Brainerd vs. Buffalo

7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31

The biggest question surrounding this clash centers around Buffalo quarterback Aidan Bouman and the Brainerd defense — namely, can the Warriors stifle the junior?

The answer will emerge Friday night, but last year’s contest between the teams indicates an advantage for Brainerd coach Ron Stolski and the Warriors. In the 2017 opener, his Warriors defense limited Bouman, one of the state’s top offensive threats, to 15 completions for 195 yards, a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. The result was a 30-23 victory for the Warriors.

Bouman went on to recover from his Week 1 performance, which ended up being his lowest quarterback rating of the season (63.2), to top the state with 2,141 passing yards. He finished second in passing yards per game with 267.6. 

If Bouman and the Bison hope to finish Friday night with a win, they’ll need an improved defensive effort: Buffalo allowed 30.3 points per game in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to rebuild an offense following the graduation of Charlie Geraets, the team's workhorse back who rushed for 2,256 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2017. That included 170 yards and two touchdowns against Buffalo last year.