Round two of ND nine-man playoffs features several marquee matchups
Round Two of the Nine-man Football Playoffs begins later today at various high schools around the state. Each school is hungry for victory, but only eight teams will advance to the Quarterfinals.
Schools that battled their way out of the first round include: New Rockford-Sheyenne (Region 2, 3-seed), May-Port CG (Region 1, 4-seed), Hankinson (Region 1, 3-seed), Thompson (Region 1, 2-seed), Beach High (Region 5, 3-seed), Shiloh Christian (Region 5, 2-seed), Mott-Regent/New England (Region 5, 4-seed), and Divide County (Region 6, 2-seed).
Here is a breakdown of each matchup heading into this afternoon.
Lidgerwood vs. New Rockford-Sheyenne.
Wyndmere/Lidgerwood earned a first-round bye going into the playoffs this year. They ended the regular season with an 8-0 record, earning the team the Region 1, 1-seed title. Their closest game was against Thompson at home where Wyndmere/Lidgerwood was able to win by nine points with a final score of 30-21. With their closest game being separated by more than a touchdown and a perfect record, Wyndmere/Lidgerwood could be a tough team to beat.
New Rockford-Sheyenne battled Kidder County (Region 3, 3-seed) at home in the first-round last weekend. It was a close game, but NRS was able to best Kidder County 36-34. NRS ended its regular season with a record of 5-3. This earned it a 3-seed for Region 2 behind Cavalier and Nelson County. Despite the Kidder County close call, four of the regular season wins were all won by more than double the other teams’ points. They won by 6 against Larimore at home on Sept. 29. As for their losses, they were bested by double the points they put up by North Prairie, Nelson County, and Cavalier.
New Rockford-Sheyenne faces Wyndmere/Lidgerwood, at 2 p.m. today at Wyndmere High School.
Nelson County vs. May-Port CG
Nelson County finished its regular season with a record of 6-2. This earned it a 2-seed spot in Region 2 and a first-round bye. Nelson County started its season on Aug. 18 with a close game against Hatton/Northwood, losing 38-36 on the road. They fell again Sept. 29 at Cavalier later in the season 38-8. Could home field advantage push Nelson County into the Quarterfinals?
May-Port CG faced Linton/HMB (Region 3, 2-seed) in the first round at Linton High School where they won 22-16. In their regular season, May-Port CG had a record of 3-4 which earned them the 4-seed spot in Region 1. They were bested by the top three schools in their region and also fell in a close call to Richland, who is also in Region 1, losing 20-19 on the road.
Nelson County and May-Port CG play at 1:30 p.m. today at Lakota High School.
Napoleon/G-S vs. Hankinson
Napoleon/G-S made it through its regular season with a perfect 8-0 record. This earned it the 1-seed of Region 3 and a first-round bye. Its closest game was Sept. 22 winning only by 6 points on the road against Kidder County. The rest of their games were won by an average margin of 24 points.
Hankinson faced North Border in the first round and easily overcomed with a final score of 70-14. Hankinson has a regular season record of 5-3, earning them the 3-seed of Region 1 behind Wyndmere/Lidgerwood and Thompson. Hankinson earned two of their three losses from these teams. Their third loss was a close game with Oakes High with a final score of 19-12 played at home on Aug. 18. Their closest win came from Richland, with a score of 38-25 on Aug. 25.
Napoleon/G-S and Hankinson play at 2 p.m. today at Napoleon High School.
Cavalier vs. Thompson
Cavalier earned a first-round bye with a record of 8-0 in the regular season. Cavalier is the 1-seed for Region 2. Cavelier began their season on Aug. 18 with a close win against Thompson by only four points, with a final score of 28-24. Cavalier won the rest of their games by an average margin of 36.5 points.
Thompson faced Oakes High in the first round, coming out on top with a final score of 41-7. Thompson has a regular season record of 6-2 and is the 2-seed for Region 1 behind Wyndmere/Lidgerwood. Thompson lost their first game of the season on Aug. 18 against Cavalier as mentioned above. Their other loss came from Wyndmere/Lidgerwood Oct. 6 with a final score of 30-21.
Will this game be a repeat of the first game of the season or will Thompson come out on top? The teams face-off at 2 p.m. today at Cavalier High School.
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood vs. Beach
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood finished their season with a 7-1 record and three straight region championships. This brought them to the top of Region 6 and earned them the first-round bye. MLS lost early in their season to Shiloh Christian on Aug. 22 with a final score of 54-12. MLS dominated the rest of the field in the regular season with an average win margin of 44 points.
