The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Minnesota high school football playoffs heats up

Class 3A-5A football playoffs are underway, and teams are fighting for a game at U.S. Bank
Section 3A-5A Minnesota High School Football playoffs comes down to the wire with 24 teams left. Photo’s used with permission by Todd Steil, Lisa Anderson, and Laura Bemboom.

For the last few weeks, high school football teams all over Minnesota have been fighting for their chance to play a game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

In class 3A the Albany Huskies have been making their presence known and move on to the state tournament. On November 3rd, 2023, the Albany huskies faced off against the reigning state champs, New London-Spicer Wildcats, in the 3rd round of the playoffs for the section championship. The Huskies won in a phenomenal come from behind win to beat the Wildcats 24-23. The Huskies were down 23-0 at halftime, before coming back throughout the second half, while the defense held the Wildcats to a second half shutout.

In the final seconds of the game, the Huskies scored a touchdown and a 2pt conversion to win the game. The Huskies moved on to play Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on November 10th, 2023, and their season was ended in a 33-6 loss to the Rebels. The Rebels now move on to play the Stewartville Tigers on November 18th.

Senior wide receiver, Jack Rieland, rushes up the field for a gain. (Lisa Anderson)

In class 3A the favorites to win was the Esko Football Team, but after a recent fall to the Annandale Cardinals on November 11th, the Cardinals take that title.

Week 1 of the playoffs, Annandale ended the Cathedral Crusaders with a 48-8 victory. Following that game, on November 3rd, the Cardinals played a barn burner game against the Foley Falcons, where the Falcons fell 14-8. Going into the playoffs, the Falcons were 4-4, and the first two rounds they put on a clinic against each team with scores 42-0, and 49-14. Despite having two blowouts in a row, they were not able to hold on against the Annandale Cardinals. The Cardinals then move on to play Dassel-Cokato on November 18th.

Senior Wide Receiver, Bryce Gapinski, runs through the endzone for a 20 yard receiving touchdown. (Laura Bemboom).

Looking at the class 4A picture, on November 9th, the Rocori Spartans punched their ticket to U.S. Bank Stadium in a 28-27 victory over the Orono Spartans. Rocori went into the playoffs with a record of 6-2, while Orono was 7-1, with their only loss being to Rocori. Quarterback Will Steil, who is committed to play football at North Dakota State University (NDSU), led his team yet another come from behind win in the second half, along with standout player Grant Tylutki, and head coach James Herberg. Rocori advances to play the Byron Bears on November 16th, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings. 

Wide Receiver, Andy Pedroza, catches a pass from quarterback, Will Steil, for a large gain. (Todd Steil)

Moving onto class 5A, we see the Alexandria Cardinals take down the 8-1 Brainerd Warriors, making them fall to 8-2 following the 24-19 loss against the cardinals. The Cardinals then moved on to play against the Rogers Royals for the first game of state. The Cardinals went on the board first with a 52-yard field goal from junior kicker Daniel Jackson. The Royals then went on to score 14 points from touchdowns by runningback Kalvin Kull, and Ryder Vylasek. At halftime Rogers was leading 14-3, but after what must have been a passionate halftime speech from head coach Mike Empting, the Cardinals went out and scored 35 unanswered points, winning the game 38-14.


U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings, opened on July 22nd, 2016. The stadium will host the last few rounds of the Minnesota state high school football tournament. (Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons License)









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About the Contributor
Carson Reichel, Journalist
Grade: Senior Favorite Sport: Football Favorite Season: Fall Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo Hobbies: Music and Frolfin