Elk River vs. Buffalo

7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6

Pity the scoreboard operator. Or the statisticians. Or the guys lugging the yardage markers up and down the field. 

Last year’s meeting between Elk River and Buffalo was a workout for everyone. This year’s rematch might very well be the same, which is why it's our Top Game of the Week.

Elk River’s 80-70 triumph over Buffalo is believed to have set the state record for most combined points in a single game, smashing the previous record set in 1919 when Virginia routed International Falls 128-0. The teams combined for 1,334 total yards with Elk River scoring touchdowns on 11 consecutive possessions. Buffalo quarterback Aidan Bouman threw eight touchdown passes. 

And the remarkable statistics and individual performances go on and on.

While it would be unreasonable to expect another field-shaking offensive explosion of that magnitude on Friday night, it’s fun to dream of an encore performance.

Elk River opened its season last week with a 57-0 romp over Brainerd during which the Elks (1-0) rushed for 561 yards. Five players had 50 or more rushing yards, and four players scored on touchdown runs of 40 or more yards. All that balance speaks to the dominance of Elk River’s offensive line, featuring starters Eli Bicek and J.R. Hale at tight end, Seth Hopkins and Alex Skoog at tackle, Bjorn Sheils and Silas Close at guard and Cody Newhouse at center.

Then there's Bouman, who's widely considered the best pro-style passer in the state, and his return to Buffalo (0-1). After one week the Iowa State commit and son of longtime former NFL quarterback Todd Bouman sits atop the state’s passing statistics with 20 completions and 288 yards (he threw for 3,474 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2018). Senior receiver Michael Tweten racked up 10 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in Buffalo’s 56-20 loss at Alexandria in the opener.

While a combined 150 points might be too much to ask in one of the most anticipated games of the season, we’re setting the line at a smooth 100 points. And taking the over.