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Midgets prepare for 'practice' game

The Dickinson High football team isn't looking at its next game like any other. For the Midgets, it's not game that will count. "Realistically, it's a practice game for us," Dickinson coach Dennis Morris said. Still, Dickinson will try to beat Fa...

Dickinson High junior tailback Brett Braunagel
Press Photo by Jason Adkins Dickinson High junior tailback Brett Braunagel skirts around Minot High defenders Oct. 9 in a West Region football game at the Badlands Activities Center. Braunagel will share playing time in the backfield at the Midgets take on No. 2-ranked Fargo South in a non-region game at 5 p.m. today at the Badlands Activities Center.

The Dickinson High football team isn't looking at its next game like any other.

For the Midgets, it's not game that will count.

"Realistically, it's a practice game for us," Dickinson coach Dennis Morris said.

Still, Dickinson will try to beat Fargo South, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AAA, in a non-region game at 5 p.m. today at the Badlands Activities Center.

"We're going to go out with the intentions of winning that football game," Morris said. "We seem to play pretty well against tough teams. If we have a game that's free of turnovers and penalties, they're not a team that can't be beat."

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The Midgets (4-3 overall, 3-2 West Region) are coming off their most disappointing loss of the season -- a 14-7 defeat to Minot High. A win would have made their path to the Class AAA playoffs much easier.

Four turnovers and 11 penalties ruined what was a winnable game for Dickinson against the Magicians.

Morris' goal for the Midgets this week is to get the turnover bug out the team's system and work on keeping penalties to a minimum.

"The focus is going to be cleaning up the stuff we need to before we play Mandan," Morris said.

Instead, Dickinson has to get a road win at Mandan on Wednesday to nail down a postseason berth.

Morris said Fargo South (6-1, 3-1 East Region) and Mandan have much in common defensively, with both playing a 3-5-3 formation.

"It gives you the option of seven or eight guys in the box every time," Morris said. "They have a nice secondary to play behind them too. We need to work on our throwing game, so it's going to be a good test for us."

Expecting the Bruins to take the same approach as the Midgets, with an emphasis on not getting anyone hurt for the playoffs, Morris said there will be a lot of new players getting time.

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That's fine with Morris as he doesn't see the sense of risking injury when both teams still have games that count.

"That's going to be an issue for both teams -- getting out of the game healthy," Morris said. "It is a nonconference practice game this late in the year with them in playoff contention for sure and us fighting for the playoffs. Both of us are going to need everyone healthy for the next week."

The Midgets are finally getting back to full strength, especially in the backfield with junior Brett Braunagel and freshman Michael Cherwinski getting over ankle injuries.

"We have enough guys in our backfield to rotate some people through," Morris said. "We're going to be OK. What we can't lose right now is one of our linemen. We could, we have additional linemen, but we need the best of the best."

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