Four Area Teams Punch Their Ticket to the Prep Bowl
Four teams from Section 1 have punched their tickets to the State Championship games that will be played on Friday and Saturday.
LeRoy-Ostrander, Chatfield, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, and Kasson-Mantorville are all set to play in the Prep Bowl after impressive performances in the semifinals.
LeRoy-Ostrander Pitches Shutout Against Kittson County Central
The LeRoy-Ostrander Cardinals are on a roll. They took down Kittson County Central 49-0 in the 9-Man Semifinals to advance to the Prep Bowl for the first time since 1995.
It was a strong ground game for LeRoy-Ostrander as they pounded out 423 rushing yards in this one, including 229 yards and three touchdowns from Chase Johnson. Tanner Olson was great, too, as he went for 111 yards and two scores to help the Cardinals' offense.
LeRoy-Ostrander has been known throughout the season for their balanced attack, but throughout the playoffs, their ground game has excelled. LeRoy-Ostrander threw just six passes in the win against Kittson County Central because of how well their rushing attack was working.
The defense was the Cardinals has been great, too, allowing just 191 yards of total offense. The stellar defense along with a strong ground game has been the recipe for LeRoy-Ostrander throughout the tournament and they'll look to continue that into next Saturday in the state championship.
Fertile-Beltrami Is Next Up For LeRoy-Ostrander
It is a battle of the birds for the 9-man State Championship as LeRoy-Ostrander takes on the Section 6 Champion Fertile-Beltrami. The Falcons took down Hills-Beaver Creek in the state semifinals to advance to the state championship game.
Fertile-Beltrami is now 13-0 on the season and has a balanced attack on the offense, throwing for 146 yards on the ground and threw for another 137. Everett Balstad ran for 135 yards and 3 scores for Fertile-Beltrami in the semifinals and caught another three passes for 67 yards and another score.
He'll be one that the Cardinals will need to watch in their state championship matchup. Rylin Petry is the QB for Fertile-Beltrami and went 7-for-10 threw the air for 137 yards in the win. On the season, Fertile-Beltrami has scored 41.6 points per game and a stingy defense has allowed just 9.6.
This should make for a great showdown Saturday at 10 a.m at U.S Bank Stadium. The game will be broadcast on 103.1 KFIL.
Rushford-Peterson Falls to a Talented Minneota Team in Class A Semifinals
The Rushford-Peterson Trojans fell to a very good Minneota team in the Class A Semifinals on Saturday morning 28-8.
Minneota was able to move the ball on the ground, rushing for 243 yards as a team, including 173 yards and three touchdowns from Connor Sik. The Minneota defense was able to hold Rushford-Peterson to 145 total yards, including -8 total yards on the ground.
Malachi Bunke finished 16-for-35 through the air with 153 passing yards and a touchdown, which was caught by Alex Ronnenberg. Justin Ruberg brought in 6 catches for 67 yards.
Rushford-Peterson's defense was solid again, led by Aaron Prinsen's 8 tackles, but three Trojan turnovers gave the Vikings solid field position and aided Minneota to score 14 points off those turnovers.
Minneota will take on Mayer Lutheran in the Class A Championship at 10 a.m on Friday, November 26th.
Chatfield Comes From Behind To Punch Ticket to Prep Bowl
The Chatfield Gophers were in a battle with the Barnesville Trojans this past Thursday night. The Gophers scored with just over 2 minutes to go in the game to secure the 22-18 win.
With the Gophers trailing 12-8 at the half, the Gophers were driving but Quarterback Sam Backer picked up a second unsportsmanlike penalty, resulting in him being disqualified from the game. The Gophers fumbled the snap on their ensuing punt attempt, giving Barnesville the ball on the Gopher 15.
Barnesville scored on their first play from scrimmage to give them an 18-8 lead.
The Chatfield defense buckled down the rest of the game while the Gophers started to find their groove through the air on offense. Sophomore Parker Delaney was able to deliver a strike to Isaac Erding for 32 yards and score to make it 18-14 after three quarters.
With time winding down in the 4th quarter Delaney was able to throw another strike to Luke Carrier for a 47-yard touchdown with just 2:21 remaining to give the Gophers a 22-18 lead. Barnesville then fumbled the ensuing kick-return and the Gophers recovered.
On the next possession, Delaney got free on a run and nearly scored a 46-yard touchdown, but the ball was knocked free about 1 yard before the goal line and the Trojans recovered it in the endzone.
The Trojans had life. They started their drive with time ticking, but the Gophers defense stepped up one more time intercepting a Trojan pass to secure the win 22-18.
