Section football finals: Grand Rapids, Deer River & MIB clinch state berths

[anvplayer video=”5068585″ station=”998130″]

Friday night Grand Rapids, Deer River, and Mountain Iron-Buhl claimed section football championships to punch their ticket to state.

Third seeded Grand Rapids handed top-seeded North Branch their first loss of the season winning 14-12 at Public Schools Stadium to secure the upset and claim the Section 7AAAA title. The Thunderhawks are now heading to their first state tournament since 2006.

"It’s all about just believing, everybody believes in each other and without that we wouldn’t get anywhere," senior running back Jack Cleveland said after the win. "Without my blockers and my lineman and everybody doing their job I can’t do my job."

Head coach Greg Spahn added, "it’s been 15 years and it’s something that these guys have really earned. I’m proud to be their coach."

In Section 7A top-seeded Deer River held off third seeded Barnum 32-8 as Egerdahl Field to improve to 10-0. The Warriors will now make their third trip to state in four years.

"It feels great, I’m relieved that we pulled it out," said junior quarterback Sam Rahier. "I knew we could do it. We played our hardest, we deserve it, we worked all year for this and I’m just excited."

"It’s one game and done we’ve got to go to Brainerd and our goal is to try and get to U.S. Bank [Stadium]," head coach Brent Schimek said. "I think that’s the goal of everyone in the state and we’ll start working on that on Monday."

In Section 5 9-Man Ogilvie shut out South Ridge 42-0, and in Section 7 9-Man Mountain Iron-Buhl took care of Cherry 66-20.

The Minnesota state high school football tournament kicks off November 11.