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Clash of Class A titans in 5A championship

By nearly every metric, the BOLD Warriors are the best Class A football team in the state of Minnesota. But is it possible they won't even make it to the state tournament? The Warriors scored more points than anybody in Minnesota this regular sea...

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By nearly every metric, the BOLD Warriors are the best Class A football team in the state of Minnesota.

But is it possible they won't even make it to the state tournament?

The Warriors scored more points than anybody in Minnesota this regular season (450), averaging 58.1 points per game. The closest is Pierz, who averaged 50 points per game and is a two-time defending state champion. Offense aside, the Warriors allowed just 7.7 points per game, or 63 points all year. That's the second-lowest mark in all of Class A, which makes BOLD's average margin of victory 50.4 points per game, again the best total in the class.

All of these numbers sound like a team surely headed to the state tournament and likely a championship, right? Well, first they have to deal with Minneota.

For the second year in a row, the Warriors will try to top the Vikings in the Section 5A final. This year's edition is set for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.

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Minneota enters the game with a 24-game win streak, including a state championship win against Wabasso last season and a 35-22 win over BOLD to reach the state tournament. While BOLD's numbers are staggering, Minneota isn't far behind, averaging 44.6 points per game on offense and allowing just 12.8 points per game. The numbers support BOLD, earning the Warriors a No. 1 ranking by QRF according to Minnesota-Scores.net but the coaches side with Minneota, ranking the Vikings No. 1 in the Associated Press.

In many ways, this game may feel like a toss up. Minneota's most impressive victory came in week two when they shutout a powerful Dawson-Boyd team 47-0. Just last week, the Blackjacks fought for a 14-14 game through three quarters, only for the Vikings to run away with a 21-point fourth quarter and a 35-14 win.

BOLD, meanwhile, has looked impressive all season long, starting with a 30-20 victory against Paynesville in week one. Since then, the Warriors' smallest margin of victory was 28, which came in a 35-7 win over Morris/Chokio-Alberta in week eight.

Each team has weapons on weapons but use different strategies of employing their athletes. BOLD's starters rarely see much of the second half while Minneota stick with their main units throughout most of their games. BOLD takes the edge in experience with nearly every starter back from last year's team, including junior quarterback Jordan Sagedahl, junior running back Gavin Vosika and senior wide receiver/defensive back Luke Ryan, all of whom are more talented than their statistics even indicate.

Minneota is led by Cole Sanow, a running back who ran for 1,205 yards and 22 touchdowns in eight regular season games. He's joined by all-around playmaker Thomas Hennen and a bevy of skill players.

Trying to pick a winner in this game is a fruitless endeavor. The best teams often square off at U.S Bank Stadium in the season's final game of the year but, at least for Class A, the best teams will face off in Marshall Friday.

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