High School Football: Willmar gets Little Falls again as section seeds are announced

Cardinals, Flyers meet in the first round of section play Tuesday at Hodapp Field, the same place they met last year in the first round of the playoffs, with Willmar winning 42-12. Plus, a look at playoff pairings for all area teams.

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Willmar quarterback Alex Schramm (13) tries to pull away from a Delano defender tugging on his jersey during a run Oct. 10 in Delano. Willmar won 42-0. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — For the second straight year, it’ll be Cardinals vs. Flyers to open the Section 8AAAA football playoffs.

Section brackets were released across the state Friday morning. And in 8AAAA, Willmar (4-2) were awarded the fourth seed in the five-team section. Little Falls (1-4) is the fifth seed and heads to Hodapp Field for the 8AAAA quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

In last year’s quarterfinals, the Cardinals were victorious, 42-12.

Tuesday’s winner takes on top-seeded Rocori (6-0) in the section semifinals at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. In the other semifinal, second-seeded Grand Rapids (6-0) will host third-seeded Detroit Lakes (5-1). The 8AAAA championship takes place Friday, Nov. 27 at Alexandria High School.

The 2020 football season will conclude with section championships after fall state playoffs were canceled by the Minnesota State High School League.


RCW, Litchfield top seeds

Two West Central Tribune area schools earned top seeds in their respective sections: Renville County West (2 9-Man) and Litchfield (2AAA).

After going to state for the first time in school history in 2019, the Jaguars look to repeat as section champions. RCW (6-0) opens the postseason at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Danube against eighth-seeded Onamia (2-1). Elsewhere in the bracket, sixth-seeded Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (1-4) will travel to Lamberton to play third-seeded Red Rock Central (2-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Semifinal games take place on Saturday, Nov. 21. The section tournament concludew at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at the high seed.

Going 5-1 in the regular season, Litchfield earned the top seed in Section 2AAA and has a first-round bye. The section was cut down from eight to seven teams after Belle Plaine shut down its program Thursday amid COVID-19 concerns.

The Dragons face the winner of Tuesday’s game between fourth-seeded Dassel-Cokato (3-3) and fifth-seeded Watertown-Mayer (2-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 in Litchfield. The section championship is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at St. Cloud Tech High School.

Around the area

  • In Section 6AAA, New London-Spicer and Minnewaska host opening-round games. The Wildcats (2-4) are the four seed and will host fifth-seeded Montevideo (1-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Lakers (2-3) got the three seed and will take on sixth-seeded Melrose (2-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Glenwood. The semifinals are Saturday, Nov. 21. The section title game is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Sauk Centre.

  • Morris/Chokio-Alberta and Paynesville are the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, in Section 5AA. Both have first-round byes. On Saturday, Nov. 21, the Tigers (5-1) are host to the winner of Tuesday’s game between fifth-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (2-4) and fourth-seeded Kimball (4-2). The Bulldogs (5-1) have a 2 p.m. home game on Saturday, Nov. 21 against the winner of No. 3 Eden Valley-Watkins (5-1) and No. 6 Holdingford (1-2). The section title game is 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Glenwood.

  • Benson will have its first home playoff game since 2004 after earning the fourth seed in Section 4A. The Braves (4-2) will host fifth-seeded Upsala/Swanville Area (3-3) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The winner plays top-seeded Mayer Lutheran (6-0) on Saturday. Elsewhere in the bracket at 6 p.m. Tuesday, seventh-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (0-6) will head to second-seeded Browerville/Eagle Valley (5-1). Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg is out of the tournament after canceling the remainder of its season. The section championship is 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Sauk Centre.

  • In Section 5A, five area teams begin the postseason at 7 p.m. on Tuesday: No. 8 MACCRAY (0-3) at No. 1 Minneota (6-0); No. 5 Lac qui Parle Valley (3-3) at No. 4 Lakeview (4-2); No. 7 Yellow Medicine East (1-5) at No. 2 BOLD (5-1); and No. 6 Canby (2-4) at No. 2 Dawson-Boyd (5-1). The semifinals are on Saturday, Nov. 21. The section championship takes place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.

He can be reached via email at: or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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