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Brian Wierima / Forum News Service, Published October 02 2013

DL's Herzog at home in the end zone

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – In football, the term “red zone” is referred to as when an offensive unit moves the ball within the opponent’s 20-yard line.

It’s the territory where defenses stiffen up, while offenses start looking at the pylons and the eventual six-point play.

For the Detroit Lakes offensive unit, it usually means a touchdown when they visit the red zone and over half the time, it’s senior quarterback Michael Herzog who is busting past the goal line.

Herzog has made such a habit of scoring touchdowns that he has leapt over some Lakers legends in the record book to become Detroit Lakes’

all-time scoring leader – eclipsing Todd Steinmetz’s 278 career points set from 1994-96.

Last Friday, Herzog scored two touchdowns from within the red zone against East Grand Forks on rushes of four and one yard, thus putting him alone at the top of the scoring list with 282 points.

This year alone, Herzog has notched 78 points on 13 rushing touchdowns in just four games, which comes despite missing DL’s homecoming game against Staples-Motley.

It’s a mark Herzog never set his sights on, but now that he’s reached it, is proud to join such an elite group of former Lakers.

“Looking at the list of the all-time leading scorers in DL, is just an exceptional list with many great players,” Herzog said. “It’s the coolest thing that my name will be tossed in there now.”

Last year, Herzog was eight points shy of breaking Ryan Manke’s 150 single-season scoring mark he set in 1999.

Herzog also led the team in scoring his sophomore season when he played running back and slot back, where he scored seven rushing touchdowns, two receiving TDs, one interception return for six points and a 2-point conversion reception for 62 points.

But the last two seasons as DL’s quarterback, the team’s red zone efficiency is off the charts.

This year alone in five games, DL has visited the opponents’ red zone 15 times, resulting in 14 touchdowns, nine of which have ended as a Herzog touchdown.

“That’s where we take pride as a team,” Herzog said of the red zone success. “That’s where everyone has to do their job.”

Brian Wierima is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune