State high school football playoffs begin Friday
The state's top two-dozen grid squads head to the Metrodome this weekend for the state playoff semifinals.
By Saturday night the top 12 will remain to return to the Met Nov. 26-27 for the six title games.
Play begins Friday at daybreak when Nine Man's Goodridge-Grygla (12-0) tackles Lanesboro (10-2).
The Blue Devils take over the role from perennial state champ Stephen-Argyle which has ruled the state the past decade. G-G won the section title over Clearbrook-Gonvick and stopped Ada 26-20 in the quarterfinals. Lanesboro eliminated Edgerton 29-28 in overtime.
Game 2 at 10:15 a.m. Friday sends Goodhue (9-3) against Barnesville (12-0) in Class A. Barnesville ended Mahnomen's unbeaten season 24-6 and Goodhue ousted Adrian 30-21.
At 12:45 p.m. St. Thomas Academy (11-0) takes on Totino Grace (10-1) in what could well be the 4A title game.
Both have been state contenders for years. St. Thomas beat Northfield 35-21 while Totino won over Sauk Rapids 45-14 in their openers.
At 3:15 p.m. the 3A semifinals pit Albany (12-0) against Rochester Lourdes (10-1).
Albany derailed East Grand Forks 43-6 and Lourdes triumphed over Glencoe-Silver Lake 37-14 in their openers.
Caledonia and Otter Tail Central match perfect 12-0 marks at 5:45 p.m. in Class 2A Caledonia shaded Luverne 7-6 and OTC won over Pelican Rapids 21-6 last weekend.
The grand finale in 5A starts at 8:15 p.m. when Brainerd and Rosemount, both 11-0, come to grips.
Brainerd shocked Eden Prairie 13-10 last weekend while Rosemount won over Lakeville South 24-14.
It all starts anew Saturday. The 8 a.m. opener sends Underwood (10-2) against Cromwell (7-4).
Cromwell a three-time champ and 10-time finalist, is in its 15th trip to the state meet, one it was not expected to make this year.
It ousted MIB 36-6 in the quarterfinals. Underwood beat Nicollet 28-0.
At 10:15 a.m. state champ Minneota and New Ulm Cathedral match 11-1 marks. Minneota romped over Barnum 45-6 while Cathedral ousted ACGC 47-18 in a pair of one sided openers.
The 12:45 p.m. game sends Mahtomedi (10-2) against unbeaten Rogers (11-0) in 4A.
Mahtomedi beat Mankato West 23-14 while Rogers outlasted Bemidji 24-21 last weekend.
At 3:15 p.m. DeLaSalle (11-1) and Holy Family Catholic (12-0) square off in another Prep School feature.
Both dominated their openers, DeLaSalle romping past LeSueur 44-0 Monday and Holy Family blitzing Milaca 56-14.
The 5:45 p.m. game matches Triton (12-0) and Eden Valley-Watkins (12-0) in Class 2A. Triton ousted Maple Lake 28-21 Monday in a postponed game. Eden Valley eliminated Moose Lake 21-6.
The finale at 8:15 p.m. pits 5A powers Mounds View (11-1) and Wayzata (9-0).
Mounds View ended defending champion Cretin's stay 21-7 while Wayzata blitzed Blaine 34-0.
The Nine Man, A, 2A and 5A championship games are set for Nov. 26.
The 3A and 4A title games will end the season Nov. 27.