Two late afternoon contests and two games that feature conference rivals highlight today's area football schedule.
While Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City lost to Eden Valley-Watkins on Thursday night in Section 5AA in St. Cloud, three other area teams are looking to extend their postseason run.
New London-Spicer (8-2) squares off against West Central North Conference foe Albany (10-0) in the Section 6AAA final at 5 p.m. at St. Cloud State University. The unbeaten Huskies upended NLS 8-7 on Sept. 19 in Albany after they shutout the Wildcats over the last three quarters.
In its first two playoff games, New London-Spicer drubbed St. Cloud Cathedral 49-21 and Foley 31-10, while Albany hammered Sauk Centre 29-6 and Milaca 42-16.
The Wildcats have had six different players score a touchdown this postseason.
The winner will open the Class AAA state tournament next Friday at 8 p.m. against the 7AAA champion (Two Harbors or Proctor) back at St. Cloud State University's Husky Stadium.
In another afternoon contest, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (8-2) meets Minneota (9-1) at 5 p.m. in the Section 5A final at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. The Fighting Saints routed Minneota in last year's playoff opener en route to reaching the Class A semifinals at the Metrodome.
KMS, which has the area's top-rated passer in Kevin Steinhaus (125.0 rating) and the leading rusher in Joel Bauman (1,911 yards), edged Dawson-Boyd 24-21 in last Saturday's semifinals after drubbing Renville County West 54-6 in the first round. The top-seeded Vikings survived Canby's upset bid in their first-round game, 20-13, before thrashing Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 55-6 last week.
The 8A champ (Warren-Alvarado-Oslo or Fosston) will battle the winner next Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Fargodome in the opening round of the state tourney.
Litchfield (7-3) and Glencoe-Silver Lake (9-1), front-runners in the Wright County Conference over the past few years, meet for the seventh time over the last four years tonight at 7 p.m. in Glencoe for the Section 3AAA title.
The Dragons, sparked by Nic Johnson's 228 rushing yards and seven TDs, blanked Dassel-Cokato 23-0 in the first round and drubbed Redwood Valley 54-14 in the semifinals. Glencoe-Silver Lake outscored Sibley East and Annandale in the playoffs by a combined score of 76-7 with its last win coming via a 41-0 shutout of Annandale.
This will be the third straight year in which the Dragons and Panthers have squared off during the regular season and the playoffs. Litchfield's last win over the Panthers was three years ago in the third game of the 2005 campaign.
Belle Plaine or LeSueur-Henderson, dueling for the 2AAA championship, will face the Litchfield/Glencoe-Silver Lake winner next Friday in Eden Prairie at 7 p.m. in a state quarterfinal game.