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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Prep Bowl XXXVI Preview: 1A

By Ryan Phelps
US Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN

Prep Bowl Previews

9M / 1A / 2A / 3A / 4A / 5A / 6A


State Tournament Brackets

9M / 1A / 2A / 3A / 4A / 5A / 6A


Head coaches

Minneota: Chad Johnston, 16th year, 147-35 career record

Wabasso: Joe Kemp, 13th year, 106-47 career record


Where they rank

Minneota: #4 in QRF, #6 in AP

Wabasso: #7 in QRF, #1 in AP


Head to Head

10-29-16: Wabasso def. Minneota in the section semifinals, 30-20

9-2-16: Minneota def. Wabasso, 22-17

8-22-15: Minneota def. Wabasso, 37-21

10-27-12: Minneota def. Wabasso in the section semifinals, 48-6

8-30-12: Minneota def. Wabasso, 34-12


Previous Prep Bowl Success


  • 9th state championship appearance (1986-88, 93, 09, 13-15, 17)
  • 6 state championship wins (1986-88, 09, 14, 15)


  • 1st state championship appearance


Points Per Game

Minneota: 52.6 points per game (#1 in 1A)

Wabasso: 44.8 points per game (#3 in 1A)


Points Against

Minneota: 11.3 points against (#7 in 1A)

Wabasso: 8.6 points per game (#4 in 1A)


Margin of Victory

Minneota: 41.3 margin of victory (#2 in 1A)

Wabasso: 36.2 margin of victory (#3 in 1A)


Road to the Bank


Section finals: defeated BOLD, 35-22

State Quarterfinals: defeated Mahnomen, 34-22

State Semifinals: defeated Mayer Lutheran, 54-21



Section finals: defeated New Ulm Cathedral, 48-6

State Quarterfinals: defeated Bethlehem Academy, 53-14

State Semifinals: defeated Ada-Borup/Norman County West, 21-13


The Skinny

Saturday, November 25, 10am at US Bank Stadium

The Vikings of Minneota look to win their seventh championship this year. They won previously in 1986, 1987, 1988, 2009, 2014, and 2015. Minneota returns to tournament action after a one-year hiatus to make its 13th appearance overall. Wabasso is making its second consecutive appearance and seventh overall. The Rabbits lost in the semifinals in 2016.

Minneota competes well on the ground and in the air. This season, the Vikings rushed for 3,662 yards and passed for another 2,685. Senior Isaac Hennen led the rushing charge with 1,553 yards and 24 touchdowns on 153 carries. Hennen also had 82 tackles and tallied one fumble recovery and six interceptions for Minneota. Senior quarterback Alex Pohlen completed 145 of his 222 pass attempts for 2,410 yards and 34 touchdowns. Junior Shawn Buysse paced the Vikings’ defense with 161 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Minneota averages 52.6 points per game this season to their opponents’ 11.3 points per game.

Wabasso likes to keep the ball on the ground. The Rabbits tallied 4,120 rushing yards this year and accumulated another 1,320 in the air. Senior quarterback Nick Altermatt completed 80 of 117 passing attempts for 1,273 yards and 10 touchdowns. Altermatt also rushed for 720 yards on 101 carries and tallied 13 touchdowns. Senior Cooper Taylor led the running game with 2,070 yards and 35 touchdowns. Ty Kemp, a senior, paced Wabasso’s defense with 80 tackles and two interceptions. The Rabbits average 44.8 points per game while holding opponents to 8.6 points per game.

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