Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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ALEXANDRIA — It’s like all the rain that fell in the Alexandria area on Friday found its way into the Minnewaska football team’s fuel injectors. The Lakers’ balance and potent offensive attack stalled and chugged time and again against a tough Otter Tail Central defense and the Bulldogs shutdown Minnewaska 22-0 in the Class AA state quarterfinals at Viking Savings Bank Field. Minnewaska managed just 112 total yards as the Bulldogs efficiently ground the Lakers down in the second half after scoring the game’s first points just seconds before halftime. “It was really tough,” said Lakers runni
Dean Johnson and his fellow University of Minnesota Board of Regents members typically don’t interact on a day-to-day basis with U staffers and employees. For the Willmar resident and Regents board chair, Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill became the exception to that rule. So it was with tears in his eyes that Johnson agonized with his “dear, dear friend” on Wednesday as a sorrowful Kill announced his retirement from coaching for health reasons. “Why do Minnesotans love him?” Johnson said.
The Willmar boys and girls cross country teams will be aiming for state meet spots at the Section 8AA meet today in Monticello, but both teams will need to overcome injury issues to do so. The Cardinals girls team is shooting for a third-straight section championship and have been ranked No. 2 in the state this fall. The top two teams qualify for the Nov. 7 state meet at St.
Albany's Kyle Birr ran for three touchdowns and returned a free kick 61 yards for another score as the Huskies defeated Montevideo 42-13 on Saturday in the Section 6AAA championship game at St. Cloud State's Husky Stadium
Michael Gruber threw two touchdown passes in the final nine minutes of the game as Minnewaska rallied for a 34-28 victory over Paynesville in the Section 5AA championship game Saturday at St. John's University
ALEXANDRIA — With weather and a stout Rocori defense stacked against it, the Willmar Cardinals football team needed just a couple of things fall their way. But nothing materialized. Rocori quarterback Connor Schoborg hit Mitchell Heinen on a three-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for the game’s only score and Willmar’s spirited postseason run ended with a 7-0 loss to the Spartans in the Section 8AAAA championship game on Friday. “We couldn’t get anything going, but neither could they,” said Cardinals head coach Jon Konold.
The BOLD football team will be in the unfamiliar position as underdog when it faces off against Minneota in the Section 5A championship game. For most observers, it’s for good reason: the Vikings are ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in Class A depending on the poll, they’ve won 23 straight games and 36 of their last 37 game, and they return a number of key players from last year’s undefeated Class A state championship team. But BOLD isn’t cowed by the task at hand at 2:30 p.m.
Sam Kerfeld's five-yard touchdown run in overtime capped Willmar's comeback from a two-touchdown deficit in the final six minutes of regulation and the Cardinals upset top-seed Fergus Falls 27-24 in the Section 8AAAA semifinals on Saturday
Willmar and Rocori will play for the Section 8AAAA championship at 6 p.m. Friday at Alexandria High School
The Willmar football team’s solid performance against Thief River Falls earlier this week helped the Cardinals snap a four-game playoff losing streak. But Willmar will need to play its best game of the season to get past Fergus Falls in the second round of the Section 8AAAA playoffs. The Cardinals travel to play the Otters at 7 p.m. Satudray. Willmar is the section No. 4 seed with a 4-5 record.