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Area Football: Let the second season begin

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Brainerd Dispatch
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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.

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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 Minnesota-Scores.net 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 jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856
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