State Football Tournament
|Mahnomen, Hutchinson, Eden Prairie to defend titles|
Mahnomen, Hutchinson, and Eden Prairie are the only champions that have survived the first two rounds of tournament play. Six teams that made it to their respective championship games still boast unblemished records.
The Mahnomen Indians in Class A and Hutchinson Tigers in Class AAAA are both looking for their second consecutive titles. The Indians are looking for their eighth overall title and the Tigers are seeking their fifth. If the Eden Prairie Eagles win in Class AAAAAA, it would be their third consecutive and ninth overall title.
Mahnomen and Owatonna, both of whom played in Prep Bowl I at the newly constructed Metrodome in 1982, return for this year's finals. Mahnomen was the Class B runner-up that year and Owatonna was the Class AA runner-up. Owatonna and Brainerd will play in the Prep Bowl's final game in the Metrodome, the Class AAAAA championship, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.
The 2013 Prep Bowl will be conducted over two days, Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. KSTC-TV, Channel 45 will broadcast all seven games live, as well as feed numerous cable systems around the state. The games will also be streamed live for Web viewing at www.Prep45.com. The webcasts will cost $4.97 for one day of live events, and for on-delay viewing at $4.97 each.
Friday, Nov. 29
Class 9-Man: Underwood (10-3) vs. Grand Meadow (12-1) @ 10 a.m.
The Underwood Rockets are making their fifth appearance, but first since 2010. The Superlarks of Grand Meadow are making their second consecutive and sixth overall appearance. They earned runner-up honors last year. Neither team was ranked in the final Associated Press (AP) poll and neither has won a state championship.
Underwood has a formidable ground game, gaining 4,406 yards this season. Junior Noah Thompson scored 23 rushing touchdowns for the Rockets and garnered 2,290 yards on 270 attempts. Sophomore Matt Biegler added nine rushing touchdowns for Underwood. Senior quarterback Adam Creek completed 26-of-62 passing attempts and tallied three touchdowns. Senior Max Kollar led the defense with 83 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery. Underwood averages 28.6 points per game this season and their opponents score an average of 20.9 against them. In their 34-20 semifinal win over Ely, the Rockets rushed for all five TDs.
Grand Meadow also prefers to keep the ball on the ground. Through the semifinals, the Superlarks had rushed for 3,221 yards and completed 75-of-145 passing attempts for 1,420 yards. Junior Landon Jacobson rushed for 1,778 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. Jacobson also paced the defense with 152 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. Senior quarterback Trenton Bleifus added 643 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns and also ran the passing game with 1,371 yards and 14 additional touchdowns on 70 completions. Grand Meadow has averaged 40.0 points per game while holding opponents to 15.2 points per game. In their 21-7 semifinal win over Kittson County Central, Grand Meadow ran for two TDs and passed for one more.
Class AA: Minneota/Lincoln HI (13-0) vs. Chatfield (12-1) @ 1 p.m.*
The unranked Vikings of Minneota/Lincoln HI are making their first appearance under this name as a co-op, but Minneota made 11 appearances between 1985 and 2010. Minneota won previous titles in 1986, 1987, 1988, and 2009. The H and I of Lincoln HI stands for Hendricks and Ivanhoe, a consolidated school district. The school is a pre-school through 12th grade facility.The No. 9-ranked Gophers of Chatfield return for their first appearance since 1999. This is their eighth appearance and they won three consecutive championships between 1994 and 1996.
Minneota/Lincoln HI splits its offensive effort almost evenly between its rushing and passing games. Senior Jeff Gladis accounted for 1,464 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns on 204 carries. Senior quarterback Austin Buysse completed just over 65 percent of his pass attempts and tossed 32 touchdowns with only six interceptions. Junior Cole Hennen had a team-high 80.5 tackles for the Vikings. Minneota/Lincoln HI averages 44.6 points per game while holding opponents to 10.3 points per game. Senior Nathan Pavek and senior Jordan Beck garnered two touchdowns apiece in the Vikings' 50-24 semifinal victory over Maple Lake.
