Minnesota football playoffs - Round 2

By RICK SOLEM
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It was redemption last week for La Crescent High School’s football team.

The Lancers (4-5) got out of the first round of the MSHSL Class AA, Section 1 playoffs for the first time since 2009 last week with a 23-6 win over Lake City.

That was redemption in itself as Lake City defeated the Lancers 31-21 in the first round of the playoffs last year.

In 2011, La Crescent lost 36-20 to Rochester Lourdes in the first round – a week after they lost to the Eagles 36-35.

In 2010, Kasson-Mantorville beat La Crescent in the first round 28-25. The week prior to that, the Lancers defeated the Tigers 31-28.

MSHSL football playoffs
SECTION 1
Saturday’s games, 7 p.m.
CLASS 3A

No. 4 La Crescent (4-5) at No. 1 Rochester Lourdes (7-1)
No. 7 Cannon Falls (3-6) at No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville (5-3)

CLASS 2A

No. 1 Caledonia (9-0) vs. No. 4 Lewiston-Altura (6-3)

CLASS 1A

No. 4 Fillmore Central (4-5) at No. 1 Blooming Prairie (9-0)

CLASS 4A

No. 3 Winona (3-5) vs. No. 2 Stewartville (7-1)

CLASS 9-MAN

No. 5 Houston (4-5) at No. 1 Spring Grove (7-1)
No. 3 Grand Meadow (8-1) at No. 2 Lanesboro (8-1)

In 2009, the Lancers not only got out of the first round, they nearly made it to the Metrodome, losing in the section championship, 30-14 to K-M.

And, while it’s nice that La Crescent ends its three-year drought of getting out of the first round, it now has Class 3A’s No. 1-ranked team, Rochester Lourdes (7-1).

All Round 2 games will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday at the high seed.

The last time these two teams met, Lourdes came away with the 41-21 win on Oct. 4.

Lourdes’ only loss this season came 27-21 in overtime to Class 4A’s 10th-ranked team, Stewartville, on Sept. 13.

The Eagles were the state’s runners-up last year, their only loss of that season came 30-7 against Blue Earth in the state championship.

No. 7 Cannon Falls (3-6) at No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville (5-3)

This matchup went into overtime on Oct. 4 with P-E-M coming away the winners, 21-20.

That was amidst a six-game losing streak for Cannon Falls, which go its first win last week in Round 1 (29-26 vs. Tri-City United).

The Bomgers average 25.2 points and give up 27.9. Plainview-Elgin-Millville averages 23.6 points and gives up 18.4. 

CLASS 2A

No. 1 Caledonia (9-0) vs. No. 4 Lewiston-Altura (6-3)

The last time these two teams matched up, it was the very same game in 2011, and Caledonia won 51-14.

That, of course, led to a state title. The Warriors, ranked first in the class, have won three state titles in a row and five of the last six.

A win this week would be No. 36 in a row. Their last loss came in the season opener in 2011 to Plainview-Elgin-Millville.

The Warriors average 37.4 points and give up the third-least amount in the state at 6.4. Two teams give up less: Mahnomen (3.6 in Class 1A) and Barnesville (4.9 in Class 2A), while Ottertail Central also gives up just 6.4 points a game in Class 2A.

In the state, only 16 teams give up single-digit points. Seven of those are in Class 2A, four in nine-man, two each in Class 1A and 4A, while one team gives up single digits in Class 6A. No teams give up single-digit points in Class 3A or 5A. 

The Cardinals, who have now won six in a row, average 33.2 points and give up 17.9.

Class 9-Man

No. 5 Houston (4-5) at No. 1 Spring Grove (7-1)

The first time these two teams met, in Week 3, Spring Grove edged out the Hurricanes 28-24.

The Lions, coming off a bye because Glenville-Emmons forfeited, are ranked ninth in the class.

Caleb Happel has 1,075 yards (7.0 avg.) and 19 touchdowns rushing, while Keenan Siminski is 43-for-69 (62%) with 12 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions at quarterback. His favorite target is Dustin Vickerman with 23 grabs for 595 yards and 6 TDs.

This is a rematch of last year’s second-round game in which the Lions won 25-6.

Spring Grove is averaging 39.6 points a game and giving up 13.1. Houston is averaging 30 points, but giving up nearly as many at 25.6. 

No. 3 Grand Meadow (8-1) at No. 2 Lanesboro (8-1)

Grand Meadow’s lone loss came to Lanesboro on Oct 5, 47-36.

That was a bit of revenge from last year, when the Superlarks ended Lanesboro’s season in this very same matchup, 40-8. They went on to the state championship, where they lost 40-22 to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley in the state title.

Lanesboro is led by the state’s all-time touchdown scorer, Niko Anderson, who has 30 touchdowns this season and 1,624 yards rushing (9.6 avg.). He now has 107 career touchdowns.

Burros quarterback Garrett Boggs is 30-for-62 with 8 TDs and 0 INTs.

The Superlarks are scoring 44.2 a game and giving up 18.3. The Burros average 44.7 points and give up just 13.1.

CLASS 1A

No. 4 Fillmore Central (4-5) at No. 1 Blooming Prairie (9-0)

Blooming Prairie is the No. 3-ranked team in the class and is averaging 33.4 points a game and giving up a mere 10.1. The Falcons are scoring just 12.7 points a game and giving up 17.9.

CLASS 4A

No. 3 Winona (3-5) vs. No. 2 Stewartville (7-1)

Winona got its fourth win of the season last week by beating winless Albert Lea for the second week in a row. They won 60-21 in the regular-season finale and 47-12 in the first round of the playoffs.

Stewartville, ranked 10th in the class, is coming off a bye. The Tigers only loss of the season came against eighth-ranked Kasson-Mantorville (7-1).

Stewartville is averaging 35.1 points a game to Winona’s 27.9. Defensively, the Tigers give up 19.9 to Winona’s 24.6.

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