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North Branch Falls to Rocori at the State Tournament

The Vikings played against the Spartans of Rocori in the first round of the state tournament.

North Branch made their way to Blaine for the quarterfinal matchup against the Spartans.

The first half was dominated by North Branch in terms of time of possession. They had the ball 23 and a half minutes in the first half out of a possible 24. If we went off of this we'd say they had a insurmountable lead at half. This was not the case. There we three possessions in the first half, two for North Branch and one for Rocori. The Vikings were stopped on their first drive on a 4th and inches. The 30 seconds that the Spartans had the ball was all they needed. They flew down the field in three plays scoring the lone touchdown of the half. The Vikings had an opportunity to score as time ran out but QB Preston Peterson was swallowed up well before reaching the endzone. Facing a 6-0 deficit the opening drive of the second half on defense would prove to be critical. North Branch would be quick to create a turnover and get the ball back for the offense. A few plays later Peterson found the endzone to tie the game at 6. Rocori wasted no time going down and regaining the lead plus converted the 2 points which lent them an 8 point lead going into the 4th quarter. The Vikings once again marched down field and scored. Down by two they lined up to attempt the 2 point conversion, which came up short. Trailing 14-12 North Branch's defense needed to come up with a crucial stop. But Rocori pulled out a well drawn up screen play and scored pus added the two point conversion and were now leading 22-12. The Vikings never backed down as they did have plenty of time on the clock to try and steal the lead. But the Spartan defense proved to be too strong and made the necessary stops to give the ball back to their offense to kneel away the rest of the time.

The Vikings season has come to end, but it was a season in which they made history. This is the first time in program history they made it to state.

Congratulations to North Branch on a great season!

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