JONES: Entertaining Region 3 will be fun to watch in postseason
The 2015 Class A Region 3 football season is far and away the best football I’ve covered in a long, long time.
While not all games throughout the regular season were the most competitive contests, each week provided a new twist and turn to the region standings.
And when all the dust had settled, the Bishop Ryan Lions emerged as the region champions.
That title, however, didn’t come without some help on the final night of the regular season.
In a sudden and dramatic moment, the Lions celebrated their 31-12 victory over Bottineau at the west end of the the football field at Herb Parker Stadium.
A moment or two later, it was announced over the PA system that Des Lacs-Burlington had defeated Velva-Sawyer 26-14, which prompted immediate celebration from the Lions at their end of the field.
Talk about dramatic.
So what’s next for the Lions?
As a result of earning the region’s No. 1 seed, the Lions have a first-round bye. But having won four games in a row, I’m certain the Lions would rather be playing this week than sitting at home.
The Lions will play the winner of this Saturday’s first-round matchup between No. 5-ranked Hazen and Velva-Sawyer, which will be hosted by the three-time state champion Bison.
I can’t speak for anybody else, but the thought of another Region 3 matchup – this time in the playoffs, no less – has me excited. Velva-Sawyer was the last team to beat Ryan, as it claimed a 36-6 win in the Copper Bowl on Sept. 18.
Should the Aggies top Hazen, another Penny Trophy battle would be on the cards.
Would there any better way for the Lions to avenge their only region loss than to end the the Aggies’ season? Velva-Sawyer still has some work to do, but that potential rematch would be enticing with a state semifinal berth on the line.
Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn, the second seed from the Region 3, will host Region 4 No. 3-seeded Southern McLean – which was defeated by both Ryan and Velva-Sawyer earlier this season – on Saturday in Westhope. While I expect the Sioux to win, it will be a much closer game than most expect.
The thing I’ve learned most about this football season is that games are played on the field for a reason, and not in the view of public opinion. Especially during playoff season, anything can happen.
This is the opinion of Mark Jones, a Minot Daily News staff writer. Mark covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.