Plenty of action in semifinal playoffs


In the prep football semifinal playoffs last week, one team avenged an early season loss, top seeds from Minneapolis and St. Paul moved a step closer to a state playoff birth, two more top seeds representing each of the Twin Cities didn’t make it past the semifinals, and a brilliant career ended after a loss.


Cretin Derham Hall gets revenge 

Cretin Derham Hall got revenge last Saturday with a convincing 41-0 victory over Stillwater in a Section 4AAAAAA football playoff semifinal matchup.

Running back BLAKE BANHAM led the way with 192 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Backfield mate BRIAN LANKFORD-JOHNSON added 68 yards and another score, while Banham and TONY ADAMLE each scored on pass receptions from quarterback RICARDO JOHNSON.

Linebacker JASHON CORNELL, the nation’s top junior, and RYAN REDPATH each had eight solo tackles on defense.

The Raiders lost to Stillwater 21-7 on September 13 before a national audience on ESPN2.


Jones leads Washburn

Running back JEFF JONES, the state’s top prospect, passed for one touchdown (yes, passed), ran for two more, and caught another two from quarterback MORLEY MATHEWSON, leading Minneapolis Washburn to a 48-42 victory over Bloomington Kennedy in the Section 3AAAAA semifinals.


Highland Park led by Brower

ISAIAH BROWER caught two touchdown passes from quarterback PAUL MUNOZ and rushed for two more, while DEEJAY SIMS and KWASHON COLLINS added two more from the ground, leading St. Paul Highland Park to a 39-38 victory in the semifinals of Section 3AAAA.


Central’s season ends with loss

St. Paul Central led 7-6 at halftime before the top seed couldn’t hold on in the second half, losing 20-7 to Henry Sibley in 5AAAAA semifinal action.

Despite the setback, the Minutemen had an outstanding season led by quarterback FELIX TAYLOR, JR., running backs GARRETT GARDNER and JAKOBI JACKSON, receiver RAYEON WILLIAMS, and defensive stoppers TE’RON WELCH, DAILEN WALKER, ANTONIO CARMICHAEL and Gardner.

Jackson and Gardner are only juniors.


Future looking bright for North

Though top seed Minneapolis North lost 54-26 to Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in Section 4A, the future looks bright.

Quarterback TYLER JOHNSON, who passed for 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns during the regular season, will be back next year. The sophomore also rushed for 571 yards and nine additional touchdowns.

Johnson passed for three touchdowns and ran for another against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity.


Bellaphant ends brilliant career at Tartan

The Tartan’s 35-14 Section 5AAAAA semifinal playoff loss to St. Thomas Academy marked the end of running back KEENAN BELLAPHANT’s outstanding Tartan career.

The senior finished the regular season averaging 139.5 yards per game, totaling 1,116 and 13 touchdowns. He rushed for 168 yards against St. Thomas.


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