Minnesota prep football playoffs capsules
Class 2A Hawley (11-0) at Yellow Medicine East (9-2), 7 p.m. - The skinny: In the state playoffs for the first time since 2001, Hawley is averaging 325 yards and 38 points. With 100 tackles, Grant Aakre leads a defense that boasts three shutouts ...
Hawley (11-0) at Yellow Medicine East (9-2), 7 p.m.
- The skinny: In the state playoffs for the first time since 2001, Hawley is averaging 325 yards and 38 points. With 100 tackles, Grant Aakre leads a defense that boasts three shutouts and 46 takeaways. The No. 6-ranked Nuggets are one of three undefeated teams in the Class 2A field. Since starting 2-2, the Sting have won seven in a row, scoring at least 35 points in each of those games en route to a second consecutive section title. Offensively, they've rushed for more than 2,000 yards - including 1,018 by Jerrod Lobdell - and quarterback Luke Berg has thrown for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns. Plus, YME has a solid defense led by a corps of linebackers that Hawley coach Peder Naatz called "crazy good."
Fertile-Beltrami (9-2) at Osakis (10-1), 7 p.m.
- The skinny: Points could be hard to come by as No. 4-ranked Osakis has allowed one score or fewer in 9 of 11 games, trick Fertile-Beltrami pulled off six times. Three Osakis backs have more than 600 yards, while Kendall Proell set a school record with 54 catches and kicker Arne Ohlson is 3-for-3 on field-goal tries. Kolby Gullickson leads Fertile-Beltrami, a quarterfinalist for the first time since 2001, with 1,072 yards rushing, while Paul Reese has thrown for 715 yards. The Falcons have scored more than 45 points three times and fewer than 15 four times.
Stephen-Argyle Central (11-0) at Ulen-Hitterdal (10-1), 7 p.m.
- The skinny: In a matchup up teams on the opposite end of the experience spectrum, tournament newcomer and No. 10-ranked Ulen-Hitterdal hosts No. 1 Stephen, winner of 10 consecutive section titles, the past two state titles and 38 games in a row. Storm junior Blake Sczepanski has rushed for 1,000 yards for the second straight year for an offense that has earned 3,834 yards and averages 40 points. Casey Oberg leads the Spartans with 94 tackles, followed by Brady Oberg (89), who also has 814 yards receiving, and Chase Ashmore (80), who has run for 1,249 yards and 21 touchdowns. As a player, Ulen-Hitterdal coach Travis Christensen helped Ottertail Central to the state tournament and Concordia to the NCAA Division III playoffs.