Not many teams have upended Pierz recently in the regular season. The Pioneers, who won Class 3A state titles in 2015 and 2017, have also won 33 of their last 34 regular-season games dating back to the 2014 season. The lone blemish came two seasons ago in a 20-6 loss to Maple Lake, and Pierz is ready to keep that defeat a distant memory when the teams meet this week.
The No. 1-3A Pioneers appear to be back in form, scoring 96 points while rolling in victories at Milaca and Holdingford this year. Senior Reese Kapsner has been a dynamic playmaker for the Pioneers (2-0, 1-0), leading the team with 176 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and caught two passes for 79 yards and a TD in Friday's 32-14 win over Holdingford.
The No. 6-2A Irish must slow a Pierz offense that has put up at least 31 points per game every year since 2014. Maple Lake (2-0, 1-0), however, may be up to the task after giving up just 14 points after the first two weeks.
Look for the Irish to lean on junior dual-threat quarterback Ben Clapp, who threw for 143 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. He also added 101 rushing yards in the 27-0 win over Minnewaska.