Skip to main content

1 fact about every team in the Minnesota high school football state tournament

One team sang a John Denver song together after clinching a ticket to state.

Whether it's a statistic, unusual storyline or a fun nickname, there's at least one cool fact about every team in the 2018 Minnesota high school football state tournament. 

We've separate these by class, giving you a good look at which schools are playing along with something interesting about them. Our favorite? It's gotta go to the 9-man team that sang a John Denver song after clinching a berth in the tourney.

Class 6A

Eden Prairie: The Eagles have defeated Minnetonka, whom they play Friday, 17 straight times dating back to the 2006 season. 

Minnetonka: The Skippers were ranked No. 2 in the state in the first poll of the season back on Sep. 5.

Blaine: The Bengals are one of two undefeated teams in 6A and are 10-0 for the first time since 2010, when they lost to Wayzata in the state quarterfinals. 

Eastview: Arguably the stingiest defense in 6A, the Lightning have yet to allow more than 17 points in a game this season. 

Woodbury: A win over Lakeville South will put the Royals in the state semifinals for the first time since 2004. 

Lakeville South: The Cougars have thrown the ball just 14 times in their last two games while averaging 364 rushing yards per game. 

Lakeville North: A true juggernaut, the Panthers are No. 2 in both scoring offense and scoring defense in Class 6A, and at 10-0 they're one of only two undefeated teams. 

St. Michael-Albertville: The Knights wouldn't be here if not for a comeback for the ages last week against Edina. They were trailing 28-0 with six minutes to go and wound up winning 29-28. 

Class 5A

Elk River: The Elks have thrown the ball just 13 times all season while averaging about 450 rushing yards per game. Five of those 13 pass attempts have gone for touchdowns. 

Spring Lake Park: The Panthers get a first-round rematch against Elk River, the team that beat them 42-14 in the 2016 state championship game. 

Chaska: The Hawks became the first to beat Mankato West on its home field in a playoff game since 2004, upsetting the perennial power 17-14 in the section final last week. 

Owatonna: The Huskies are the defending 5A champs and they're 10-0 this season with only one game decided by fewer than 20 points (18 points against Northfield). 

Bemidji: The Lumberjacks are back in the state tourney just two years after finishing 1-8. 

Cambridge-Isanti: The Bluejackets are back in state for the first time since 2005. 

Tartan: The Titans won its first section football title in school history, and now they face former Classic Surburban Conference foe St. Thomas Academy. 

St. Thomas Academy: The 10-0 Cadets are led by senior running Brennan McFadden, who's rushed for 1,293 yards and 28 touchdowns. 

Class 4A

Delano: The Tigers are enjoying their best season since reaching the state semifinals at the Metrodome in 2013. 

SMB: The Wolfpack is led by junior quarterback Jalen Suggs, who is a five-star basketball recruit drawing scholarship offers from every major university in the country. 

Waseca: Last year, the Bluejays scored 33 straight points to start their section final game against Hutchinson. This year, in a rematch, they scored 35 unanswered to win after trailing 20-13. 

Winona: The Winhawks have a potent rushing attack led by junior Trevor Pomeroy's 1,556 yards and 15 touchdowns. 

Willmar: While one of the bigger cities in greater Minnesota, it's a bit shocking to learn that this is the first time at state in 30 years for the Cardinals. 

Hermantown: The Hawks made it to state despite their head coach being replaced a month before the season started. 

St. Anthony Village: This is just their second trip to the state tourney, having last gone way back in 1999. 

St. Paul Johnson: The Governors are at state for the first time since 1981, and leading the way is a sophomore QB with nearly 1,000 yards rushing, Joey Moberg. 

Class 3A

Pierz: The Pioneers have won 22 games in a row, 13 straight in section playoffs and seven straight section titles. 

Annandale: The Cardinals had never made it to the state tourney until going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, and now they're back for the third time in school history. 

Jordan: The Hubmen's only loss this season came to 4A tourney team Waseca. 

Rochester Lourdes: The undefeated Eagles are looking to add to their trophy case, having won state titles recently in 2010, 2014 and 2016. 

Perham: Senior quarterback Jenson Beachy has passed for more than 2,600 yards with 26 touchdowns while adding 800 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. 

Two Harbors: Their nickname is the Agates. Who knew? This is their first trip to state in 41 years (1977). 