Delaney finished 7-for-17 for 175 yards and two touchdowns to help the Gopher offense. Backer was the leading rusher, going for 69 yards and a touchdown. Carrier had 3 catches for 72 yards and a score, while Cole Johnson added in three catches for 71 yards.
Chatfield Will Battle West Central Area/Ashby in Class AA Final
The Gophers will take on a tough West Central Area/Ashby in the Prep Bowl Friday afternoon. West Central took down Maple River 8-7 in the semifinals, and it was a safety in the 3rd quarter that pushed West Central Area/Ashby to the win.
It is two tough defenses battling this in Prep Bowl as West Central Area/Ashby has allowed just 11 points per game this season, and just 13 points throughout the entire state tournament.
Chatfield's defense has been fantastic this year, too, allowing just over 14 points per game this season.
West Central Area/Ashby likes to run the football, totaling 135 yards on the ground in their semifinal win and just 50 passing yards on just 3 completed passes.
It should make for a fantastic championship game. The kickoff on Friday is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, November 26th. The game will be broadcast on 103.1 KFIL.
Plainview-Elgin-Millville Takes Down Annandale in Class AAA Semifinal
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Annandale and never looked back. The Bulldogs defense was able to hold a tough Annandale team to just 6 points in their 28-6 win.
Connor McGuire threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another score to propel the Bulldog offense in the win, but it has been the PEM defense that has been the most impressive.
The Bulldogs held Annandale to 285 yards and one touchdown, which came in the second quarter. While Annandale did outgain PEM in total yards, the Bulldogs were not budging on big plays to help advance PEM to the state championship game.
Peyton Schumacher and Jason Fells each caught a touchdown in the game and Schumacher also had an interception returned for a touchdown on defense for PEM. The Bulldogs are now 11-2 on the season as they advance to the Prep Bowl.
PEM Will Take on Dassel-Cokato In the Prep Bowl
Dassel-Cokato is going to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball some more. After a 21-14 win over Esko in the state semifinals, Dassel-Cokato will take their run game up against PEM.
Dassel-Cokato did not attempt one pass in the semifinals and ran for 252 runs in the win. PEM will have to try and stop this impressive running attack. Dassel-Cokato is 13-0 now on the season and will take their run-first offense against a tough PEM defense.
Eli Gillman was the leading rusher for Dassel-Cokato in the semifinal, running for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Keyton Johnson also had 15 carries for 79 yards in the win.
PEM's ground game is led by McGuire and Hunter Tentis. Schumacher and Josh Evers are two talented players to watch in the passing game for the Bulldogs.
It is the champions of Section 2 and the champions of Section 1 at U.S Bank Stadium on Saturday, November 27th. The kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Kasson-Mantorville Scores with 9 seconds to go to Advance to Prep Bowl
Matthew Donovan connected with Brooks Buchanan on a 7-yard pass to give the KoMets a 24-20 win over Becker in the Class AAAA semifinals.
The KoMets have been great all season, especially on the ground. Donovan was great going for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Becker was up 10-0 in the second quarter and took the 10-0 lead into the half.
The KoMet responded with a 21-yard field goal of their own to make it 10-3 and Becker answered with a 37-yard touchdown pass to push their lead to 17-3.
Kasson-Mantorville was not giving up. Trailing 17-3 going into the 4th quarter, K-M got rushing touchdowns from Donovan on back-to-back drives to tie it up at 17. Becker was able to kick another field goal with 90 seconds to go to take a 20-17 lead.
K-M then put together an 80-yard drive to score with just 9 seconds to go to take the 24-0 win over #1 ranked Becker.
It was a thrilling win for the KoMets as they move to their first Prep Bowl in school history.
Kasson-Mantorville's Will Face Hutchinson In Championship Game
Kasson-Mantorville will have another state power in the championship going up against Hutchinson. Hutchinson took down Orono 36-6 in their semifinal to set up the date with K-M on Friday, November 26th at 4 p.m.
Hutchinson, ranked #2, has one loss on the season. They fell to Becker in the regular season but have found their stride since. The Tigers average 36.9 points per game and allow just 10.4 Hutchinson, the champions of Section 2, use their ground game to move the football.
Andrew Ladwig ran for 138 yards and a touchdown in the semifinal for Hutchinson, Alex Elliot added in 82 yards and 2 scores, and Levi Teetzel ran for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Kasson-Mantorville will have a tough task ahead, but they have proved to be a tough team this season, too.
It should be a great matchup in the Class AAAA title game on Friday, November 26th at 4 p.m.