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8AAAA football: Cards hope for Rocori rematch

Eric Morken, Echo Press Gideon Burnham tried to break a tackle by a Moorhead player in Wednesday's game with the Spuds that saw the Cards winning 30-24. Alexandria hosts Sauk Rapids-Rice tonight in the Section 8AAAA playoff opener.1 / 2
Eric Morken, Echo Press Senior running back Steffen Morical coasted into the end zone for his first of four touchdowns against Moorhead last Wednesday night.2 / 2

The Alexandria football team was feeling pretty good about itself heading into the playoffs after two straight wins to wrap up the regular season last week.

That got the Cardinals exactly what they were hoping for as they wrapped up the No. 4 seed and host a home playoff game against Sauk Rapids tonight. The Storm come into tonight's game 2-6 after losing three straight to wrap up the season.

The two Central Lakes Conference teams last met in the 2010 section title game. Fans of both teams remember that game vividly as the Storm won a 27-26 game in overtime to punch their ticket to the state tournament after going 4-4 in the regular season.

This year's section field looks just as wide open as last year's proved to be. Rocori earned the top seed and a first-round bye after winning seven straight games to finish the regular season 7-1. The Spartans are the only team in the section with a winning record as Fergus Falls went in as the No. 2 seed with a 4-4 mark.

A win for Alexandria tonight would set up a rematch with Rocori this Saturday on the Spartans' home field. The last time these two teams met, the Cardinals were within a score late in the fourth quarter before Rocori quarterback Nate Meyer scored on a long touchdown run to put the game away.

"We've played the No. 1 team in the section and played them pretty tough," Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said last Wednesday night after beating Moorhead.

The Cardinals enter the playoffs with a lot more confidence than they had just two weeks earlier. They would love another crack at the Spartans this Saturday night.


ALEXANDRIA - OFFENSE - Rushing - Team - 36-187; Logan Serum - 1-1; Gideon Burnham - 10-39; Steffen Morical - 16-77, 4 TD; Brock Wood - 9-70; Passing - Serum - 1-1, 17 yards; Receiving - AJ Anderson - 1-17

DEFENSE - John Vogeler - 4 tackles; Jordan Domine - 2 tackles; Nick Knoblach - 5 tackles, 1 interception; Morical - 3 tackles, 1 interception; Burnham - 4 tackles; Cody Brandt - 13 tackles; Jack Wensman - 3 tackles; Nathan Huss - 2 tackles; Aaron Steidl - 9 tackles, blocked kick; Tyler Kelly - 6 tackles; Charlie Wensman - 11 tackles; Wood - 6 tackles, interception; Max Flowers - 5 tackles; Jordan Karger - 3 tackles; Zack McKay - 3 tackles; Anthony Smith - 1 tackle; AJ Anderson - 3 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS - Extra points - Phil Pham - 3-4; Field goals - Pham - 1-1; Kick returns - Burnham - 1-86; Knoblach - 3-74; Morical - 1-15; Punting - Tanner Rice - 2-70

Follow #AlexMN @EchoPress Sports Reporter Eric Morken on Twitter at @echo_sports.

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Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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