BLACKDUCK – The area high school football teams will open their section playoffs today, and Blackduck will be among the squads playing at home.
The Drakes (5-3) earned the No. 3 seed in the Section 7A tournament and will entertain No. 6 Mesabi East (1-7) 6 p.m. today.
Cass Lake-Bena (1-7) is the seventh seed and will visit No. 2 Cook County in Grand Marais tonight. If Blackduck and CL-B both win they will play 2 p.m. Saturday in Blackduck.
In today’s 7A lower bracket action No. 5 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley visits No. 4 East Central (Finlayson) and No. 1 Barnum hosts No. 8 Ogilvie.
Bagley (5-3) is seeded seventh in 8-2A and will visit No. 2 Barnesville 6 p.m. today. The other first-round contests see No. 3 Pelican Rapids entertaining No. 6 Prairie Valley, No. 5 Warroad visiting No. 4 Frazee and No. 1 Hawley hosting No. 8 United North Central.
The semifinals will be played Saturday.
Kelliher-Northome (6-2) received the third seed in Section 7 Nine-Man play and will host Northwoods 7 p.m. today. If they win the Mustangs will tangle with either No. 2 Ely or No. 7 Northeast Range on Saturday. Those teams also meet today.
In the upper bracket No.1 Bigfork welcomes No. 8 Littlefork and No. 5 Chisholm heads to No. 4 Mountain Iron-Buhl.
Red Lake (0-4) has a tough task today as the Warriors, who are seeded No. 8 in Section 8A, visit No. 1 Mahnomen.
In last week’s regular season finales, Bagley topped Blackduck 19-8, Kelliher-Northome fell 48-14 at Onamia, Cass Lake-Bena dropped an 18-6 decision to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Red Lake was blanked 47-0 by Carlton.
The QRF seedings will be used to determine the area volleyball section tournament pairings and in East Sub-Section 8A Cass Lake-Bena will lead the area teams as the fifth seed.
The Panthers own a 10-11 record and finished the year with a 38.8 QRF.
Leading 8A East is Lake of the Woods at 74.3 while Mahnomen is 58.6, Fosston 58.4 and Clearbrook-Gonvick 48.6.
Completing the East Sub-Section QRF rankings are WHA (38.1), Kelliher-Northome (31.7), Laporte (29.5), Blackduck (27.0), Red Lake (20.2), Bug O Nay Ge Shig (15.2) and Indus (11.5).
Northern Freeze, with a QRF of 100.3, heads the North Sub-Section 8A rankings and Win-E-Mac is second (93.1).
The 8A playoffs begin Friday with play-in action. The East will have some of its quarterfinal matches Oct. 30 at BSU and its semifinals on Nov. 2 at Bagley. The Section 8A final will be Nov. 3 at UM-Crookston.