Prep football: Seeds, matchups set for section tournaments
WORTHINGTON — Rematches, mismatches and perhaps even a bit of misunderstanding surfaced Thursday as playoff brackets were revealed for Minnesota high school football teams.
Most squads open sectional play Tuesday, with second-round games slated next Saturday. All section champions, of course, qualify for the state tournament.
Four of the state’s six classes are represented in southwest Minnesota, including Section 3AAA. Both Fairmont and unbeaten Jackson County Central receive first-round byes and will host games on Saturday.
Jackson, which is 8-0 and has outscored its foes 408-62, is seeded second behind top-seeded Fairmont (7-1).
The Minnesota State High School League uses a “Quality Results Formula,” developed and administered by website Minnesota-Scores.net , to determine playoff seeding.
Jackson is seeded No. 2, though the team hasn’t come in second-best in any game this season, but head coach Tom Schuller said the QRF seeding doesn’t serve as a motivating factor.
“You have to be able to put the teams in a hat and beat them all, to be honest with you,” said Schuller. “The road may be more difficult, but we need to win. Everybody’s in the same boat right now. Hit the reset button and everybody’s zero and zero.
“Now there’s a lot more pressure because a poor performance might mean packing up the gear and going home.”
The SECTION 3AAA tourney starts Tuesday with Worthington (0-8) traveling to Luverne (6-2) and Sibley East (2-6) visiting Tri-City United (1-7).
The Worthington-Luverne winner plays Saturday in Jackson. The Trojans, who have been outscored by an average score of 42-12 this fall, lost at Luverne 41-12 back on Aug. 30.
IN SECTION 3A, Tuesday’s first round includes Murray County Central traveling to Wabasso. That’s a rematch of Wednesday’s game, won 32-27 by Wabasso.
Murray County Central (5-3) is seeded sixth in the section, while Wabasso (6-2) is No. 3.
Powerful Springfield (8-0) receives a first-round bye. Other 3A games Tuesday include seventh-seeded Sleepy Eye (0-8) at No. 2 Martin County West (5-3) and fifth-seeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (5-3) at fourth-seeded Adrian (4-4).
Murray Country Central edged Adrian 21-6 in a season opener and notched more wins this fall than the Dragons, yet is seeded several spots lower.
That was noticed by fans online, including Colby Pack of Fulda.
“I’ve got no one in the battle, but just curious how MCC with a 5-3 record and a head-to-head win over Adrian (and) better section record gets seeded below them? Not just below them but 2 spots lower? That one makes NO sense to me,” Pack tweeted at Minnesota-Scores.net .
“Tending to agree,” Minnesota-Scores.net tweeted in response. “The issue is RTR with a better record and QRF (better) than Adrian, but Adrian beat them -- then MCC doesn’t win tiebreaker with RTR. Don’t love how this one ended up, but it happens when Section opponents don’t play each other. #fewcommonopponentsmakesittougher.”
The RTR-Adrian winner plays at Springfield and the MCC-Wabasso victor advances to meet the Sleepy Eye-Martin County West winner on Saturday.
In SECTION 3AA, both top-seeded Redwood Valley (6-2) and second-seeded Pipestone Area (5-3) have first-round byes.
On Tuesday, fourth-seeded Windom Area (2-6) hosts No. 5 Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (2-6) and sixth-seeded St. James Area (0-8) travels to No. 3 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (5-3).
On Saturday, Pipestone hosts the St. James-TMB winner while Redwood Valley hosts the Windom-LCWM victor.
In SECTION 3 9-MAN, unbeaten Mountain Lake Area is the No. 1 seed and Hills-Beaver Creek, which lost to MLA 40-20 at Mountain Lake in the regular season, is No. 2.
On Tuesday, Mountain Lake Area will host eighth-seeded Westbrook-Walnut Grove while Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda (5) is at Madelia (4), Lyle-Pacelli (7) is at Hills-Beaver Creek, and GHEC/Truman (6) is at Edgerton (3).