Benilde-St. Margaret's overwhelmed Holy Angels 50-16 on Saturday in a Class 4A, Section 5 semifinal, a product of the Red Knights' talent and temperament.
"Our coaches' motto is, we dictate every play," senior quarterback Nick Peterson said. "Good, bad, indifferent, we have to be the aggressor at all times."
As a reward, No. 1 section seed Benilde-St. Margaret's (9-0) stays home in St. Louis Park for a section final showdown next Friday against defending Prep Bowl champion SMB (9-0). The Wolfpack edged the Red Knights 16-14 in the section final a year ago.
"We've been thinking about that game all season," Peterson said. "They are a heck of a team so it'll be a really good battle."
On Saturday, the Red Knights took the battle to Holy Angels. All five of their first-half scoring drives began in Holy Angels territory, producing four touchdowns and a field goal.
"It helped us tremendously to go 40 yards instead of 80 yards," Peterson said.
Peterson completed two touchdown passes, one for 49 yards to Jonny Woodford and the other for 27 yards to Joe Marinaro. A 1-yard scoring run by Isaiah Smith made it 19-0 after one quarter.
Louie Hyde booted a 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter. And Marinaro ran 24 yards for a touchdown with 18 seconds left before halftime.
Peterson finished the night 11-for-15 on pass attempts for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
Theo Doran, quarterback for No. 5 seed Holy Angels (5-5), struggled to keep pace. He completed just two of his 13 first-half pass attempts for 37 yards. Doran and Bryce Boyd connected for a 53-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, but Benilde-St. Margaret's still led 36-8.
Marinaro, a linebacker, and the defense upheld the Red Knights' aim to dictate each play.
"We all want to be out there, and we all want to hit people," he said. "When everyone on the field isn't scared of anybody and they just want to go get it done, that just helps so much."
Benilde-St. Margaret's, ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, also defeated Holy Angels 37-14 on Sept. 27. The Red Knights have prevailed in six of the past seven meetings with the Stars.