Field completed for state football quarterfinals
The field for the state high school football tournament was completed Saturday with the final three section title games at St. John's and St. Cloud State.
Winners of those three were Brainerd, Rogers and Sauk Rapids.
Brainerd ran up a 21-0 lead in the first half to dispel Moorhead 35-12, its second win over the Spuds this fall.
Matt Pohlkamp and Mitchell McLain each scored twice for the winners, Pohlkamp going 71 yards for the opening TD.
The unbeaten Warriors open against state champion Eden Prairie Friday at Maple Grove.
Rogers took the 8-4A title 21-12 over Becker to advance to Friday's game at Duluth's Public Schools Stadium against Bemidji.
Again it was a repeat of a regular-season game as Rogers remained unbeaten.
Rogers was ranked second, Becker sixth and Bemidji eighth in the final state Class 4A poll.
Sauk Rapids and Alexandria, though Central Lakes Conference members, did not meet this fall. The Storm won 27-26 in overtime to take the 8-4A title and will face state champ Totino Grace at St. Cloud State Friday.
Bemidji beat Sauk Rapids by four Alex by seven in their regular season games.
In 3A, East Grand Forks puts its seven-game win string on the line against Albany in a Saturday game at St. Cloud State. For nearby Albany it will amount to virtually a home game.
The 2A openers send Pelican Rapids against Otter Tail Central Friday at 8 at the Fargodome.
In the opener that night Mahnomen and Barnesville match 11-0 marks in a 6 p.m. contest in Class A.
That afternoon the Section 8 and 6 Nine Man champs, Goodridge/Grygla-Gatzke and Ada-Borup, clash. Cromwell and Mountain-Iron Buhl square off Saturday noon at Duluth's Public Schools Stadium.
Action shifts to the Metrodome the following Friday and Saturday for the semifinals. The title game are the following weekend.
Favorites continued to dominate the playoffs with 25 of last year's section winners reclaiming titles.
Only five defending champs fell in the finals.
There are five back in 5A and seven in 4A.
On the low end were 3A with only two and Nine Man with three.
Only three of last year's state champs, however, survived, Cretin-Derham Hall in 5A, Totino Grace in 4A and Class A Minneota.
High scores and lopsided finals were the order of the day.
Thirteen winners topped 40 points led by Holy Family with 63 and LeSueur-Henderson with 60. Another three were in the 50s. Biggest score of the day was LeSueur's 60-32 win over Minneapolis Washburn. The biggest spread was Lanesboro's 52-8 romp past Glenville.
Around the north, East Grand Forks upended Thief River 19-10 for its seventh straight win in the Class 3A final.
Pelican Rapids used a final period field goal to shade DGF 17-14 for the 2A crown. Mahnomen took the 8A title 20-7 over Warren to remain unbeaten.
Goodridge/Grygla-Gatzke and Ada-Borup, who meet in the state quarterfinals, claimed the Nine Man Section 8 and 6 championships.
Goodridge ended the Cinderella run of Clearbrook-Gonvick, running up a 49-0 lead after three periods in a 49-6 win.
Ada-Borup saw Nevis slice its early lead to 14-7 but slammed the door thereafter to win 37-7.
In Section 7, Milaca spanked Virginia 34-19 in the Class 3A title game, handing the Blue Devils their only loss of the fall.
Barnum dethroned East Central in 2A and Moose Lake spanked Braham in Class A in a pair of Thursday games at Duluth. The Nine Man champ is Mountain Iron-Buhl with a 28-6 win over Cook.