Area football playoffs set…
Posted By: Jason Iacovino
The Section pairings for our area football playoffs are set and although it's a bit crazy how we got there for some of our local teams, the bottom line is all five teams will have quarterfinal games next Tuesday night and three of those will be rematches from regular season meetings...
Sec. 1AAAAA: No. 3 Owatonna (5-3) vs. No. 6 Austin (3-5)
The Huskies played for the chance to earn the No. 1 seed in their section, but their lopsided loss to Northfield combined with Rochester Mayo's win over Rochester Century sank Owatonna to the 3-spot, meaning they will not get a first round bye and instead will host Austin on Tuesday night. The Huskies beat the Packers, 42-14, on the road on Sep. 26. The winner will face No. 2 Rochester Mayo in Rochester on Oct. 25. The Faribault Falcons get the top seed in the section by virtue of their Big Nine record, although that record does not include games against co-conference champions Mankato West and Northfield, and the Raiders also did not play No. 4 seed Rochester Century. The other crazy note about the Sec. 1AAAAA seedings--the John Marshall Rockets, who scored a monumental upset of No. 1 ranked Mankato West on Wednesday night, end up as the 5 seed in the section and will be at Century next Tuesday.
Sec. 1A: No. 2 Blooming Prairie (8-0) vs. No. 7 Fillmore-Central (2-6)
No. 6 ranked Blooming Prairie, who finished No. 2 in the Class A QRF, was not rewarded in a "coaches vote" section, and instead get the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 Fillmore-Central at McFarlin Field on Tuesday night. The Awesome Blossoms beat the Falcons, 29-0, in last year's Section semifinal. Blooming Prairie finished 8.6 points ahead of top seed Rushford-Peterson in the final QRF rankings, but the coaches voted the Trojans No. 1 and they will host No. 8 Kingsland in the quarterfinals. The BP / Fillmore-Central winner will face the winner of No. 3 Goodhue vs. No. 6 Wabasha-Kellogg at the high seed on Oct. 25. Bethlehem Academy is the 4-seed and will host No. 5 Southland on Tuesday in Faribault.
Sec. 3AA: No. 7 New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (3-5) at Maple River (7-1)
The Panthers catch a break in their playoff draw thanks to a tie-breaker in the QRF which put Maple River ahead of Pipestone Area, thus making NRHEG's bus ride a lot shorter to neighboring Mapleton to face an Eagles squad they lost to by a 13-0 score on Sep. 19. The winner will face the winner of No. 3 Pipestone Area vs. No. 6 Martin County West at the high seed on Oct. 25. The Panthers are playing their best football of the year as evidenced in a very impressive show against high-powered Blooming Prairie on Wednesday night. NRHEG led at the half and trailed by one score when BP scored the game-sealing touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game. The top seed in Sec. 3AA is Luverne, who will host No. 8 Windom Area. The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 4 Jackson County Central vs. No. 5 Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial in the semifinals.
Sec. 1AA: No. 2 Triton (7-1) vs. No. 7 St. Charles (1-7)
As it turns out, the Cobras will have back-to-back games against St. Charles, a team they pummeled 67-0 on Wednesday night. The Cobras finished just ahead of Caledonia in the final Class AA QRF rankings, but they were within the tie-breaker margin, and Caledonia's 8-0 record means they get the top seed and will host No. 8 Hayfield to open the playoffs. The Triton / St. Charles winner will face the winner of No. 3 Lewiston-Altura vs. No. 6 Winona Cotter, two teams the Cobras also beat convincingly in the regular season. The other game in the section pits No. 4 Chatfield against No. 5 Dover-Eyota.
Sec. 2AA: No. 8 Medford (0-8) at No. 1 Norwood-Young America (7-1)
The Tigers let another lead slip away on Wednesday in a tough 20-14 loss at Lester Prairie / Holy Trinity and they will be on the road to face top seed Norwood-Young America to kick off the playoffs next Tuesday. The winner will face the winner of No. 4 Zumbrota-Mazeppa vs. No. 5 Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. The No. 2 is Pine Island, who will host No. 7 LeSueur-Henderson. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown gets the 3-seed and the Gopher Valley AA champions will host No. 6 Kenyon-Wanamingo in the quarterfinals.
Playoffs begin next Tuesday night...keep it tuned to KRFO-AM 1390 and Kat Kountry 105 FM for updates and area football coverage throughout the playoffs.