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Area Football: Let the second season begin

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sports Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Thursday football games and the Quality Results Formula (QRF) have many teams still wondering where and who they’ll play next Tuesday.


Section 6-2A is still pending because Breckenridge played Staples-Motley late Thursday at the Fargodome.

One interesting thing did occur after Wednesday’s games. The Crosby-Ironton Rangers (7-1) defeated Esko, a Class 3A team, 54-30. The victory bumped the Rangers up to the No. 1 spot in the section, according to the QRF. Holdingford (7-1) moved to No. 2 and Pierz, which has won six straight, fell to the No. 3 spot in the section.

Pierz (7-1) has outscored its last three opponents 118-12. Holdingford knocked off Rockford 21-0 Wednesday and the Rangers have outscored opponents by an average of 38.3-13.1.

The 2-6 Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will play either Holdingford or Pierz. Which one won’t be decided until after the Breckenridge game.

The Rangers will likely play Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the quarterfinal round Tuesday. The championship game will be played 5:45 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Fargodome.

The Aitkin Gobblers will travel to third-seeded Coleraine to face the 3-5 Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin Titans in the opening round of the Section 7-3A playoffs 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The No. 6-seeded Gobblers have lost seven straight, but aside from Wednesday’s blowout 42-0 loss to Class 2A’s second-ranked Moose Lake-Willow River, the Gobblers have been in games. They lost to Esko 16-14, to Duluth Marshall 28-27 in overtime and C-I 16-10.

An upset by Aitkin would send the Gobblers to No. 2 Esko at 2 p.m. Oct. 27. Proctor received the No. 1 seed. The championship will be played 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Section 6-1A, which affects the 7-1 Pillager Huskies and the 5-3 Pine River-Backus Tigers, won’t be decided until Friday morning by a coaches’ vote.

Had the section gone the way of QRF, Pillager would be the No. 2 seed behind Browerville. The Huskies have won seven straight and their only loss was to unbeaten and top-seeded Mahnomen. Browerville is 6-2 with losses to Barnesville (7-0) with one more game against New York Mills and Upsala/Swanville Area (7-1).

Browerville and Ottertail Central played a heavy dose of Class 2A teams. Because of that, the 6-2 Bulldogs could also be bumped ahead of Pillager.

With Royalton also sitting at 6-2, that would likely put PR-B as the No. 5 seed as New York Mills, with a game left, is 2-5, Lake Park-Audubon is 3-5 and West Central Area is 2-6. But it is a coaches’ vote so anything can happen.

Perham will be the No. 1 seed in Section 8-3A and will likely host Staples-Motley at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Park Rapids has the No. 2 seed in that section, but who the Panthers play won’t be determined until after the Pequot Lakes game Thursday.

Pequot is sitting as the No. 5 seed according to the QRF. A win could put the Patriots ahead of Crookston, which Pequot beat and is sitting in the No. 4 slot. Crookston (3-5) is ranked No. 32 in the QRF; Pequot is No. 35.

Since Roseau (4-4) has not been given the No. 3 seed, according to the website, I’m guessing Pequot Lakes could move all the way up to the No. 3 seed.

The Verndale Pirates were awarded the No. 4 seed in the Section 4 Nine-Man playoffs and will host Ashby (4-4) in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Underwood, which was one of the Pirates’ two losses, got the No. 1 seed. Onamia (7-1) is No. 2 and Wheaton/Herman-Norcross (6-2) is No. 3. If Onamia and Wheaton both win that would be one very long drive for Wheaton for the section semifinals.

Section 8-4A is also undecided as Thief River Falls played Thursday at the Fargodome. The 3-5 Little Falls Flyers will either host or travel to the Prowlers depending on that outcome.

There are only six teams in Section 8-4A. Detroit Lakes (8-0) and Rocori (5-3) will likely get first-round byes. Fergus, which lost an outright Central Lakes Conference title because of Wednesday’s loss to St. Cloud Apollo, also lost a first-round bye. The Otters will host East Grand Forks.

jeremy millsop, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at