Thief River Falls has won the last ten meetings between the two rivals with the Pirates' last win coming in 2005 with a 42-20 pounding of the Prowlers.

Does anyone in Crookston remember what it's like to beat Thief River Falls in football?

I do. In my senior year we, and when I say "we" I mean my friends because I was cheering in the stands, beat the Prowlers 12-2 in the season opener.

Thief River Falls has won the last ten meetings between the two rivals with the Pirates' last win coming in 2005 with a 42-20 pounding of the Prowlers.

The long-standing rivals meet up in a Heart O' Lakes Northern Conference showdown Friday at Ed Widseth Field in Crookston at 7 p.m. It is not a section game with Thief River Falls moving up to Class AAAA this season.

This could be the year for the Pirates to end their drought, though. In's QRF rankings, which is how the section seeds are determined, the teams are separated by just three points.

The teams seem to be evenly matched coming in to Friday's clash. Thief River Falls lost to Warroad a week after Crookston dominated the Warriors. The Prowlers also beat East Grand Forks, who dominated Crookston.

Remember that 2010 season when Crookston came so close in both meetings with Thief River Falls? The Prowlers pulled out a 20-14 overtime win in the season opener and a thrilling 37-34 win in the section playoffs, winning on a hail mary pass as time expired.

Thief River Falls hasn't just held an edge in the rivalry recently. Dating back to 1921, the Prowlers hold a 57-33-3 edge against the Pirates.

Section and conference breakdown
If the regular season ended today the Pirates would hold the second seed in the section playoffs. And that's interesting because the Pirates are last in the Heart O' Lakes Northern Conference.

The Pirates have a couple of tough games to finish the regular season with Thief River Falls and Detroit Lakes, who is a perfect 6-0 on the season.

If the Pirates can win one or both of those games they will have a good chance at retaining the second seed for the playoffs.

Numbers never lie
Both teams have 1-3 records in the conference. The Pirates hold an overall mark of 3-3, while the Prowlers are 2-4.

The running game is how both teams move the ball with Crookston racking up 1,408 yards in six games and Thief River Falls recording 1,423 rushing yards. Crookston holds a 670-435 edge in passing yards.

The Pirate defense has struggled. Besides holding Warroad and Breckenridge to a combined 27 points, Crookston has allowed an average of 35 points in its other four games.

The Pirate offense is lead by senior running back Josh Edlund, who leads the Heart O' Lakes Conference with 8.6 yards per carry. He is second in the conference with 15 touchdowns.

Senior receiver Alex Boone leads the conference with 21 receptions. He has 284 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior quarterback Dylan Klatt has completed 52.8 percent (47 of 89) of his passes in six games. His two thrown interceptions are tied for the lowest in the conference.

The Prowlers offense is led by sophomore running back Nathaniel Holecek and junior running back Ian Lund.

Class AAA Section Standings

Heart O' Lakes Northern Conference Standings