MSHSL Football State Tournament

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – The Minnesota State High School League’s football state tournament begins a three-week run to the Prep Bowl championships with quarterfinals in seven enrollment classes this week. Here is a look at the tournament:

FAST FACTS

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The schedule:

Class Nine-Man

Friday, Nov. 11

Edgerton/Ellsworth (10-1) vs. Grand Meadow (11-0) at Rochester Community and Technical College, 7 p.m.

Stephen-Argyle Central (10-1) vs. Waubun (11-0) at Bemidji State University, 7 p.m.

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (10-1) vs. Cleveland/Immanuel Lutheran (11-0) at St. Cloud State University, 5 p.m.

Ely (10-0) vs. Cromwell-Wright (11-0) at Public Schools Stadium, Duluth, 7 p.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m.; Nov. 18, 9 a.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.

Class A

Friday, Nov. 11

Murray County Central, Slayton (8-3) vs. Rushford-Peterson (10-1) at New Prague, 7 p.m.

Minneapolis North Community (10-0) vs. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (8-3) at Richfield High School, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12

Braham (8-2) vs. Wabasso (10-1) at St. Cloud State University, 5 p.m.

Mahnomen (10-1) vs. Browerville/Eagle Valley (8-3) at Bemidji State University, 6 p.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 19, 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 26, 10 a.m.

Class AA

Friday, Nov. 11

Barnesville (10-0) vs. Pillager (11-0) at Moorhead High School, 7 p.m.

Norwood-Young America (7-3) vs. Maple River, Mapleton (9-2) at Shakopee High School, 7 p.m.

Royalton (9-1) vs. Eden Valley-Watkins (9-1) at Brainerd High School, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12

Lakeview, Cottonwood (9-2) vs. Caledonia (11-0) at Gustavus Aldophus College, 11 a.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 17, 2 p.m.; Nov. 18, 11:30 a.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 25, 1 p.m.

Class AAA

Friday, Nov. 11

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (10-1) vs. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta (9-1) at Alexandria Area High School, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12

Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (7-2) vs. Pierz (9-1) at Brainerd High School, 1 p.m.

Jackson County Central (10-0) vs. Rochester Lourdes (10-0) at Gustavus Adolphus College, 2 p.m.

St. Croix Lutheran (10-0) vs. Belle Plaine (9-2) at Lakeville North High School, 3 p.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 19, 2 p.m.; 4:30 p.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 26, 1 p.m.

Class AAAA

Friday, Nov. 11

South St. Paul (10-0) vs. Winona (9-1) at East Ridge High School, 7 p.m.

Fridley (8-2) vs. Marshall (10-0) at Burnsville High School, 7 p.m.

Cloquet (7-3) vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (7-3) at Chisago Lakes High School, 7 p.m.

Rocori, Cold Spring (8-3) vs. Orono (7-4) at St. Cloud State University, 8 p.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 17, 4:30 p.m.; Nov. 18, 4:30 p.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 25, 4 p.m.

Class AAAAA

Friday, Nov. 11

Andover (5-6) vs. Spring Lake Park (10-0) at Centennial High School, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12

Apple Valley (7-3) vs. Owatonna (7-2) at Lakeville North High School, 6 p.m.

Mahtomedi (10-0) vs. Mankato West (10-0) at Farmington High School, 6 p.m.

Alexandria Area (9-1) vs. Elk River (10-0) at St. Cloud State University, 8 p.m.

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 18, 2 p.m.; Nov. 19, 7 p.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 26, 4 p.m.

Class AAAAAA

Thursday, Nov. 10

Totino-Grace (10-0) vs. Lakeville North (9-1) at Edina Community Center, 7 p.m.

Blaine (8-2) vs. Minnetonka (8-2) at Park Center High School, 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 11

Eden Prairie (9-1) vs. Maple Grove (8-2) at Chanhassen High School, 7 p.m.

Rosemount (9-1) vs. Champlin Park (7-3) at Woodbury High School, 7 p.m.

 

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nov. 17, 7 p.m.; Nov. 18, 7 p.m.

Prep Bowl championship, at U.S. Bank Stadium

Semifinal winners, Nov. 25, 7 p.m.

