Footballs Will Fly Friday
Within about a thirty-minute span on Friday night, six football teams across southeast Minnesota will celebrate section titles. Different from recent seasons, the nine-man to Class 5A games all kick off at 7 pm on November 1. In the last few years multiple games were held at the same sight and included several Saturday games. Section coaches made the decision to have all games start at the same time on the same night. Five of the games are on neutral fields with artificial turf. The exception to that is Class 5A where top-seed Owatonna will host Rochester Century.
The two-time state champion Huskies take a 28-game winning streak into action on AM 1390 KRFO. OHS beat Century 44-7 in week one August 30. The Panthers made a change at quarterback early in the season and have only lost once since that game.
Third-year starter on the offensive line Zach Wiese doesn't mind the need to practice and play into the cold again this season, "It's a lot of fun playing with the guys and everybody. It's a fun time. Sometimes the coldness is kind of bad but you grind through it for the kind of games like this. Century's defense, they've got some big guys. They're going to try to do a lot of x-blitzes and try to keep you on your toes. Hopefully we can block them up."
Linebacker/tight end Carson DeKam says the team has dealt well with a few challenges, "I think these guys have no quit in them. Everyday we come to practice and we work hard. The scout team guys give us a great look. We've had a lot of adversity, Mankato West to Mayo this season. These guys just keep battling."
Some of Owatonna's injured starters have made progress. Ethan Walter returned a couple of games ago. Isaiah Noeldner made an appearance at center for some of the game against John Marshall. Zach Stransky was practicing some at running back this week.
Blooming Prairie (9-0) made it to the state semifinals in Class A in 2018 and played at US Bank Stadium. The Awesome Blossoms will square off with Goodhue (8-2) Friday at Triton High School in Dodge Center with coverage on Kat Kountry 105FM. The Wildcats gave BP their closest game, a 27-6 Blooming Prairie victory in week four.
The Section 1AAA final pits Stewartville (8-0) against Waseca (8-2) at RCTC in Rochester. The BlueJays made it to the Class AAAA semifinals in 2018 and dropped down a class this year.
Caledonia takes a 64-game winning streak into the 1AA final against Chatfield Friday in Kasson. The four-time defending state champion Warriors beat the Gophers 41-8 during the regular season.
Winona (9-0) is the two-time defending Section 1AAAA champ. They will play Kasson-Mantorville (6-3) at Mayo High School. The Winhawks topped the Komets 34-24 this season.
Houston and Grand Meadow meet for the Section 1-nine-man final at Austin's field.
In the Section 2AA final, Medford seeks its third straight playoff victory as the lower seed. The sixth-seeded Tigers won at St. Clair/Loyola 27-13 and at Maple River 37-27. They face Blue Earth Area Friday in Janesville at 7 pm with the play-by-play on Power 96 radio.
Cannon Falls looks to defend its Section 4AAA title when they play at top-seed Breck Friday at 7 pm on The Mighty 920 KDHL.
Catch the Garage Force of Faribault "Football Blitz" at 9:30 pm on Kat Kountry 105 FM for a recap of the section finals and a preview of the state tournament quarterfinals.