Football 2023 Semifinals Day 3 Recap
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2023 - 11:03 PM
The Minnesota State High School League’s football state tournament completed its second phase with three days of semifinals that concluded on Saturday, Nov. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Berths have been earned for all seven Prep Bowl championship games that will be played on Nov. 24 and No. 25. Here is a look at what happened on Day 3 of the semifinals.
- Springfield 36, Mahnomen/Waubun 12: Springfield made its way back into the Prep Bowl championship game with a 36-12 victory over Mahnomen/Waubun in the first Class A semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Junior quarterback Kade Nachreiner completed 12 of 23 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns to help send the Tigers (12-1) to a second consecutive season. In 2022, Springfield was the runner-up to Minneota. Senior wide receiver Carter Olson had seven of those receptions for 136 yards and one TD. Olson had 179 all-purpose yards. Mahnomen/Waubun, the Class A champion in 2018, finished the season 11-1.
- Minneota 63, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 6: Minneota, the Class A champion in 2022, took another step toward a successful title defense by rolling past Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 63-6, in the second semifinal. The Vikings’ victory sets up a rematch with Springfield in the Class A Prep Bowl championship game next Friday, Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. Junior running back Ryan Meagher rushed for 186 yards on 16 carries and scored four touchdowns in the first half that triggered a 49-point avalanche of scoring. His 65-yard scoring run just 17 seconds into the game set the tone. Senior quarterback Ryan Dalager completed 11 of 18 passes for 182 yards and two other touchdowns for the Vikings (13-0). Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa finished the season 11-1.
- Stewartville 28, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 7: Top-ranked Stewartville continued its quest for the first football championship in program history with a convincing 28-7 victory over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the first Class AAA semifinal on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers (13-0) took the lead for good early in the second half when sophomore linebacker Mikhail Heydt returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown. After a two-point conversion, Stewartville owned a 14-7 lead with 10:20 left in the third quarter, a lead it would not relinquish. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (10-2), the Class AAA runner-up in 2022, grabbed a 7-6 halftime lead after a 21-play, 83-yard drive that took nearly the entire second quarter. It was capped on a 1-yard run by junior quarterback Caleb Johnson with 16 seconds left in the first half. Senior quarterback Ayden Helder completed 13 of 19 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Stewartville was the Class B runner-up in 1977 prior to the Prep Bowl and then the Class A runner-up in 1986.
- Annandale 24, Dassel-Cokato 14: Annandale navigated the next step of a championship game berth for the first time in six state tournament appearances following a 24-14 victory in the second Class AAA semifinal. Senior quarterback Nick Walter rushed for 103 yards and completed 11 of 17 passes for 185 yards and an 80-yard touchdown strike to send the Cardinals (12-0) into the Prep Bowl championship game next week opposite top-ranked Stewartville. Senior running back Connor Lampi gave Annandale the lead for good when he scored on a 2-yard run with 8:38 left in regulation time that gave the Cardinals a 21-6 advantage. Dassel-Cokato (10-2) closed to within 21-14 just 10 seconds later on a 64-yard run by senior running back Monte Gillman. He finished with 116 yards on 13 carries. But five minutes later, Annandale increased its lead again behind an 18-yard field goal from junior kicker Zach Roe.
- Chanhassen 54, Andover 46, OT: With the final Prep Bowl berth of the seven-game championship feast still undecided, Chanhassen and Andover went to great lengths to fill the final spot in the Class AAAAA title game. In a game that lasted more than three hours, top-ranked Chanhassen bounced back from giving up 11 points in the fourth quarter to scoring when it needed to in the extra session. Senior tight end Sam Macy caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Brayden Windschitl on the second play of overtime and it was followed by a nifty two-point, mini hook-and-ladder conversion play that sends the top-ranked Storm (12-0) to the Class AAAAA championship game on Saturday, Nov. 25 against St. Thomas Academy. Andover, which scored 11 points in a three-minute span in the fourth quarter to force the extra session, could not score a touchdown in the overtime against an energized Chanhassen defense. Andover senior kicker Carter Eklund sent the game to overtime when he made a 33-yard field goal with 1:42 left in regulation time. Senior running back Maxwell Woods rushed for 221 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns for the Storm. Windschitl completed 14 of 24 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Senior quarterback Chase Pemberton completed 18 of 29 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns for Andover (10-2), and also rushed for 63 yards and two other touchdowns. Teammate D’Mario Davenport, a senior running back, rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Prep Bowl Schedule
Friday, Nov. 24
- Class A: Springfield (12-1) vs. Minneota (13-0), 10 a.m.
- Class AA: Barnesville (13-0) vs. Eden Valley-Watkins (12-0), 1 p.m.
- Class AAAA: Rocori (10-2) vs. Hutchinson (10-2), 4 p.m.
- Class AAAAAA: Centennial (11-1) vs. Edina (9-3), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 25
- Class Nine-Player: Kingsland (13-0) vs. Nevis (12-0), 10 a.m.
- Class AAA: Stewartville (11-0) vs. Annandale (12-0), 1 p.m.
- Class AAAAA: St. Thomas Academy (10-2) vs. Chanhassen (12-0), 4 p.m.