(Cover Photo: Brian Jeremiason/Minneota Mascot)
|Head Coach||Joe Kemp||Chad Johnston|
|Rankings (NFN, AP, QRF)||(3, 1, 6)||(4, 6, 9)|
|Points per Game||44.8||52.6|
|Opponent Points per Game||8.6||11.3|
|State Championship Appearances||0||8|
|State Titles||0||6 ('86-'88, '09, '14, '15)|
|Opponent Winning Pct||.470 (62-70)||.515 (68-62)|
Wabasso is going to rely – like it has all season – on running back Cooper Taylor. The senior has rushed for over 2000 yards and has scored 35 touchdowns.
Although they are going to rely on the running game, twin brother Colton Taylor has 33 grabs for over 500 yards, and quarterback Nick Altermatt will not be afraid to put the ball into the air.
Wabasso will rely on their team speed to pick up first downs and keep the explosive Vikings' offense off the field. They will also lean on a strong offensive line that includes Ty Kemp, Tristan Kuehn, Myles Zeug, Carl Swedzinski and Jacob Plaetz.
The Minneota Vikings are possibly the most explosive offense in the state of Minnesota. They have scored over 80 points twice this season. You heard that right over 80 points ... twice.
They can hurt you many ways, but it all starts with quarterback Alex Pohlen. In 222 pass attempts, the senior has only thrown seven interceptions. In the semifinals against Mayer Lutheran, he was especially effective throwing crossing routes and other underneath routes.
The Vikings don't have to only rely on the arm of Pohlen. The Vikings have two running backs that can carry the load. Isaac Hennen and Cole Sanow both have crossed the 1,000-yard threshold on the ground. Hennen also can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has caught 51 balls this season.
Watching the Vikings in the semifinals, it almost seemed like they could have picked the number of points they were going to score. I don't believe the Rabbits' defense will be able to stop the Vikings' offense but if they can avoid the chunk plays and force Minneota to drive the length of the field, they can slow the offense down.
If any defense in Class A can do it, it might be the Rabbits. The first team defense has only given up eight touchdowns all season. Ty Kemp, Jacob Plaetz, and Isaac Schmiesing all have 70 tackles this season, and Cooper Taylor is one of the top defensive backs in the state.
They also have the experience to take on an offense as potent as they will in the championship game. All eleven starters are seniors, and four of those seniors have started all four years on varsity.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran (51-12)
Sleepy Eye (63-12)
New Ulm Cathedral (48-6)
Faribault BA (53-14)
Yellow Medicine East (80-6)
Mayer Lutheran (54-21)