Game of Speed: Superlarks will look to match up in fast-paced state contest

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

GRAND MEADOW — Big plays will likely make a big difference when the Grand Meadow football team takes on Mountain Lake Area in the Minnesota Class Nine Man State Tournament quarterfinals in Art Hass Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Superlarks, who are playing in their seventh state tournament in the last 10 years, have one of the speediest teams in school history. Mountain Lake also has a lot of speed and it all starts with their play-making quarterback Abraham Stoesz, who has 1,700 rushing yards this season.

“I think we’re going to be the fastest team they’ve ever played against and they’re going to be the fastest team we’ve ever played against,” GM head coach Gary Sloan said. “There’s a lot of speed out there. It’s going to be a game of trying to limit big plays. I don’t know if either team is going to really drive the ball, but both teams rely on big plays a lot.”

Grand Meadow’s Dusty Copley hauls in a pass in practice in GM Wednesday. The Superlarks will take on Mountain Lake Area in the Minnesota Class Nine Man quarterfinals in Art Hass Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday. Rocky Hulne/

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The Superlarks have played some tough offenses already this season as LeRoy-Ostrander averaged 42 points per game and Houston was averaging 45 points in the postseason before GM blanked the Hurricanes 35-0 last week.

GM senior lineman Wyatt Weiss will be one of many defenders on the lookout for Stoesz on Friday.

“All we’ve been hearing about is to watch their quarterback and they’re quarterback’s the best things ever,” Weiss said. “I guess we’ve just got to watch their quarterback and play as a team.”

While Stoesz has the ability to throw, Sloan said he is most dangerous when he gets out of the pocket and takes off.

“They want to run the ball first. He’s so good at creating things on his own, especially on pass plays,” Sloan said. “If nobody’s open, he’ll just look for a lane and run it and that’s where they get a lot of those big plays.”

GM junior lineman Cameron Sneed said it will be on the guys up front to keep Mountain Lake from gaining ground.

“I think we can contain No. 12 and I think we can be successful,” Snead said. “We can get the job done. If we can get the job done up front, we should do well.”

Weiss brings some size up front for the Larks, but he knows he will be matched up against some bigger players against Mountain Lake. That isn’t fazing him.

“I think their three interior linemen are really big, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Weiss said. “You can be the smallest guy on the earth and be a really good lineman. You’ve just got to be physical and mentally prepared.”

While GM won four state championships from 2012-2016, this is the first state tournament for this core of players. GM senior lineman Ryan Hinz said the team is focused and ready to go.

“Its more mental, this late in the year,” Hinz said. “We’ve been watching a lot of film and watching scouting reports.”