MINNEAPOLIS - The last time Adrian and Cook County met on the gridiron, the Vikings squeaked out a double overtime victory. This time, the two teams were separated on the field by about as far as they are geographically. Adrian used a stifling defense and played a nearly flawless first half en route to a 21-0 victory over Cook County in the Minnesota State High SchoolClass A semifinal football game Friday at the Metrodome. With the victory, the Dragons (11-2) advance to Prep Bowl XXVI against Goodhue at 1 p.m. Friday for a chance at a state championship.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was everything that a state semifinal game is supposed to be. With 48 minutes not enough to decide a winner, the Luverne game with Pierz came down to one play in overtime. Leading 29-22 in the first overtime period of Friday's Class AA state semifinal game, Luverne's Zach Olson came up with the play of a lifetime. Pierz's Scott Janson dropped back and threw toward the end zone, when Olson stepped in front to intercept the ball and seal the victory. "It was a coverage," Olson said.
WORTHINGTON -- Even after a victory over Triton, there isn't much time for the Luverne Cardinals to celebrate. "Obviously, we're feeling good after beating the defending state champions," Luverne head coach Todd Oye said. "We also realize that the four teams left are very talented, and any of the four could win it." The Cardinals (11-1) will face Pierz (11-1) at 5:45 p.m. today in the Class AA semifinal game in the Metrodome. "Pierz is an excellent football team," Oye said. "They have a lot of speed. Defensively, they bring a lot of challenges and don't give up very many points.
WORTHINGTON -- If history repeats itself, the Adrian and Cook County semifinal game will be a dogfight to the end. The Dragon and Viking football teams have met twice before -- both times in a state championship game. In 1997, Cook County defeated Adrian by a single point, 13-12, and the game in 1998 was even more dramatic. "In double overtime, they had the ball and were going in to score," Cook County head coach Mitch Dorr said. "On fourth down, we stopped them on the one-inch line and won.
ST. PAUL -- If Windom head coach Ron Wendorff and Bethlehem Academy head coach Franz Boelter didn't have enough history between them prior to Saturday, the two added another chapter during the Class A state volleyball championship. Boelter's Cardinals defeated Wendorff's Eagles 3-1 at the Xcel Energy Center to claim BA's third state championship in five years. "It's pretty unbelievable," Boelter, who graduated from Windom in 1970, said. "I'll tell you what they've done here; they've absolutely played their best volleyball at the end of the season.
ST. PAUL -- Windom's Megan Ysker may be listed as a setter on the roster, but her skills on a volleyball court go way beyond setting. For her talents on the volleyball court, Ysker was named as a first team All-State player earlier this week. "It's really exciting," Ysker said of the honor. "But I really didn't expect it." While Ysker may have been surprised, her coach knew she was deserving. "She's by far one of the best players in this part of the state, if not the state," Windom head coach Ron Wendorff said. "She's just a very gifted player and has a great attitude about the game.
ST. PAUL -- Windom head coach Ron Wendorff has plenty of reasons to smile. "This smile on this face isn't going to go off for a while; I'm going to enjoy this one," Wendorff said. With another dominant sweep in the state tournament over Chisholm (22-6) Friday at the Xcel Energy Center, the Eagles (31-2) advance to the state finals today at 1 p.m. After a sluggish start, Windom won each game by a progressively larger margin in a 25-15, 25-14, 25-5 victory. "This is where we talked about where we wanted to get to," Wendorff said.
ST. PAUL -- While there still may be ice underneath the volleyball floor in the Xcel Center this weekend, but there is nothing cold about Windom senior Casey Christensen's game. Along with fellow teammates Megan Ysker and Malori Paplow, Christensen was named to the All-State team as a middle earlier in the week, and has helped guide the Eagles to a 30-2 record and a spot in the state semifinals. However, even in a venue like the Xcel Center, Christensen could feel the nerves. "I think maybe the nerves got to me a little bit; I struggled a little bit in the beginning," Christensen said.
ST. PAUL -- It took the Windom volleyball team over three hours to make the trip to St. Paul for the state tournament. It took less than 60 minutes to win its first match at the Xcel Center Thursday. The Eagles (30-2) proved why they finished as the No. 1 team in Class A, earning a clean sweep over Wheaton in the state quarterfinals. "Our kids just came out and responded very well," Windom head coach Ron Wendorff said.