Cannon Falls: The Bombers went 2-6 in the regular season and have somehow shocked the world to reach state with three straight playoff wins. 

Fairmont: The Cardinals have posted back-to-back shutouts, led by leading tackler Zac Ringnell, who posted double-digit tackles in six of eight regular season games. 

Class 2A

Pillager: The Huskies are 10-1 this season and made it to state in a game that they completed just 2-of-20 pass attempts. Their 350 rushing yards certainly helped. 

Paynesville: The Bulldogs won two playoff games by a combined score of 102-0. Their only losses this season are to 1A power BOLD and 3A power Pierz. 

New Richland-H-E-G: The "H-E-G" stands for towns in the district, Hartland, Ellendale and Geneva. On the field, they lost to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 48-6 on Sep. 28, then beat them in the section final 46-6. How's that for a turnaround?

Caledonia: They're the biggest sports power in the state, arguably, having won eight 2A football titles since 2007. 

Barnesville: The Trojans are 30-5 over the last three years, reaching state each time. 

Moose Lake/Willow River: They've been to state 12 times since 2000 but have yet to win a title. They came close with runner-up finishes in 2009, 2011 and 2012. 

Minneapolis North: The Polars have posted six shutouts and allowed a total of 48 points in 10 games, all wins, this season. 

Redwood Valley: the Cardinals made it to state by the skin of their teeth, stopping Pipestone Area on a 2-point conversion try in the final seconds to hold on for a 31-30 win. 

Class 1A

Otter Tail Central: One of five undefeated teams in the 1A tournament field, and reaching state after losing the section final the last two years. 

BOLD: Wide receiver Luke Ryan had six catches for 239 yards and four touchdowns in BOLD's section final win over Minneota. 

United South Central: Junior running back Zach Niebuhr rushed 46 times for 309 yards and six touchdowns in the section final. 

Blooming Prairie: Better known as the the Awesome Blossoms. They're 11-0 this season. 

Mahnomen/Waubun: This is Mahnomen's first year pairing with Waubun High School, but more of the same as they're back in the tourney for the ninth year in a row. 

Deer River: They forced 10 turnovers in their section final win over Blackduck. 

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity: Located about a half hour west of the metro area, Lester Prairie is also just 9 miles away from a township called Hollywood. How fitting. 

Springfield: Their first trip to state in a decade (2008). 

Class 9-Man

NCE/U-H: It stands for Norman County East-Ulen Hitterdal.

Cromwell-Wright: According to the Pine Journal, their players started singing John Denver's "Country Roads" after winning the section title. 

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton: The home of one of Minnesota's all-time leading rushers, Kyle Minnett. 

Spring Grove: The defending nine-man champs have won 25 games in a row. 

Stephen-Argyle: They own the state record for longest winning streak, which reached 76 games before losing a game in 2008. 

Mountain Iron-Buhl: NHL star Matt Niskanen quarterbacked this high school to the state tournament in 2005. 

Verndale: The 10-0 Pirates outscored their opponents 378-66 during the regular season

Mountain Lake Area: The closest they came to losing this season was a 19-point margin of victory. 

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Minneapolis teen charged in carjacking, chase that left 2 dead

Two 16-year-olds died when the SUV they crashed in was split in half.


Minnesota woman who pointed gun at officer sentenced to 10 years in prison

The sheriff's deputy shot the woman multiple times in the incident.


Who left tires all over the road in Forest Lake?

Authorities said they would "love to chat" with the people responsible.


Ex-cop Kueng sentenced to 3½ years in prison in killing of George Floyd

Kueng pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October.


Effort to support flu-stricken boy who spent his birthday on ventilator

The 10-year-old has been on a ventilator after complications followed.


What's the latest on next week's major snowstorm system?

The storm is coming. It's just a matter of where the biggest snow totals occur.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.


Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.


Trips to the state tourney on the line in Minnesota prep football

Teams looking to punch a ticket to the state tournament.

Minnesota Prep Bowl set after 3 days of state football semifinals

Four teams are one win away from repeating as state champs.

high school football

40 teams still undefeated in MN high school football

There are 8 undefeated teams left in Class 4A.

Tidbits for every high school football state semifinal matchup

The semifinals will be played this week at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Just 1 upset as the 6A high school football tourney begins

Lakeville South pulled off the only upset in beating Cretin-Derham Hall.

Breaking down the 6A MN high school football bracket

Eden Prairie received the only bye into the second round.