A little adversity may have been the difference in No. 4 Armstrong-Ringsted’s 57-20 victory over No. 1 Stanton on Friday.
The Mustangs faced several challenges with three other quality teams in District 2 while the Vikings had no contenders in becoming the highest scoring team in the state this season.
A-R’s 34-14 loss to rival North Sentral Kossuth in week five as well as watching Laurens-Marathon making a near miraculous fourth-quarter comeback provided a couple lessons for the Mustangs. Even Graettinger/Terril was tied with A-R 14-14 at halftime.
“We learned we have to play all four quarters,” said A-R running back Tyler Tonderum. “The loss to NSK was a real eye opener. Getting past them (in the quarterfinal) was a big momentum boost.”
Prior to Friday’s playoff game, Stanton’s closest contest was a 42-17 win over Coon Rapids-Bayard in the quarterfinal.
The most points given up by the Vikings during the regular season was a 56-32 win over Adair-Casey in week two. Stanton beat Adair-Casey 56-6 in the first round.
Prior to the playoffs, Stanton coach Don Hicks said his starters hadn’t played a full four quarters and it showed in the fourth quarter of the semifinal.
For this week’s finals, No. 8 Lenox has had its share of challenges.
Tigers coach Allen Dukes said his team wasn’t expected to be much better than a 5-4 team after losing six starters on offense and defense from the 2007 semifinalist team.
Unlike the Mustangs, Lenox didn’t have an opportunity to avenge its only loss, a 32-24 win to Lamoni. Lamoni lost to East Union 38-18 in the quarterfinal.