The Rocori Spartan and Apollo Eagle football teams will each look for their first win of 2018 when they meet Friday night at Mischie Field in St. Cloud. The game can be heard on AM 1390 Granite City Sports, beginning with the pregame show at 6:40.

The Spartans fell 40-19 to Detroit Lakes on Thursday night in Cold Spring. Rocori head coach James Herberg, making his head coaching debut, said the Spartans made some uncharacteristic errors on their way to the loss.

"We knew we had some guys with very little experience, and that we were going to make some mistakes," Herberg said. "At the end of the day, we had way too many mistakes in all three phases of the game, and we were not ourselves."

The Spartans found themselves trailing 20-0 at the end of the first quarter, then played the Lakers pretty close over the final three quarters. The team's effort despite the big early deficit was something Herberg views as a positive.

"We gave an effort," Herberg said. "It's easy for kids to quit when things go bad... so for guys to respond the way they did was huge for us and that's the biggest (positive) we can take moving forward."

The Eagles also found themselves trailing early as the Tech Tigers jumped out to a 16-6 halftime lead before Apollo fought back to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter with a kick return for a touchdown by Lukas Theisen and a touchdown catch from John Blommel.

"Once we settled down a little bit, we came out in the second half and had a big play on special teams," head coach Justin Skaalerud said. "After that it was a dogfight... they just made a couple more plays than we did down the stretch."

Both coaches agree that the biggest key in Friday night's game will be winning the turnover battle.

"I think we had some opportunities against Tech, and the team that limits the turnovers and can create a couple will be the team that is happy at the end of the night," Skaalerud said.

"We lost the turnover battle 4-0 (against Detroit Lakes)," Herberg said. "Flat out, we have to protect the football and create turnovers on the defensive side of the ball.. we can't just expect them to be placed into our lap."

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