Football Preview: Plunging deeper into the playoffsPublished 9:38am Friday, October 25, 2013
Several teams celebrated Tuesday night as they extended their seasons, while others mourned their loss and will have to wait till next year as the 2013 Minnesota high school playoffs got underway.
Four area teams, Otter Tail Central, Underwood, Pelican Rapids and Perham, left the field victorious with their minds focused on the second round. On the opposite end, Fergus Falls, Ashby, Rothsay, West Central Area, Brandon-Evansville and New York Mills all fell in the opening round.
After barreling through teams in during the regular season and defeating first round opponent Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 47-8, the Otter Tail Central Bulldogs will travel to take on Section 6AA top seed Breckenridge Cowboys in a 7 p.m. Saturday game.
The Cowboys are 7-2 on the season with its only losses coming to Wahpeton and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.
Breckenridge likes to use the wishbone offense, but will mix it up and give defenses a spread look. Defensively, the Cowboys bring a run-stuffing 5-2 look.
“Hopefully we will control the line of scrimmage. That is where games are won and lost,” Bulldogs head coach Don Seipkes said.
Seipkes has also emphasize eliminating mistakes and turnovers this week in preparation for Saturday’s game.
In Section 4 9-man, the Underwood Rockets are looking for redemption against the Wheaton/Herman-Norcross Warriors after defeating Brandon-Evansville 48-14 in the opening round.
In the teams first meeting, the Warriors were able to ride a 20 point first half on the way to a 20-7 win.
“In the first half we had too many players trying to do other peoples’ jobs,” Underwood coach Chuck Ross. “We have to make sure that as an individual you have to take care of your responsibility first. That’s all we really did in the second half the last time we played them.”
The Rockets will have to stop the rushing attack of Carter Thiel, Paul Berger and Mason Deal, a trio that helped Wheaton average over 400 yards a game.
Wheaton will also have its hands full as Noah Thompson, Adam Creek and Matt Biegler bring its own triple threat in the ground game.
The Pelican Rapids Vikings have seen a dominant run attack by Ryan Bruggeman and key defensive plays lead them to a 6-3 record, but its true challenge await them Saturday as they travel to take on the Holdingford Huskers.
The Huskers are averaging 44 points in its last six games and currently sit as the fifth ranked team in Class AA. They are also a well balanced attack as they pose threats both from the ground and through the air.
“We will need to make sure that we are real sound in our assignments and make sure that we execute correctly,” Vikings coach Dave Haugen. “We will absolutely need to establish the running game and get some big plays. We have shown that we can sustain drives so we will need to do that and not turn the ball over.”
The Vikings will need to get Bruggeman started early and continue to slip past a defense that has allowed less than nine points a game.
The winner of the this game will meet the winner of the Otter Tail Central and Breckenridge game in the Fargodome.
The Perham Yellowjackets will also look to avenge an early season loss to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton as the two square off in the Section 8AAA semifinals.
The Yellowjackets dispatched the East Grand Forks Green Wave, but the visiting team will need to establish its offense early and get key bounces on defense if they are going to knock off the second seed in the section.
All the teams in the area will travel to their respected opponents for 7 p.m. games Saturday.