Chatfield prefers to keep the ball on the ground with senior Jacob Neis. Neis accounted for 27 touchdowns and 1,671 rushing yards this year. Senior quarterback Nate Skare completed 44 of his 89 passing attempts and connected with junior Drew Hurley for five receiving touchdowns. Chatfield averages 34.5 points per game and their opponents score an average of 9.8 points against them. Neis tallied four touchdowns on 26 carries, gaining 233 yards overall, in the Gophers' 41-21 semifinal victory over Hawley.
Class AAAA: Hutchinson (12-0) vs. Academy of Holy Angels, Richfield (7-5) at 4 p.m.*
The defending champions from Hutchinson are making their second consecutive and 18th overall appearance. In addition to last year they also won titles in 1983, 1984 and 1998. Hutchinson also made three consecutive appearances as a co-op with New Century Charter School between 2003 and 2005. The Tigers were the top team in this year's final AP poll. The unranked Stars of Academy of Holy Angels return for their fourth appearance. They made their last in 2005. The Stars are still in the hunt for their first championship.
The Hutchinson Tigers averaged 39.7 points per game this season while holding their opponents to an average of 10.0. Senior Tory Adams rushed for 1,597 yards on 200 carries and tallied 25 touchdowns. Junior Jayden Fleck added 10 rushing touchdowns on 114 carries. Junior quarterback Marcus Hahn completed 58 percent of his passing attempts for 12 touchdowns and 924 yards. Juniors Keegan Macemon and Adam Elliott and senior Jake Wendland each grabbed three interceptions this year. Hahn rushed for two touchdowns and passed for one more as the Tigers defeated Delano 35-9 in the semifinals. Hahn gained 121 yards on six carries and completed 4-of-5 pass attempts for an additional 35 yards.
Academy of Holy Angels' junior quarterback Anthony Ekholm accounted for nine rushing and 12 passing touchdowns this year. Ekholm gained 662 yards on the ground on 75 attempts and he also completed 109-of-181 passing attempts for another 1,358. Senior Adam Hoffman was Ekholm's favorite target; he caught 35 passes for 477 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Connor Moriarty added eight rushing touchdowns for Academy of Holy Angels. He netted 947 yards on 165 carries. Connor McCarthy, a senior, paced the Star's defense; he had 149 tackles and one interception this year. Adam Hoffman accounted for two touchdowns as the Stars defeated DeLaSalle of Minneapolis 33-21 in the semifinals. His first was on a 30-yard pass from sophomore Danny Hoffman and his second was on a 7-yard run.
Class AAAAAA: Eden Prairie (11-0) vs. Rosemount (11-1) @ 7 p.m.*
The two-time defending champions from Eden Prairie are making their ninth consecutive and 17th overall appearance. They took top honors in Class AAAAA in 2011 and in Class AAAAAA in 2012. They were the top-ranked team in this year's final AP poll and also won titles in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2007. The Irish of Rosemount return to make their second consecutive and eighth overall appearance. They lost in the semifinals last year and tied for No. 3 in this year's final AP poll. Rosemount won one previous championship in 1981.
This year's Eden Prairie squad has a stellar ground game. Senior Dan Fisher notched 857 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 148 attempts. Senior Anthony Anderson added 1,179 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 127 carries. Senior quarterback Ryan Connelly connected on 66 percent of his pass attempts for 697 yards and 19 touchdowns. He tossed eight of those passes to senior Gamiel Hall, who tallied three touchdowns and 201 yards. The Eagles averaged 41.4 points per game this year. Eden Prairie averaged 7.2 yards per play in its 47-22 semifinal win over Totino-Grace of Fridley.
This year's Rosemount squad splits its yardage almost equally between rushing and passing. Junior Dmitri Williams rushed for 13 touchdowns and tallied 722 yards on 148 carries. Williams also caught 27 passes for an additional 9 touchdowns and 552 yards. Junior quarterback Jackson Erdmann completed 57 percent of his passing attempts and connected for 1,747 yards and 25 touchdowns. Senior Craig Szymanski paced the Irish defense with 85 tackles and one fumble recovery. Senior Connor Yepsen added 7 interceptions for Rosemount. The Irish average 38.3 points per game while holding opponents to 9.7. Williams had two touchdowns, including a 77-yard punt return, as Rosemount defeated Roseville Area 35-28 in the semifinals.
