WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 26, 2013, 10:19 PM

Mahnomen football trying to repeat as Class A state champs

Mahnomen, MN (WDAY TV) - Saturday, the Mahnomen football team will try to repeat as Class A State champs.

Mahnomen, MN (WDAY TV) - Saturday, the Mahnomen football team will try to repeat as Class A State champs.

The Indians have won 27 straight games, and have always featured a strong running game and a team-first attitude.

Never was that more evident than this season.

Austin Reitan and Bob Bjorge have been friends, and teammates, for as long as they can remember.

Last season, when Reitan suffered a season ending knee injury before the 4th game, Bob Bjorge moved from his wing spot to Reitan's fullback position.

Bjorge rushed for over a thousand yards filling in for Reitan, helping lead Mahnomen to a state title.

Bob Bjorge/Mahnomen Sr. Wingback: “I just had to fill the spot. I filled it as best I could.”

Austin Reitan/Mahnomen Sr. Fullback: “I ended up not buying a state championship ring last year, not because I'm selfish, but because to me, I didn't earn it.”

After rehabbing his knee all offseason, Reitan returned to the field this fall, which begged the question of who'd be the starting fullback--the main ball carrier--in Mahnomen's offense?

Bjorge: “It was different at first, but we got used to it and I realized what we needed to do to make it.”

John Clark Jr./Mahnomen Head Coach: “Bob did a great job of realizing he had more speed and would be a better fit at wing, while Austin's more of a bull and a better fit at fullback. It's the selfless nature of our kids. Bob's a captain; he understood his stats would suffer. It's exactly what you preach to kids--put team ahead of individual glory.”

Bjorge: I think it worked out just fine. We're in the state championship game. Hopefully it'll work out for this game.

Reitan: I'm just so happy to be back down there again.

Mahnomen football is known for a great running game.

But with Bjorge and Reitan leading the way, this year's rushing attack tops them all.

Clark: “I think by far it's been the best punch we've had. We have not just 1 or 2, but we have 4 good backs, with Trevor Haugo and Kody Levebvre.”

Mahnomen is 125 yards shy of breaking the school rushing mark, for the third straight year.

But the number they really want is two, as in two consecutive state titles.

Mahnomen's defense is equally as impressive.

The Indians have given up just 3.3 points a game this season and have shutout eight of their thirteen opponents.