Chris Murphy, Published October 31 2012
Friday's Minnesota football preview capsules
9-man, Section 4
Underwood (9-1) vs. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (8-2)
When: 10 a.m. Friday
What you need to know: Ranked No. 10 in 9-man, Underwood’s only loss on the season came via Wheaton-Herman Norcross 26-8 in Week 1. From there, the Rockets have won nine straight, including a 35-6 win over Prairie Valley, a team that defeated the Warriors 28-22 during the season. The Warriors have put up 48 or more points six times on the season, but the Rockets have not given up more than 16 points in any game this season, averaging eight points allowed per game.
Class 3A, Section 8
Park Rapids Area (5-5) vs. Perham (8-1)
When: 5:30 p.m. Friday
What you need to know: No. 5-ranked Perham knocked off Park Rapids Area 34-12 in Week 2 of the season. Then again, Roseau beat the Panthers 16-6 in the regular-season finale, and they came back two weeks later and ended the Rams’ season in the section semifinals 41-14. Yellowjackets quarterback Jordan Hein has rushed for 1,263 yards and 17 touchdowns and thrown for 894 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. Hein threw for 97 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in Perham’s 35-14 over Crookston in the section semifinals.
Class 5A, Section 8
Moorhead (9-0) vs. Sartell-St. Stephen (7-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: St. John’s University
What you need to know: Even if Moorhead running back Chase Morlock is not fully healthy, defenses should be trembling. After sitting out the final week of the season to heal, Morlock ran for 312 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries, making Morlock a good bet to score a touchdown. One of Sartell-St. Stephen’s losses on the season was to Fergus Falls 35-28, a team the Spuds beat by 20. The No. 5-ranked Spuds are on a quest to end a 25-year championship drought. The Sabres ended St. Cloud Apollo’s four-game winning streak in the semifinals behind 245 yards rushing from senior running back Erik McAfee on 31 carries. Could shape up to be a battle of backs.
Class 2A, Section 8
Barnesville (10-0) vs. Hawley (10-0)
When: 8 p.m. Friday
What you need to know: Barnesville will be taking on No. 5-ranked Hawley in the section championship in a battle of unbeatens. Josh Johnson can give opposing teams fits, as the Hawley back has rushed for 179 yards and four touchdowns, hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass and intercepted two passes on defense in the Nuggets two playoff wins. The Trojans had two backs rush for more than 100 yards versus Pelican Rapids in Michael Strand (142 yards) and Austin Martz (118 yards), but still needed a late touchdown to escape against the Vikings 28-21 in the section semifinals. The Trojans pride themselves on their special teams, and a blocked kick by Martz set up a touchdown versus the Vikings. The Trojans are always a kick away from scoring. Good news for the Trojans is that same Vikings squad gave the Nuggets a run for their money in a 28-21 Nuggets win.