FARGO, N.D. — Upsala/Swanville Area already has avenged one loss in the Section 4A playoffs. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg will do everything in its power to stop the Patriots from going 2-0 on their revenge tour.
The two teams square off for the 4A championship at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Fargodome.
The Fighting Saints and Patriots met in the regular season, with KMS getting the 14-8 victory in Week 3 in Murdock.
Seeded third in 4A, USA reached the finals after beating No. 2 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 22-6 on Saturday. Previously, the Jaguars beat the Patriots in Week 4, 16-12.
Against BBE, USA jumped out to a 22-0 lead thanks to its run game. Tyson Leners ran 39 times for 185 yards and a touchdown, Nick Kedrowski had 19 attempts for 71 yards, and Max Lange had 10 rushes for 44 yards and a pair of scores.
Against No. 4 Browerville/Eagle Valley in the 4A semifinals, top-seeded KMS tied the game at 20-20 with a minute left in regulation to force overtime. Then in the extra period, they went on to clip the Tigers, 27-26.
Quarterback Jaiden Henjum — the Saints’ third signal-caller this season — completed 11 of 22 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-tying TD to Malaki Lee and an overtime score to Hunter Kallstrom. Chase Magaard ran for 42 yards on nine carries. Isaac Rudningen accounted for 107 yards of total offense (68 receiving, 39 rushing) and a touchdown.
In the regular-season matchup, Kallstrom and Magaard combined for 165 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Fighting Saints’ defense held USA to 4 of 14 on third-down conversions and no second-half points. Leners ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 rushing attempts.
KMS is playing in its first section final since losing 33-6 to Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in 2018. The Fighting Saints are looking for their first state trip since winning the Class A championship in 2008.
USA played in last year’s 4A final, losing 52-44. The Patriots made their last state trip in 2014.
Football: KMS braces for the surging USA Patriots – West Central Tribune