Saturday's prep football playoff game: Proctor vs. Pierz
PROCTOR (8-2) VS. PIERZ (10-0)
What: Class AAA state tournament quarterfinal
When: 3 p.m.
Where: Brainerd High School
Outlook: Proctor defeated Pierz 19-6 in the 2013 quarterfinals, before losing 3-0 on a last-second field goal in the semifinals to St. Croix Lutheran, which turned around and scored 48 points the next week to win a state title. Beating the Pioneers recently gives the Rails some confidence. "They're not necessarily in awe of them," Proctor coach Derek Parendo said. The Rails are conservative on offense, with Jerid Parrott (158 carries, 734 yards, five TDs) and QB John Pioro (137-699, 12) the top threats. Pioro also is 51-of-101 passing for 666 yards and seven scores. Parendo is 67-36 in 10 seasons at Proctor. ... In his 32nd year on the Pioneers' sideline, Leo Pohlkamp has amassed a 262-83 record, 12 state-tournament trips and two championships (2004, 2015). How strongly does Pohlkamp feel about running the football? After Pierz overpowered Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin in last fall's quarterfinals, 34-0, he went out of his way to note, "Hey, we passed it today." Led by Jalen Jansen (106 carries, 693 yards, 13 TDs) and Reese Kapsner (88-669, 10), the second-ranked Pioneers average 43 points per game while allowing a Class AAA-best 6.7. They haven't been seriously challenged all season, and have allowed only three opponents to score in double digits. The winner of today's game hooks up with either Jordan or Fairmont in the semifinals Nov. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Quotable: "They're the ones with the target on their back. They're the ones that always go to state; they win state. Whereas we go to state here and there, but we're not as consistent as Pierz. We're the hunters and they're the targets." — Proctor's Kaleb Stevens
Radio: WKLK-FM 96.5