach: “I think last year's loss is more important right now, in this game, because they realize how close they were. Now they have that chance.”

The Indians learned something else valuable from last year's title game loss.

Clark Jr.: “Last year, we got too caught up in what the other team was doing. This year, we're worrying just about ourselves. Make sure we do all the little things right, execute what we do well, and be comfortable with that.”

Nick Otto, Mahnomen Senior OL/LB: “Be comfortable on the field, not stressing out about who we're covering, blaming it on people, work as a team.”

These last 4 years have been a growth process for Mahnomen, with an improved result each season. From the section semi's in 2009, to the state quarters, to the state finals. They know there's only one step left in the improvement process.

Clark Jr.: “We understand how tough that last step is and the level you have to play at but I think now that we're back in the final, it's more motivation than ever.”

And the Indians feel they're more prepared than ever, having gone through it last year, to bring home the schools' first state football title since 1998.

Mahnomen plays Bethlehem Academy Saturday at 10 a.m.

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