Hulne: There are some big playoff football games this weekend

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, October 28, 2021

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As we head into a big weekend of playoff football, it’s time to look back and look forward at what the gridiron showed us this year. We’ve seen another chapter in a rivalry, a juggernaut in the making, and a team that is learning the value of competition.

The Austin Packer football team won just one game this season, but I wouldn’t call the season a lost cause by any means. The Packers had two losses by just one score and their offense moved the ball consistently in a regular season against Rochester Mayo, which is the top seed in Section 1AAAAA. Besides that, the Packers stuck with it on the sideline and there was very little pouting or complaining.

If anything, the team was a little too high strung or over excited when they made big plays. That kind of attitude will take these kids far in life, and it was refreshing to see a group of players who showed up on the field every day ready to give it their all and live moment by moment.

Austin’s Joe Ewing (17) amd the Packers celebrate coming off the field after they recovered a fumble off of punt against New Prague at Art Hass Stadium. Herald File Photo

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The attitude is also strong in Blooming Prairie where the Awesome Blossoms are riding a 27-game winning streak as they prepare to host No. 4 seeded ​​St. Clair/ Loyola in a Section 2AA semifinal at p.m. in BP Saturday. BP has not lost a football game since it lost the state championship to BOLD in 2019 and the Awesome Blossoms are ranked No. 1 in Class AA.

BP has an elite quarterback in Drew Kittelson and an explosive running back in Tyler Archer, but the play of its offensive and defensive lines has been crucial as well. Above all else, the Awesome Blossoms are built to win and they always bring their best effort.

In nine man football, there is a showdown looming between No. 2 seeded Grand Meadow and No. 3 LeRoy-Ostrander. The matchup features two of the best players in the area as LO will rely on the legs and arm of senior quarterback Chase Johnson and the Superlarks have a big-time playmaker of their own in senior running back Dustin Copley.

GM beat LO 44-36 on Oct. 1 and we could see another high scoring affair in the Section 1 nine man semifinals in GM at 7 p.m. Saturday.

With LeRoy and Grand Meadow being just 16 miles apart, this rivalry has stood for years and the Superlarks have usually held an edge. But don’t count out the Cardinals, who will be coming in hungry.

Grand Meadow’s Taylor Glynn pass against Houston in the first round of the Section 1A 9-Man Tournament in Grand Meadow. Eric Johnson/

In Southland, the Rebels are looking to pull off a massive upset as they are set to play at top-seeded and top ranked Lanesboro at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Southland lost to Lanesboro 40-20 on Sept. 10 and the Rebels have been hit with some big injuries since. But don’t count out the Rebels as they will play tough on defense and grind it out on offense.

Southland’s Samuel Boe (12) and Isaac Mullenbach (21) converge for the tackle against Lanesboro. Herald File Photo