Saturday, Nov. 30
Class A: Dawson-Boyd (12-1) vs. Mahnomen (13-0) @ 10 a.m.
The Blackjacks of Dawson-Boyd return for their third consecutive and overall appearance. They won a title in 2011 and lost in the 2012 semifinals. Dawson-Boyd was ranked No. 5 in this year's final AP poll. The defending champions from Mahnomen return to make their fourth consecutive and 22nd overall appearance. They were the top team in this year's final AP poll. If the Indians win, it would be their eighth title. In addition to last year they also won in 1980, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1998. The Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks averaged 37.8 points per game this season and held their opponents to an average of 12.5 points. Junior Dalton Palmer and senior Joey Lee lead the offensive charge. Palmer is the main ball carrier and has gained 1,554 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. Lee, the quarterback, completed 58 percent of his pass attempts and connected with receivers for 2,013 yards and 16 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Jamie Arvold has accounted for 80 tackles and five fumble recoveries. Palmer had an additional 75 tackles and one fumble recovery. Lee scored two touchdowns as Dawson-Boyd defeated Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 27-18 in the semifinals.
Mahnomen gains most of its yardage and scores most of its touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Tom Pavek has scored 13 rushing touchdowns and netted 530 yards on 88 attempts. Senior Austin Reitan added 14 rushing touchdowns and has tallied 921 yards on 129 attempts. When Pavek took his game to the air, he completed 19-of-32 attempts for an additional four touchdowns. Senior Kal Handyside leads the defense with 39.5 tackles. Mahnomen averages 41.2 points per game while opponents average 3.3 points per game. In a rematch of the 2012 Prep Bowl championship, Mahnomen defeated Bethlehem Academy of Faribault 19-0 in the semifinals. Reitan, Pavek, and senior Nathan Hanson each scored a touchdown in the victory.
Class AAA: St. Croix Lutheran, West St. Paul (10-2) vs. New London-Spicer (10-2) @ 1 p.m.*
The Crusaders of St. Croix Lutheran are making their third consecutive and fourth overall appearance. They lost in the quarterfinals in 2012 after claiming their only championship in 2011. They came in at No. 5 in this year's final poll. The Wildcats of New London-Spicer are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance. They won one previous championship in 2009, but also bowed out in the quarterfinals in 2012. New London-Spicer tied for No. 9 in this year's final AP poll.
The St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders play a solid ground game, accumulating 4,026 yards this year. Senior quarterback David Ponath rushed for 14 touchdowns on 120 carries and netted a total of 923 yards. Senior Joe Werz had 63 carries and tallied 12 touchdowns and 700 yards. When Ponath passed the ball, he tallied 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns on 39 completions. Senior Caleb Olson led the Crusaders' defense with 52 tackles. St. Croix Lutheran averaged 39.8 points per game and allowed opponents 16.4 points per game. A 23-yard, fourth-quarter field goal from junior Alex Bornschlegl was the only tally as the Crusaders defeated Proctor 3-0 in the semifinals.
New London-Spicer rushed for 3,682 yards this season while netting 1,454 yards passing. Senior Adam Essler led the ground game for the Wildcats. He scored 32 touchdowns on 254 rushing attempts and gained 2,209 yards. Senior Ben Beuning added 11 rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats on 78 carries. Senior quarterback Ryan Vraa completed 70 percent of his pass attempts and threw for 19 touchdowns. Junior Shane Zylstra caught 42 of Vraa's passes and turned them into 681 yards and 12 touchdowns. Beuning also led the Wildcats' defense with 89 tackles and one interception. New London-Spicer averaged 45.0 points per game while allowing opponents 21.6 points per game. Essler rushed for 171 yards and had two touchdowns in New London-Spicer's 36-16 semifinal win over Rochester Lourdes.
Class AAAAA: Brainerd (12-0) vs. Owatonna (12-0) @ 4 p.m.*
Brainerd returns to tournament action after a two-year hiatus. The No. 3-ranked Warriors are making their ninth appearance. Owatonna is making its second consecutive and fifth overall appearance. The Huskies took runner-up honors in 2012 and were ranked No. 1 in the final AP poll. Both teams are still searching for their first title.
