Chalk it up to unintended consequences of COVID-19: Without playing a postseason game, Andover was named Section 7 champions in Class 5A.
The Huskies (6-0), as the No. 1 seed, had advanced to play next Wednesday against the winner of No. 2 seed Cambridge-Isanti and No. 3 Coon Rapids. Two other section programs were unable to play because of COVID issues.
Then Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced a four-week pause on youth sports, effective Saturday morning. That meant Andover's season was done.
On Thursday Cambridge-Isanti defeated Coon Rapids 45-28. Gaven Ziebarth, who has committed to play at North Dakota, rushed for 322 yards on 30 carries and scored five touchdowns to lead the host Bluejackets.
With that result in hand, section officials on Friday made it official: Andover, as the top seed, was declared the section champion and will receive the championship trophy and medals. Cambridge-Isanti was awarded the runner-up trophy and medals.
Blaine 42, Wayzata 28: Josh Schlangen rushed for two touchdowns and caught two touchdown passes to help the Bengals pull away for a 42-28 victory over the visiting Trojans in a Class 6A section championship game Thursday.
Blaine (6-1), ranked No. 5 in Class 6A, and the Trojans were tied 14-14 at halftime. The Bengals scored 28 consecutive points to open a 42-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
North Branch 40, Cloquet 36: Andrew Thauwald and Ashton LaBelle each rushed for two touchdowns to help the Vikings outlast Cloquet in a Class 4A, Section 7 semifinal game played at Proctor.