ND Class A and 9man Semi Final Previews

North Dakota Class A

Park River-FL at Larimore – Saturday November 8 at 1:30 PM

Park River-FL’s only loss this year came to Larimore back on September 5 (29-13). The Aggies since then have been a much more complete team. Head Coach Robert Goll explains,

“We’ve shown big improvement on offense and d- line play. We have also had a big improvement in being able to balance our running and passing game on offense. We need to play our game!! Play with confidence – and the big thing is to win the turnover battle which is the main reason we lost our regular season game to Larimore.”


The Aggies will look to quarterback Abe Hankey (44/106 907 yards) to protect the ball and spread the field. Cady Hunter (154 car 1225 yards) and Jackson Hankey (42 carries 525 yards) will carry the ball.

Larimore also believes they’ve gotten better. Their only loss came in the opener to Rugby but have won every game since then. Head Coach Paul Peterson,

“We've improved most by getting better each week and following our philosophy of doing your one job on the football field & good things will happen.We match up well with Park River.  We played a tough contest earlier this season winning 29-13.  They like to spread it out and throw and we like to pack it in and run.  They are one of our biggest rivals. It should be a great game.”

The seniors have been so important this year. Senior running back Jake Peterson (153 car 1412 yards, 17TD) has made the big plays for the Polar Bears when they need them. Senior Jeremy Wiegandt has been huge in the blocking game and on defense and a lot of credit goes to senior Matt Bratlie (7.5 TFL) and sophomores Levi (7.0 TFL) and Caleb Hofer (4.0 TFL) up front. Jacob Tupa (19/36 357 yards) hasn’t had to throw the ball much and that’s alright with Coach Peterson. He says they’ll pound the ball like they have all season long.

PREDICTION: Larimore wins again and advances to the Dakota Bowl with a 24-20 win.

Hazen at Killdeer – Saturday November 8 at 1:30 PM

Hazen is riding a 30-game winning streak but head Coach Rick Philion is focused on Saturdays game and knows it won’t be easy,

“It’s hard to be a team like Killdeer once.  They are a very good team and have been playing well.  In games like this the turnover battle often determines the game. I think we had a lot of new guys in the backfield and in the secondary that have been getting better each week.  We are a doing a better job following blocks and making the right decisions.”

Connor Doll (PASS: 32-54 854 yards, 14TDs RUSH: 102 att 893 yards 11TD) has been great at quarterback. Seth Kreil has stepped up on the offensive and defensive lines. They’ve also had Hunter Steffen (47att 508 yds, 11TD) step up at running back this year. Last week’s win over Lewis and Clark OR was a typical win for the Bison this year. Doll ran for 230 yards and the defense took care of business. So far no one has been able to stop Doll. Last meeting Killdeer gave it their best shot but came up short 27-16 on October 18. In that game Killdeer played a good second half and hope to build on that for Saturday’s matchup. Killdeer’s weapons include Lewis Dobitz and John Knopik at running back but Trenton Rohr puts the most fear into opponents. Last week the Cowboys had everything clicking when Rohr ran for 89 yards and threw for 92 yards while the defense held a potent Rugby offense to just 20 points and 161 total yards.

PREDICTION: Hazen squeaks by Killdeer in the closest game of the day 22-20

North Dakota 9-Man

LaMoure-Litchville/Marion at Cavalier – Saturday November 8 at 2:30 PM

Cavalier has put up another impressive season to say the least. The Tornadoes average 62.3 ppg while allowing a stunning 3.8. No one has seriously gotten in the way of them and their goal to win every game. Brock Robbins (17089 yards 35TDs ) has been the engine on both sides of the ball that has powered this machine. Trent Karel has stepped in for Ryan Chrest nicely at quarterback this season (633 yards 12TDs rushing, 8TDs passing). Head Coach Sandy Laxdal knows that each week presents their own obstacles and Anthony Olson is this week’s bump in the road,

      “LLM brings the premier running back in 9 man football in Anthony Olson, he is quick, elusive, and strong. They get him the football in a variety of formations and once he breaks your inital contain, he takes it the distance. Their offensive and defensive lines are very under-rated as they will be the best group that we have faced this year. They are very well -coached and will be prepared for what we like to do.”

Anthony Olson (2564 yards 35TDs) had been a receiver the past two seasons and has thrived at running back this year. Olson improves every week. Last week he put up 412 yards and 7 touchdowns. Another standout has been Quinn Alo (6-3, 315) up front, he’s been blowing up the line this season.

Andrew DelaBarre head coach for the Loboes have a big task to stop the Torandoes,

“We will be facing a tough Cavalier football team.  They are the defending state champions and we are up for the challenge.  We feel like their best player is standout, Brock Robbins.  He carries the ball well and is a tough back to take down.  He is also a huge playmaker on the defensive side at LB.  We'll need to know where he's at on the field and make sure that we do our jobs.  Otherwise they are very talented across the board. They are well coached and play with an attitude.  We are confident in our gameplan and players.  Last year we felt like we were going up there to play with them and put a few points on the board, but this year we are going up with the attitude of winning.”

PREDICTION: LaMoureLM might give Cavalier some trouble but the Tornadoes are just too good. Cavalier wins 55-14

North Dakota 9-Man

TGU at Shiloh Christian – Saturday November 8 at 2:00 PM

TGU head coach Scott Thorson thinks that his team is peaking at the right time.

“Foremost, I feel that we have improved greatly on defense.  We have really played well, defensively, in the latter part of the season and into to the playoffs. We have also become very balanced (run to pass) in our offensive attack.”

The Titans are led by senior quarterback Eli Luna (PASS: 105-151 1631 yards 23 TD 1 INT; RUSH: 1659 yds 20 TD) who has done a great job taking care of the ball. Fellow senior, Colter Thorp (40 rec 769 yds 14TDs) has been his main target. Those two will be the focus of a Shiloh Christian defense that has been outstanding. Last week, Funnon Barker’s team held GCF to 8 points, on the year they’ve given up just 8.9 ppg. Coach Thorson knows that Shiloh will be tough,

“Shiloh Christian is the real deal.  They are undefeated for a reason. They are a team that can strike from several angles offensively.  They have perfected the Wing T offense.  You can't focus on any one player because they have plenty to hurt you with.  Defensively they are a very aggressive, attack style.  They will certainly cause us some difficulties in the matchups.”

Shiloh head coach Funnon Barker feels that TGU is a worthy opponent as well.

“TGU is a very very good team. They are well coached and they have a ton of athletes. Offensively it all starts with Eli Luna. He is a all-state player and has the ability to take over games. If we don’t contain him it will be a long day for us.”

Shiloh features two standouts running the ball, AJ Dale (850 yds 10TD) and Blake Emmel (1076 yds 15TD) with Zac Martin (40/72, 777 yds, 20TDs) doing a great job manning the offense at QB. But it’s up front where the Skyhawks are getting separation. Their line has been outstanding.

Prediction: Shiloh Christian holds serve at home and wins a close one 32-28