ST. CLOUD, Minn. (MSC) – The summer heat that shrouded two-a-days in August has given way to a biting late fall cold snap as sectional play-off football is upon us in Central Minnesota. Just like you and your favorite team, the Metro Sports Commission is gearing up for all the action.
While St. Cloud Apollo and Tech, along with Foley wait in the wings as the favorites in their respective sections, the teams that must play on the first Tuesday of action can lay claim to the first bit of forward momentum in the run to a sectional title and a potential berth in the state tournament.
For the Sartell Sabres, the Section 8-5A play-offs could not come at a better time. For their opponent Tuesday night, the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm, a change of ANY form is more than welcome.
The Sabres have won four straight games, after starting the season at 1-3. Before edging #1 seeded Apollo 21-17 to close the season, the Sabres posted a margin of victory on average of 37 points, with back to back 56 point performances. Sartell runs and runs and runs, boasting the top back in the area, Darek Stachowski who has racked up over 1,360 yards and 15 TDs on the season.
Sauk Rapids-Rice fell to the Sabres two weeks ago, falling victim to the second 56 point Sartell outburst. But that loss, and the blow-out nature, was not indicative of the Storm season. Their struggle to 0-8 began with positive offensive numbers in 3 straight losses to high powered opponents. Then, in week four, the Storm came up a single point shy of a victory, failing on a two point conversion after scoring at the gun. That became the first of 4 games decided by a single score or less for Sauk-Rapids Rice this season. A break here or there and the season has a different hue, a chance to change the narrative awaits tonight in what could be a shoot-out at Sartell High School.
Barry Hein will have the call of the Sabres and Storm clash on AM 1450-FM 103.3 KNSI with Williams Integracare Clinic pregame starting at 6:40.
A season bookended with success has the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders hosting a first round sectional game as a number 3 seed in Section 5-3A. The Crusaders won two of three to start the season, then won two of their last three games, including a convincing 40-6 thumping of Milaca, Tuesday's 6th seeded foe. With 2 losses to 2 top teams in the Granite Ridge, the Crusaders often took care of their own business against an opponent lower in the standings. Leading the way for the Cathedral pass-happy offense, senior signal caller Jeff Fasching, who is closing in on 2,000 yards passing for the year. Fasching has almost 400 more yards and 6 more touchdowns than any other QB in the area. 740 of those yards have gone to his top target Brady Yoerg who is tied for 2nd in the area in receiving touchdowns.
Emmett Keenan will have the call as Cathedral takes on Milaca for the 2nd straight game on AM 1180, starting with Williams Integracare Clinic pregame at 6:40.
Tuesday's double header is just the appetizer for the rest of sectional play to come your way. KNSIRADIO.COM and AM 1450, FM 103.3 are your source for match-ups and schedules all throughout the high school football play-offs.