High school football state semifinals roundup: Rocori edges Byron in 4A slugfest, 9-player final set

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Class 4A

Rocori 7, Byron 0: A game that was scoreless through three quarters was finally determined on a 2-yard touchdown run by Rocori quarterback Will Steil on third-and-goal with six-and-a-half minutes to play Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Byron got the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game and actually moved into Rocori territory, but the drive was derailed by a sack by Rocori’s Dwight Kiffmeyer and Grady Minnerath that resulted in a 9-yard loss.

Kale Robinson’s pass on fourth-and-11 from the Rocori 11-yard line fell incomplete with 100 seconds to play. Rocori picked up one first down on the ground and the game was over.

Rocori’s defense held Byron (10-2) to 162 total yards of offense Thursday.

Rocori didn’t produce much more, but Steil accounted for 135 total yards — 62 on the ground and 73 through the air.

Rocori (10-2) will play the winner of Friday’s semifinal between North Branch and Hutchinson in the Class 4A championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 back in downtown Minneapolis.


Kingsland 36, Fertile-Beltrami 28: Beau Wiersma ran for 297 yards and four scores, while Kaaleem Reiland ran for 116 yards and threw for a touchdown as Kingsland outlasted Fertile-Beltrami.

Kingsland (13-0) moves onto the Prep Bowl after winning just four games a year ago. The Knights jumped out to a 14-0 edge early in the second quarter and held on as the two teams alternated the final eight scores of the contest. Isaiah Wright ran in all four scores for Fertile-Beltrami to go with his 184 yards. His final touchdown cut the Falcons’ deficit to eight with 4 minutes, 12 seconds to play.

The Falcons (12-1) got the ball back and possessed it at their own 43-yard line before Ayden Howard reeled in his second interception of the day for Kingsland. The Knights converted a fourth-and-2 on their ensuing possession to salt the game away.

Nevis 35, Otter Tail Central 0: Eli Lewis threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers as Nevis (12-0) continued its perfect season.

Nevis and Kingsland will meet in the 9-player title game back at U.S. Bank Stadium at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, in a battle of unbeatens.

The second of Lewis’ touchdown passes came on a 13-yard scoring strike to AJ Bessler on the final play of the first half.

Nevis held Otter Tail Central (11-1) to just 153 total yards of offense. The defense also delivered a score, with Devan Lindow returning an interception 70 yards in the third quarter to put Nevis up 28-0 and essentially ice the game.

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