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LaMoure/LM in the running for a 9-man football title

The LaMoure/Litchville-Marion football team is undefeated so far this season.

Nov. 6, 2020, was a tough day for the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion football team.

After battling for four quarters, the Linton/Hazelton-Moffitt Braddock football team dealt the Loboes their first -- and only -- loss of the 2020 season.

Any loss is tough, but it stings a little more when it abruptly ends your season.

"I think that loss has been in the back of our minds all offseason and I think it's still in the back of our mind now," LLM head coach Andy DelaBarre said. "We know what is at stake and we know what we have to overcome and we can't get complacent."

The bitter 46-38 loss in the 2020 9-man state semifinals has turned out to serve the Loboes well this year.

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DelaBarre and his pack of Loboes have pulled out a perfect 8-0 overall and a 5-0 9-man, Region 1 record. LLM'a next test will come against May-Port-C-G on Saturday at 1 p.m. LLM is slated to host the first-round contest.

"We've done well," DelaBarre said of his team's performance this season. "I think we've improved throughout the season to lead us into the playoff run and I think we've learned a lot about ourselves and what we are good at, what we can be better at and how that can pull us into the playoff time."

Through the team's eight regular-season games, Loboes have outscored their opponents 463-12. Senior quarterback Corban Potts has helped to fuel the Loboes' offense with a strong passing game. Potts has completed 56 of his 86 attempted passes for a 65.12 completion percentage. Potts has thrown for more than 1,200 yards this season, averaging more than 21 yards per completion.

Returning all-stater Colton Ness is leading the team in receptions with 18 for 415 yards.

On the ground, junior linebacker Brady Lettenmaier has run for 1,078 yards, averaging more than nine yards per carry. The junior has tallied a team-leading 18 touchdowns. Tate Mart, Brayden Steffes, Garrett Hebl and Kyreece McGaughy also average at least nine yards per carry.

"This year we have worked a lot harder than any other year," Potts said. "We have also been more focused on staying hungry. Other years we’ve gotten too comfortable and that cost us in the long run. I attribute our attitude towards that to our coaches. Every day they push us and keep us working hard and getting better."

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While LLM offensive coach Lucas Isaacson has done an effective job at calling and adapting the Loboes' offense this year, LLM has proved themselves a threat defensively as well.

"I have to talk about our defense too," DelaBarre said. "We've only given up 12 points on the year. I think being disciplined is what helped us there. We've stuck true to our principles on defense. Playing different types of offenses our defense has held true."

The 12 points allowed came in the Loboes' 42-12 win over Wyndmere on Sept. 24. The Loboes have pitched shutouts the other seven weeks.

Hebl is leading the team in solo tackles with 25, while Carter Bowman has recorded a team-high of five sacks.

The Loboes' stats are undoubtedly impressive, but there are several other teams throughout the eight 9-man regions whose record also reads 8-0. New Salem-Almont, Bottineau, Nelson County and Cavalier are all undefeated.

May-Port-C-G is 8-1. The Patriots' one loss came against Cavalier.

"There's a lot of good football going on right now," DelaBarre said. "For us, we have to look at it one week at a time. May-Port has some heavy, good athletes. We have to be able to adjust when there's adversity. Every team we play from now on is a playoff football team and that typically means that they didn't just get there by chance."

"Our one and only goal right now is to beat May-Port. After that, we'll see what happens. It's going to be a fun playoff run."

Related Topics: FOOTBALLPREP SPORTS
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