Brainerd likes to keep the ball on the ground with seniors Conor Gessell and Logan Davis. Gessell accounted for 18 touchdowns and 1,460 rushing yards, and Davis added 17 touchdowns and 910 rushing yards. Senior quarterback Thomas Stoxen completed 50 of his 90 passing attempts and connected with senior Isaiah Smith for three receiving touchdowns. Senior Cole Smith led the Warriors with four interceptions and a team-high 158 tackles. Brainerd averages 33.8 points per game and their opponents score an average of 12.3 points against them. In the semifinals, Gessell gave the Warriors their final advantage after scampering 41 yards into the endzone in the third quarter. Brainerd held on and defeated Chaska 20-19.
Owatonna relies heavily on its running game this year. The Huskies compiled 2,786 yards on the ground with senior Aaron Peterson accounting for 1,863 of those yards. Peterson tallied 26 rushing touchdowns on 253 carries. Senior quarterback Ian Langeberg completed 62 percent of his pass attempts and threw for 21 touchdowns. Senior Ty Sullivan caught 30 passes, amassing 588 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Luke Wanous had a team-high 64 tackles and two interceptions for the Huskies. Owatonna averages 39.1 points per game while holding opponents to 9.0 points per game. Peterson had two rushing touchdowns and senior Carter McCauley kicked two field goals as the Huskies defeated St. Michael-Albertville 27-7 in the semifinals.
Prep Bowl Media Guides
Prep Bowl News Release
|MSHSL Fall Bulletin
The League's seasonal magazine has once again been sent to all members schools. We've posted it online as well if you'd like to read about the recent Why We Play Conference, the 2012-2013 Challenge Cup Winners, student participation and many other happenings at the League and around the state as we gear up for Fall Tournaments.
|Some Decisions Made, Big Football Decisions To Come
|Posted by John Millea(email@example.com)- Updated 12/5/2013 1:55:24 PM
|The MSHSL board of directors held a lengthy discussion about a proposal to revamp regular-season football at its meeting Thursday, with no decisions made as more information is gathered from schools.
The plan, called District Football Scheduling, would (as described in a previous installment of John's Journal) group teams into districts as a method to assist schools in filling their football schedules. Schools around the state have asked for assistance in fixing the problem, and a select committee developed the District Football Scheduling concept.
The board approved the dates for the 2015 Prep Bowl at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium. The Prep Bowl games will be played Nov. 13-14. The board had previously approved a move to TCF Bank Stadium for the Prep Bowl in 2014, with championship games to be played on Nov. 21-22, 2014.
Other football issues remain to be settled for 2015. Because the Prep Bowl will be played earlier than normal (due to TCF Bank Stadium availability), the board discussed several options pertaining to the regular-season format in 2015. They included the possibility of starting the season earlier, playing a seven-game regular-season (instead of the normal eight games) and an abbreviated playoff format. Board members want to gather more information before voting on a football plan for 2015; a vote is expected at the next meeting on Jan. 23.
The 2015 football season is a major issue, but scheduling problem will not be an issue in 2016 and thereafter, because the Prep Bowl will move into the new Vikings Stadium in 2016.
The board approved several other actions ...
--The placement of Benilde-St. Margaret's into the Metro West Conference and St. Thomas Academy into the Metro East.
--The 2014 state soccer tournament will be held at St. Cloud State's Husky Stadium, with semifinals and finals played Oct. 28-29-30. The 2015 state soccer semifinals and finals, also at Husky Stadium, will be played Nov. 3-4-5.
--An MSHSL partnership with the Minnesota High School Press Association.
--An expansion of varsity baseball rosters from 18 to 20 players.
Discussion items included a recommendation from the softball advisory committee that softball go from three classes to four classes. No vote was taken at the meeting. Another discussion item was a proposal from the Minnesota Academic Decathlon program to have it become affiliated with the MSHSL; no discussion was held and the item was withheld until the board's January meeting.
More of John's Journal