Hermantown, Proctor rivalry Hammer Game returns for 71st year Friday

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The Proctor versus Hermantown football rivalry Hammer Game returns Friday night.

Taking a one year hiatus both the Hawks and Rails are ready to renew their now 71-year-old tradition; a series that’s tied 35-to-35.

“It’s good, there’s been an absence for a little bit. Whenever you loose tradition you miss out on something,” Proctor head coach Matt Krivinchuk said. “It’s great for the kids, it’s great for the communities to get this back and have that opportunity to really get out and get after it and have a great atmosphere on a Friday night.”

“We’re excited, you know we want to make sure that we get the lead in the series,” Hermantown head coach Mike Zagelmeyer said. “We think it’s something to throw out there for the kids to make it a little bit of a challenge for them, they’re excited about it. Again it’s just great for the communities, it’s great for northern Minnesota football.”

Currently holding the Hammer is Hermantown who took it from Proctor in 2020 after a 28-0 victory. The past ten years the Hawks have swung to victory seven times.

This fall 3-2 Hermantown is focusing on nailing down their systems early to avoid turnovers and penalties in order to stop the rolling 2-3 Rails.

“We just have to step on the gas,” Hawks’ senior defensive lineman Josh Muehlbauer said. “We can’t under estimate anybody. They’ve been continually getting better every game. Watching film, just giving it our all.”

As for earning their first Hammer Game win since 2019, Rails’ senior guard and linebacker Quinn Schnabel said, “we’re going to need a lot of focus. A lot of effort but ultimately I think we can do it. They have a fantastic group over there but I believe that we do here too.”

Hermantown is hosting the rivalry match for the first time since 2018. Kickoff Friday is set for 7 p.m.