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Prep Blog: A Few Early Surprises At State Football

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If the quarterfinal round of the state football playoffs is any indication, any team get beat anyone on any given day.

At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s true. Just ask anyone who played football for Edina or St. Croix Lutheran. Yes that’s right, I said “played,” as in past tense, meaning they no longer are.

Edina entered the newly-formed Class 6A State Tournament as the No. 1 seed after knocking off both Wayzata and Eden Prairie during the regular season. Their only loss entering the state playoffs came at Totino-Grace, a school that had just opted-up to play with the big boys before the new 6A class was formed.

Rosemount entered the state tournament as the Cinderella of the group of eight teams, and that slipper still fits. The Irish knocked off the top seed and potential Prep Bowl favorites 14-10. Wayzata and Eden Prairie took care of the bottom half of the bracket as the Trojans beat Eastview 35-21 and the Eagles beat Minnetonka 21-18. Wayzata and Eden Prairie meet in the state semifinals, with that winner advancing to the Prep Bowl to face the Rosemount/Lakeville North winner.

I’m smelling a Lakeville North/Wayzata Prep Bowl.

In the Class 4A bracket, DeLaSalle had only been tested twice in its 10 wins before facing Becker in the state quarterfinals. One of those wins was against St. Croix Lutheran, who is also done, but we’ll get to that in a second. The Islanders were the heavy favorite, until Dwight Lundeen and the Becker Bulldogs hit the sideline.

Becker pulled off the 21-14 upset and will now face unbeaten Hutchinson it one should be one of the premier match-ups Thursday at the Metrodome. On the other half of that bracket, Holy Family Catholic got past Hill-Murray 27-23 and Princeton beat Detroit Lakes 34-31 in four overtimes. I’m predicting a Hutchinson/Holy Family match-up for the 4A title.

Class 5A is the only bracket where all the favorites made it out of the quarterfinal round. St. Thomas Academy cruised past Elk River 30-7, Owatonna shut out Mankato West 28-0, Bemidji beat Moorhead 35-14 and Totino-Grace rolled past Apple Valley 42-14. The bracket has all the makings of a Totino-Grace/St. Thomas Academy Prep Bowl, but the Cadets have to beat Owatonna first.

Class 3A is now up for grabs after the defending state champion St. Croix Lutheran lost to Blue Earth 21-12. Perham, Annandale and Rochester Lourdes advanced. I’ll pick Lourdes to play Perham in the championship game.

The Class 2A state champion from last year, Caledonia, is still alive after beating Sibley East 27-6. It looks a lot like they could face Moose Lake/Willow River in the Prep Bowl. Dawson-Boyd is still alive in Class A after beating Browerville 35-20, and they are on a collision course to meet Mahnomen in the Prep Bowl.

Stay with the Prep Blog for previews of four big games later this week as the state semifinals will be held Thursday-Saturday at the Metrodome.

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