Coach Cale Peterson has previously told the Minot Daily News that their ability to run and throw the ball makes it difficult to stop MLS. Quarterback Nathaniel Beha, receiving duo Isaac Undlin and Beau Driscoll, and running back Cole Southam could come in clutch for the playoffs.
Beha at this point in the season has thrown for 982 and 17 touchdowns, though his completion percentage sits at .614. Running back Southam has put up 1,011 yards for the team and scored 14 touchdowns.
Beach High emerged from the first round with a win over TGU with a final score of 40-8. Beach finished their regular season with a 6-2 record, earning them the 3-seed of Region 5 behind New Salem/Glen Ullin and Shiloh Christian. On Sept. 15, Beach fell in a close game against Shiloh Christian by 6 points with a final score of 22-16.
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood gears up to face Beach later today in Mohall at 1:30 p.m.
St. John vs. Shiloh Christian
St. John finished their regular season with a record of 6-2. With this, they received a first-round bye and the 2-seed for Region 4, behind North Prairie. They lost by 12 points to North Prairie on Aug. 25 with a final score of 32-20. St. John bested their opponents with an average win margin of 40 points. However, they did fall to Cavalier with a final score of 30-0 on Sept. 15 at home.
Quarterback Bryor Parisien has thrown for 1,007 yards this season, mainly to receivers Kyler McGillis (512 yards) and Dalton Prouty (451 yards). Bryor has also rushed for 737 yards this season with McGillis behind him at 448 rushing yards. Can this trio break through Shiloh Christian’s defense?
Shiloh Christian now sits as the 2-seed of Region 5. In the regular season, Shiloh earned a record of 7-1, with their only loss falling to New Salem/Glen Ullin at home for their last game of the season on Aug. 18. Shiloh fell in a close game by two points at a final score of 36-34. They had a close game against Beach on Sept. 15 where Shiloh pulled out a 6-point win with a final score of 22-16. Shiloh made their way out of the first round of playoffs after defeating Surrey 50-16.
St. John faces Shiloh Christian today at Shiloh Christian at 2 p.m.
North Prairie vs. Mott-Regent/New England
“We are not satisfied with just being in the playoffs, we really want to make a deep run this year,” said North Prairie head coach Pat Wilkes. North Prairie is no stranger to the playoffs. In 2015 they made it to the finals and last year they made it to the Semis. North Prairie is the 1-seed for Region 4. This regular season they finished with a 8-1 record, suffering their only loss to Thompson on Sept. 29 with a final score of 40-26. Their closest win was against St. John Aug. 25 on the road. North Prairie won by 12 with a final score of 32-20. Their average win margin this year has been 20 points.
“We gotta be real physical up front and have an established O-line,” Wilkes said about the matchup today. Wilkes said the team prides themselves on being physical while also playing clean. He’s expecting some key performances from senior quarterback Austin Soukup and senior running back Gabe Leonard.Will North Prairie prove everyone wrong and make it deep into the playoffs?
Mott-Regent/New England finished their regular season with a 5-3 record, and the 4-seed for Region 5. In the first round, MRNE faced Ray/Powers Lake, narrowly winning by a touchdown with a final score of 38-32. They’ve suffered losses to New Salem/Glen Ullin (28-6), Shiloh Christian (44-12), and Beach (38-30).
“This game is going to be a challenge,” said Wilkes. “They’ve got some real tough players and they’re in a real tough division but we’re ready to play.”
North Prairie takes on Mott-Regent/New England at Rolette High School today at 2 p.m.
New Salem/Glen Ullin vs. Divide County
New Salem/Glen Ullin received a first-round bye after finishing their regular season 8-0 and earning them the 1-seed for Region 5. They had a close game to begin their season against Kidder County (final score 22-14) and to close their season against Shiloh Christian (final 36-34). The average win margin throughout their eight regular season games is 22.5 points.
Divide County made their way out of the first round after defeating North Star 54-12. Divide County was 6-1 in their regular season, earning them the 2-seed of Region 6, behind Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood. Divide County fell to MLS the last game of their regular season by 46 points at a final score of 68-22. Their six wins were won by an average of 34 points.
Divide County will be calling on its seniors Aidan Eriksmoen and Taylor Landsverk, players previously regarded by coach Bob Brown, to get them through to the next round.
New Salem/Glen Ullin and Divide County face off at New Salem-Almont High School at 2 p.m.