Quarterback Dan Pietruszewski insisted that it wasn't that easy for South St. Paul against Fridley in the Class 4A quarterfinals on Friday night at Macalester. It just looked that way. The Packers (10-2) scored on four of their first five possessions, racking up 255 yards of total offense (214 on the ground) in a dominant first half that exposed a young, overmatched Tigers team. Pietruszewski and running back Anthony Perez each ran for a pair of scores, and Malik Holmes added another, as the Packers starters didn't play beyond the third quarter.
Key of the game: South St. Paul (10-2) set the tone with an interception by Ryan Duffy on Fridley's third play. The Tigers (8-3) ran just 11 plays on their first four drives, each of which ended poorly: interception, punt, punt, fumble.
Quote: "We had a great four days of practice and we felt really confident coming in here. We know that if we're playing well, we can run the ball on anyone, and we showed that." — Pietruszewski, who surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
One thing to know: The victory not only gave South St. Paul its first 10-victory season, but it also put the Packers into the state semifinals for the first time in program history. They had lost their previous five opening-round games.