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Major Midweek Clash in Minnesota

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Major Midweek Clash in Minnesota

Albert Lea has been enjoying a solid spring.

Undefeated Minnetonka faces undefeated Albert Lea in a key Minnesota Youth Rugby game Wednesday night, a game that could go a long way to deciding who is tops in the state, and who might finally get a look at the rankings.

Albert Lea’s defense has been extraordinary, as they have held all comers to just five points so far. Paced by a group of seniors who have been with the program since they were freshmen or sophomores, the Eagles beat Becker 40-5 on Friday, while Minnetonka beat South River 45-10.

Openside flanker Griffin Studier is excellent defensively and a good ball runner as well, while No. 8 Griffin Thompson is another excellent tackler and quick.

“Both boys have motors that won’t quit,” said Head Coach Ron Eriksmoen. 

Out wide fullback Caleb Talamantes is very, very speedy, hits the line hard, and is devastating on the counterattack. On Friday he scored a try while Derrick McMillan and scrumhalf Tucker Eriksmoen each scored two. Flyhalf Nathan Bain was good for four conversions (all drop kicks, he doesn’t use a tee), and he has been close to an 80% success rate this season.

All those fast guys need some big guys to set the platform, and that would be the likes of 350-lb loosehead prop Clarence Leftbear. He is big but can last the whole game and has a really high work rate.

Does this mean Albert Lea is on track for a state title? That would be premature. They have to get through Minnetonka tonight and Eagan as well. Then we’ll talk.