Osage was supposed to test St. Ansgar this year. But the Saints took a 24-point lead into the 4th quarter and held on to beat the Class 1A, 10th-ranked-at-the-time Green Devils on the road.
Then Hudson was supposed to be the big test. The Pirates are the defending state champs in Class A, but they never quite recovered from a few early-season injuries by the time they rolled in to St. Ansgar, and the Saints stomped them 56-6.
Then South Winn. was supposed to give the Saints a run for their money — The Warriors are the state’s best passing team in Class A. But St. Ansgar beat South Winn. handily on a blustery night on the Warrior’s home turf, 49-14.
So where does that leave the Saints? Well, they’ve clobbered every team they’ve played this season, and find themselves sitting at 9-0 heading into this Friday’s home playoff matchup against Edgewood-Colesburg.
If they can take care of business against the Vikings, they’ll host the winner of Earlam vs. BGM, Brooklyn. Win that game, and the Saints are headed to the Dome and their third semi-finals appearance in four years.
But that’s much easier said than done. The Saints have spent much of the season ranked no. 2, haven’t scored less than 42 points in a game and have held four different opponents scoreless this year. They’ve passed every test so far this season.
But all that gets thrown out the window now. It’s playoff time. The rankings, the stats, the wins-and-losses — none of that matters any more. Now it just comes down to who’s going to show up to play and who isn’t.
The road to Cedar Falls is a tough one, and Friday’s game will be the toughest one the Saints have faced all season. But if the regular season has been any indication, the Saints are going to be fun to watch in these 2019 playoffs.