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Spring Valley, Ellsworth grids to deal with nemeses tonight

Elk Mound has certainly had its way with Spring Valley on the gridiron since the year 2000. Durand has bullied Ellsworth the same fashion.

Since that year Durand has gone 12-2 vs. Ellsworth. The last time EHS beat the Panthers in the regular season was in 2007.

And since thar year Elk Mound has gone 11-3 against Spring Valley. The last win the Cardinals have had over the Mounders was in 2003, and that was a playoff contest. During the regular season? It came way back in 2001.

But with both Ellsworth and Spring Valley unbeaten heading into their respective conference openers against their nemeses (who are both 1-1), perhaps this could be the season the situation turns itself around.

One thing which has changed as far as Elk Mound-Spring Valley is concerned is on the EM sidelines. Dan Pedersen has retired as head coach and the Mounders new hetman is Dave Lew. But Spring Valley head coach Ryan Kapping expects the same kind of Elk Mound squad. 

"We know Elk Mound always has tough, hard-nosed players no matter what their record is and you expect a heck of an effort from them for four quarters," Kapping said. 'That's the kind of program we want to be and we've taken a lot steps since the start of the season to be the same way. We just have to keep it going."

The Cardinals certainly have played tough and stingy and Elk Mound-like when it comes to defense. Valley's defense has not given up a point yet, shutting out Unity 31-0 and Elmwood/Plum City 40-0, both road contetsts as tonight's game will be.

Another reason for a possible turnaround in both series is confidence and right now Ellsworth's confidence is soaring on its first 2-0 start since 2006. The timing couldn't be better playing a Durand squad bruised from a loss to its other main rival, Mondovi, while Ellsworth routed Red Wing 31-0 in front of a huge home crowd last week.

"I tell people all the time confidence is three quarters of football," EHS head coach Clair Austin said. "If you believe everyone around you is going to carry out their assigments and do them well no matter the opponent you're three-quarters of the way to winning."

To reach the goaline however will require Ellsworth to figure out a way to finally stop Durand's Wing-T offense led by its big backs T.J. Auth and Jacob Biesterveld along with quarterback Tyler Gruber.  

"We're a very cohesive team this season, as cohesive as I've ever seen us," Austin said. "And what that means is that we move together well, hit and tackle together, block together, we're able to do things at the point of attack on either side of the ball together as  a unit or as many kids as possible and that's going to be a big help in stopping them."

Although wounded, Durand has played a tough schedule so far and will certainly have confidence too after beating Ellsworth so many times in a row.

Prescott is certainly a confident bunch after picthing back-to-back shutouts on the season so far. They host Amery tonight at ;Laney Field and hope not to be too confident with Somerset on tap next week. Meanwhile, Elmwood /Plum City will try to regain some of its confidence after it took a 40-0 beating by Spring Valley last week. They host Clear Lake in their league opener in Plum City. All kick-offs tonight are at 7 p.m.

Link to the state coaches' poll is here

Middle Border Conference

Ellsworth                2-0

Osceola                        2-0

Prescott                 2-0

Somerset                      2-0

Amery                           1-1

Baldwin-Woodville      1-1

Durand                          1-1

New Richmond              0-2

Friday, Aug. 30

Bloomer 58, Amery 12

Ellsworth 31, Red Wing 0

Prescott 35, St. Croix Falls 0

Mondovi 14, Durand 12

Osceola 42, Hayward 14

Somerset 20,  Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 6

Rice Lake 41, New Richmond 0

Spooner 29, Baldwin-Woodville 28

Friday, Sept, 6

Baldwin-Woodville at New Richmond

Osceola at Somerset

Durand at Ellsworth

Amery at Prescott

Lakeland South Conference

Alma/Pepin                       2-0

Clear Lake                         1-1

Elmwood/Plum City    1-1

Shell Lake                          1-1

Turtle Lake                        1-1

Clayton                              0-2

Lake Holcombe/Cornell   0-2

Thursday, Aug. 29

Bethlehem Academy, Minn. 38, Clayton 18

Friday, Aug. 30

Spring Valley 40, EPC 0

Alma/Pepin 44, Independence/Gilmanton 6

Webster 37, Turtle Lake 22

Flambeau 44, Lake Holcombe/Cornell 14

De Soto 28, Clear Lake 15

Saturday, Aug. 31

Wisconsin Heights 39,  Shell Lake 14

Friday, Sept. 6

Clear Lake at EPC (at Plum City)

Turtle Lake at Alma/Pepin

Clayton at Shell Lake

Webster at Lake Holcombe/Cornell (nc)

Dunn-St. Croix Conference

Boyceville                               2-0

Colfax                                    2-0

Glenwood City                      2-0

Mondovi                                2-0

Spring Valley                 2-0

Elk Mound                             1-1

St.  Croix Central                  0-2

Thursday, August 29

Elk Mound 42, Eleva-Strum 0

Friday, August 30, 2013 

Barron 35, St. Croix Central 18

Glenwood City 49, Frederic 7

Mondovi 14, Durand 12

Colfax 44, Ladysmith 0

Spring Valley 40,  Elmwood/Plum City 0

Boyceville 48, Augusta  

Friday, Sept. 6, 2013                                                             

Boyceville @ Mondovi                                                           

St. Croix Central @ Colfax                                                      

Spring Valley @ Elk Mound                                                    

St. Paul Academy, Minn. @ Glenwood City