Playoff football has arrived and so has the transition to a wacky schedule. This week alone, we'll have games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then next Wednesday is the final day of AAA regular season games. So, there will be plenty of opportunities to go watch some high school football across the state over the next several weeks. Check out the post below for the latest power rankings, some playoff conversation and the top performances from last week! Enjoy!
- West Fargo (7-0)
- Bismarck Century (6-1)
- Bismarck (6-1)
- WF Sheyenne (5-2)
- Fargo South (5-2)
My Take: 7 of the 8 playoff spots in AAA have been secured and Legacy can punch its ticket to the postseason with a win over Williston on Friday night. West Fargo looks like a lock to secure the number one seed in the east, but the battle for the 2 seed will be interesting between Fargo South, Sheyenne and Davies who are all tied at 3-1 in EDC play. The Bruins host Davies this week and wrap up the season at Sheyenne next Wednesday. In the WDA, Bismarck and Century square off Friday with first place in the conference at stake. In conference play, Century is allowing a conference-best 3.5 ppg; meanwhile Bismarck is averaging a conference-best 38.8 ppg. This game has the makings of an instant classic! We'll have the highlights on Varsity Sports Live at 10:30 on Friday on MidcoSN!
- Shanley (7-0)
- Jamestown (5-2)
- St. Mary's (5-2)
- Watford City (4-3)
- Devils Lake (5-2)
My Take: Shanley controls its own destiny and can lock up the top seed with a win on Friday. The Deacons have already earned a first round bye. That time should allow standout TE/LB Jake Kava to get back to full strength after sustaining a sprained ankle in the win over the Saints. As for St. Mary's, it's time to re-focus after suffering back-to-back losses for the first time since 2012. They can still win the next two games and clinch the #2 seed. Watford City has clinched its playoff spot by virtue of owning the head-to-head tie breakers with Central Cass and Grafton. The final spot in the 6-team playoff field comes down to Wahpeton and Grafton. The only way the Huskies don't qualify for the postseason is if they lose the next two games and Grafton finishes the year with back-to-back wins. So, there's still some drama building. The Jamestown-Devils Lake matchup this week is a key battle for playoff positioning.
- Hillsboro-CV (7-0)
- Langdon-E-M (7-0)
- Velva (7-0)
- Ellendale-E-K (6-1)
- Dickinson Trinity (5-1)
My Take: And then there were three, as in three undefeated teams left in Class A. Hillsboro-Central Valley is the best of the bunch for me after seeing Burros RB Grant Skager rush for 314 yards and 5 TDs in a convincing 48-14 victory over defending state champ Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm. That Burros offensive line looks powerful led by senior Jack Camrud. Langdon-E-M continues to breeze by opponents behind the arm of senior QB Jacob Delvo. Same with Velva, who has surrendered 13 points total this season. E-E-K falls to #4 for me and Trinity rounds out the top five after surprising Beulah with a 21-0 victory. The Miners had some careless turnovers in that one. The playoff field in Class A will be set after Friday night and I can't wait!
- Cavalier (8-0)
- Wyndmere-Lidgerwood (8-0)
- New Salem-GU (8-0)
- Shiloh Christian (7-1)
- Thompson (6-2)
My Take: New Salem-GU defeated Shiloh Christian for the region 5 championship in what I'd call the game of the year! Just scroll to the 32:50 mark of last week's Varsity Sports Live to see the Holsteins hang on for the 36-34 victory. Both teams deserve a ton of credit for being resilient on that night. The playoff field is set and you can find that here. One thing that caught my eye right away is the potential of seeing Thompson vs Cavalier in the 2nd round if the Tommies are able to defeat Oakes. That would be a rematch of Cavalier's thrilling 28-24 season opening victory over the defending state champs. There's also a possiblity that we could see Shiloh Christian vs New Salem-GU part two in the semifinal round. It'll be fun to kick-off playoff football this Saturday across the state in 9-man!
Last Week's Top 10 Performers:
- Alex Sell, West Fargo: 10 rush, 59 yds, 3 TD, INT
- Kade Lynch, Century: 6 rec, 99 yds, 3 TD
- Nick Tschosik, Davies: 234 rec yds, TD
- Jalen Sprecher, Bismarck: 18 rush, 184 yds, 4 TD
- Ben Hoggarth, Oak Grove: 162 rush yds, TD; 17 tkls, INT return TD
- Evan Henke, New Salem-GU: 6-17, 222 yds, 2 TD; 104 rush yds, 2 TD
- Braden Zuroff, New Salem-GU: 111 rush yds, rush TD; 2 rec, 144 yds, 2 TD
- Andy Vasquez, Wyndmere-Lidgerwood: 7 rec, 122 yds, 2 TD
- Carter Brown, North Border: 17 rush, 311 yds, 4 TD
- Isaiah Kludt, Hettinger-Scranton: 173 rush yds, 4 TD, 2 KR TDs
ND Game Ball:
- Grant Skager, Hillsboro-CV: 24 rush, 314 yds, 5 TD in a 48-14 win over defending state champ Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm