Section 1A football preview

No. 8 Kingsland (0-8) at No. 1 Blooming Prairie (8-0)

A young Kingsland team, with just four seniors on its roster, has taken its lumps this season. The Knights have allowed at least 40 points in every game this season and haven't scored more than 20 in a game. Kingsland and Blooming Prairie did not meet in the regular season. The Knights have lost 15 consecutive games, dating back to last season.

Blooming Prairie has won 15 out of its past 16 games, dating back to early last season. The No. 3-ranked Blossoms have only had one opponent come within a touchdown of them this season, a 36-28 victory against Maple River on Oct. 11. Blooming is paced by a strong defense, which has allowed just 10.6 points per game. The Blossoms' offense revolves around its passing game, led by strong-armed junior QB John Rumpza, who has passed for 2,061 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.

No. 5 Goodhue (3-5) at No. 4 Fillmore Central (3-5)

Goodhue has to go on the road in the first round, despite winning its regular season matchup against Fillmore Central, 20-6, on Oct. 11. The Wildcats average 288 yards and 18.5 points per game. They allow 297.3 yards per game. Junior QB Tyler Schumacher paces the offense; he passed for the most yards in the Southern Football Alliance Blue Division during the regular season, throwing for 906 yards and seven TDs.


Fillmore Central has lost two consecutive games heading into the playoffs, including the loss to Goodhue in Week 7. But the Falcons have a versatile rushing attack, led by senior McKinnen Stone, who has 404 yards and three touchdowns on the ground this season. The Falcons have a sturdy defense, which allows just 18.6 points per game, but they have struggled to score, putting up just 12.6 ppg.

No. 6 Wabasha-Kellogg (3-5) at No. 3 Faribault B.A. (5-3)

Wabasha-Kellogg has lost three consecutive games after a 3-2 start to the season. The Falcons finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the SFA Blue Division. They're led by senior QB Austin Baab, who has passed for just 344 yards, but has rushed for 1,122 yards and 12 TDs, the second-most by an individual in the SFA Blue. W-K averages 21.5 points per game, while it allows 26.8.

Faribault Bethlehem Academy is the defending section champion. The Cardinals advanced all the way to the Prep Bowl last season before falling to Mahnomen 20-14. They enter the playoffs having lost two of their past three games, including a 24-7 setback to top-seeded Blooming Prairie in the final game of the regular season. FBA averages 28.0 points per game and allows just 16.5 ppg.

No. 7 Southland (2-6) at No. 2 Rushford-Peterson (6-2)

Southland snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Fillmore Central 29-8 in the final game of the regular season. The Rebels are led by one of the top passers in the SFA Blue Division, senior Trent Reinartz. He has passed for 751 yards and five touchdowns this season. Marvin Heimer leads Southland's rushing attack with 408 yards and four touchdowns.

Rushford-Peterson's only losses this season came at the hands of two of the best teams in Class AA, top-ranked Caledonia and No. 9-ranked Chatfield. Aside from Chatfield, R-P is the only team to come within two touchdowns of Caledonia this season. R-P's balanced offensive attack is led by a pair of juniors, running back Alex Vix and quarterback Jonnie Koenen. They combined for 437 yards in a regular season-closing victory against Goodhue. The stingy Trojans defense allows just 13.9 points per game.

— Jason Feldman

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