From November 7 to November 9, 56 Minnesota high school football teams in seven classes will be competing for a trip to the Metrodome and a Prep Bowl berth. One class to watch for is Class AAAAA and here's a look at the quarterfinal machups.
In the opening quarterfinal game, played at St. John's University in Collegeville, it's a "Battle of the Warriors" as Henry Sibley makes their first trip to state against Brainerd. In the movie Kung Fu Panda, Shifu said to Po "A real warrior never quits" and Henry Sibley didn't quit in beating their conference rival St. Thomas Academy. Brainerd, led by veteran head coach Ron Stolski hopes to continue the road to his first state title.
In the second game played Saturday, November 9 at 1 Pm at the Edina Community Center, the Chaska Hawks return to state for the first time since 1974. Head coach Lambert Brown has turned the Hawks program around since they went 1-8 in 2011. They will have to contend with the Andover Huskies, led by their top quarterback Connor Wilkie. Can the Hawks stop Wilkie and the Huskies and continue their quest for their first state title?
Going to the lower bracket, the St. Michael-Albertville Knights return to state after beating the top seeded Rogers Royals in the Section 6 final. They will head for St. Cloud State and face the Sartell-St. Stephen Sabres on November 7. The Knights have the momentum. Can it continue against the school from suburban St. Cloud?
On the same night, Lakeville North is the site for the second lower bracket game. The Owatonna Huskies played in the first Prep Bowl in 1982, losing in the Class AA final to Stillwater. They're two wins away from a trip to the final Metrodome event. But first, they will have contend with the upstart Apple Valley Eagles. The Eagles, seeded third in Section 3, eliminated second seeded Bloomington Jefferson and shutdown the top seeded Minneapolis Washburn Millers and the state's top players,running back Jeff Jones. It should be an interesting matchup as Apple Valley attempts to continue its unlikely road to the Prep Bowl.
There are the pairings. Get ready for some exciting Minnesota high school football.