Tickets:

Quarterfinals --- $9 adults; $6 students

Semifinals, at U.S. Bank Stadium --- $14 adults; $9 students

Prep Bowl, at U.S. Bank Stadium --- $14 adults; $9 students

Two-day Prep Bowl pass --- $20 adults; $14 students

Brackets and Results: Posted on the League’s website at www.mshsl.org.

Social media: Follow the tournament on the League’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @MSHSL and @MSHSLJohn.

Television: KSTC, 45TV will broadcast live the Prep Bowl championship games on Nov. 25 and 26.

Special events: In honor of a new Prep Bowl era at U.S. Bank Stadium, the League has special events planned. They include honoring Prep Bowl record holders during halftime of the Class AAAAAA championship game on Nov. 25, and recognizing state championship coaches at the half of the Class AAAAA championship game on Nov. 26.

2016 PREVIEW

Nine-Man

·       Grand Meadow is in search of its fourth consecutive Nine-Man championship. The Superlarks are on a 47-game winning streak, the longest active spree in Minnesota. Grand Meadow has rushed for nearly 4,000 yards this season. Senior running back Christophor Bain leads the way with 1,650 rushing yards. Ely, Stephen-Argyle Central, Cleveland/Immanuel Lutheran and Waubun are all making return trips after qualifying in 2015. Five of the eight teams in the eight-team bracket are undefeated.

Class A

·       Minneapolis North Community, which was runner-up to Minneota in 2015, is back for another shot at a championship. If the Polars are successful, it would be the first state football championship for a Minneapolis City Conference team since Minneapolis Washburn in 1977. Browerville/Eagle Valley, Braham and Mahnomen are also making return trips. Murray County Central is making its first state tournament appearance since 2000.

Class AA

·       Caledonia, the football power from southeast Minnesota, returns looking to defend its Class A crown. The Warriors have won six state championships since 2007. This season’s squad averages nearly 44 points per game on offense and gives up fewer than 10 on defense. Pillager is making its first state tournament appearance since 2002. Maple River is also making its debut appearance. Mapleton, where the school is located, made an appearance in 1982, the first year of the Prep Bowl Era.

Class AAA

·       St. Croix Lutheran is top ranked entering the tournament. The Crusaders, the Class AAA champion in 2011 and ’13, open the quarterfinals against No. 2-ranked Jackson County Central, last season’s runner-up to Pierz. The Crusaders’ run-first offense is paced by junior running back Michael Stern, senior running back Daniel Rust and senior quarterback Isaac Tietz. Pierz is the defending champion and begins the tournament in the lower bracket. If both advance, St. Croix Lutheran and Pierz would meet in the semifinals. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Belle Plaine also return from the 2015 field.

Class AAAA

·       Top-ranked South St. Paul fell short of a championship bid in 2015, falling to Becker 35-14 in the title game. The Packers return in hopes of taking that next step to winning a title for the first time in program history. Fridley is making its second consecutive state tournament appearance. In last year’s quarterfinals, the Tigers lost to South St. Paul 37-14. Fridley senior running back Prince Okolie has rushed for 1,402 yards this season, including a school-record 299 in a game this season. Rocori, Cold Spring, as well as Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Marshall are also making return trips.

Class AAAAA

·       Elk River has been the team to beat all season in this field. The Elks’ powerful attack produces an average of 46.3 points per game and has surrendered an average of just 10.1 per game. The closest Elk River has come to winning a state title was a runner-up finish in Class AA in 1990. Mankato West, Spring Lake Park and Andover are the returning schools from the 2015 tournament. Mankato West, the Section 2 champion, is ranked No. 2 in the Class 5A field. The Scarlets were the Class 5A champion in 2014, the first of two seasons when the Prep Bowl championship games were held at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Class AAAAAA

·       Totino-Grace, Eden Prairie and Lakeville North were the Big 3 much of the season. Totino-Grace, top-ranked most of the year, is undefeated. Eden Prairie’s only loss is to Totino-Grace in the season-opener. Lakeville North was undefeated until the regular-season finale, a 24-21 loss to Rosemount in triple overtime. That cost Lakeville North a top seed in the Class 6A. Eden Prairie, Rosemount, Blaine and Totino-Grace were top seeds when the playoffs began and they are all in the quarterfinals.