Chris Murphy, Published October 31 2012
Thursday's Minnesota football playoff preview capsules
Ada-Borup (9-1) vs. Nevis (10-0)
When: 3 p.m. today
What you need to know: A couple of ranked teams battling for a spot in the state tournament, as No. 8 Ada-Borup is trying to win its fifth straight section championships and No. 5 Nevis tries to keep a perfect season going. Norman County East gave the Tigers a scare in the semifinals, as the Tigers escaped with an 18-13 win. The fear should not subside from the Tigers because the Cougars beat that same Norman County East team 52-0 in Week 2 of the regular season.
Class 1A, Section 8
Mahnomen (10-0) vs. Red Lake County (6-4)
When: 5:30 p.m. today
What you need to know: The good news for Red Lake County is Mahnomen is coming off its toughest challenge of the season in the section semifinals. The bad news is the top-ranked Indians still won by 20, are still averaging nearly 43 more points than their opponents and beat Red Lake County 39-0 in the regular-season finale. The Indians have given up 19 points in 10 games, led by a defense that doesn’t believe in solo tackles. Jacob Hedstrom leads with 33.5 tackles, but 10 other Indians defenders have 16 or more tackles on the season and six have sacks, with Nick Otto leading with 2.5 sacks. Defenses have had to pick their poison in terms of which Indians back to cover, as quarterback Jacob Pavek has rushed for 924 yards and 22 touchdowns, while running backs Bob Bjorge and Garrett Hofner have rushed for 828 yards and six touchdowns and 421 yards and seven touchdowns, respectively. The Indians, last year’s state runner-up, are trying for their third consecutive trip to state.
Class 4A, Section 8
Detroit Lakes (9-0) vs. Rocori (6-3)
When: 8 p.m. today
What you need to know: The No. 3-ranked Detroit Lakes squad will have to go through last year’s state champion in the team’s first section championship game since 2007. The then-undefeated Lakers fell in that section title game 35-8 to Sartell in 2007. The Lakers are hoping for a different outcome. This is not the Rocori squad that went 1-3 in its final four regular-season games of the season. That Spartans squad did not have starting quarterback Mac Mueller. The Spartans got Mueller back for the section semifinals and are 5-0, outscoring opponents 148-67 in those five games. On the other side of the ball isn’t too bad of quarterback either, as Michael Herzog, only a junior, is 154 yards away from becoming the Lakers all-time single season rushing leader, currently at 1,273 yards on the ground. Not bad for a guy coming off an ACL tear he suffered last January.