No. 1 Winona, bye: The Winhawks (8-0) are in search of a fourth straight state berth and are a heavy favorite to claim another section title. They are No. 4 in Class AAAA in QRF ratings. They have rolled past foes all season long and have been paced by school record-setting running back Trevor Pomeroy and QB Jackson Nibbelink. Future Division I player Aaron Witt, a Wisconsin commit, is a force on both sides of the ball. Winona averages 35.5 points a game and allows just 9.1.
No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville, bye: The KoMets (5-3) have excelled despite having to switch coaches during the regular season as Broc Threinen is on an administrative leave. K-M played Winona tough during the regular season, falling 34-24 on Sept. 20. QB Peyton Wilke has sparked a KoMets offense that averages 33.3 points a game, while the defense has allowed 20.6. The KoMets defeated potential semifinal foe Byron 31-12 during the season and are No. 17 in QRF.
No. 6 Red Wing at No. 3 Byron: Red Wing (0-7) struggled to a winless regular season as the offense averaged just 7.7 points a game and was held to a touchdown or less five times. The Wingers also allow 47.7 points a game. Byron (3-5) has been solid as it stepped up a class this season. The Bears have a trio of talented skill-position players in RB Austin Freerksen, WR/RB Ben Stienessen and QB Andrew Scheuer. Freerksen has rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the Bears, who average 23.9 points a game and allow 27.4.
No. 5 Albert Lea at No. 4 Faribault: It's unlikely that either of these teams will provide much resistance to Winona in the semifinals. Albert Lea (2-6) opened the season with a 33-7 loss to Winona. The Tigers average 20.8 points a game and allow 31.3. Faribault (1-7) got the No. 4 seed by virtue of a 28-24 win over Albert Lea during the regular season. The Falcons lost to Winona 38-6 during the season. Faribault has averaged just 11.3 points a game while allowing 38.9.