As we begin to close out regular season schedules across America, it’s time to start looking toward the playoffs. Here are the main takeaways we gained from Friday’s action:
1) At long last, No. 24 Eden Prairie’s win streak is over
It seemed like it would last forever. Perennial Minnesota state champion and USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 fringe squad Eden Prairie finally met its match, with area-rival Totino-Grace topping the Eagles by two touchdowns, 27-13, in the playoffs. The loss also ended Eden Prairie’s quest for a “five-peat”, with Totino-Grace emerging as a potential front runner in the Eagles’ stead? Despite the loss, Eden Prairie can look back on one of the more historic winning streaks in Minnesota, if not the Midwest as a whole: 40 consecutive victories.
2) No. 4 Colquitt County keeps pace
After USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 all won on Thursday night, the lone outlier from the top-5 also captured a victory on Friday, with Georgia power Colquitt County holding off a spirited fight from Tift County for a 41-33 victory. As close as the game was, Colquitt only trailed briefly, 3-0, using an early Ty Lee touchdown run to take a 7-3 lead (the first of a number of key pllays from Lee) and then matching everything the Blue Devils threw up. While the scoreline wasn’t too impressive, the manner of Colquitt’s victory was reassuring. It didn’t push forward the Packers’ case for a national title, but it did keep alive their chance at another state title, and certainly a national top-5 finish.
3) No. 14 Webb City survives scare to push win streak to 39
The Cardinals are still alive! Barely! In a surprising turn of events, Webb City rallied late to escape a heated battle with Carl Junction with a 14-7 victory. In the process Webb City lost starting quarterback Tyson Roderique (the coach’s son) and trailed for much of the contest. But it’s hard to take down a champion, and until they are turfed out, Webb City is still the champion … and one that has won 39 straight games, at that. They’ll be hoping to push past the recently vanquished Eden Prairie Eagles in two weeks.
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4) Despite coach’s suspension. Bremerton (Wash.) still hosts near Armageddon
Who said Armageddon was off? As alluded to here on Thursday, Bremerton assistant football coach Joe Kennedy has led postgame prayer at midfield shortly after the final whistle of all the team’s games. That drew criticism, censure and, eventually, his suspension from all games. He showed up nonetheless on Friday, where he was met by a — wait for it — Satanists. Yes, this really happened. And no one died. We think. Wild times in Washington.
5) Josh Reddick blows off World Series watching for some high school football
Oakland Athletics outfield Josh Reddick was bounced from the playoffs last year by the Kansas City Royals en route to KC’s trip to the World Series. This year the Royals are back, but they didn’t have to go through Oakland to get there. No matter. Josh Reddick is no more engaged with the Fall Classic this year, this time eschewing Game 3 in New York for a high school football game at South Effingham High in Georgia. Good choice, Josh. Good choice.