Wildcats on The Train

(US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis) -- The New London-Spicer Wildcats are back in the State Class AAA Football Tournament for the second straight season when they take on The Watertown-Mayer Royals Saturday afternoon.

It's the first trip to the semifinals for the 'Cats since 2014 when they made back-to-back trips to the Prep Bowl. The last state Class AAA title for the Wildcats was in their undefeated season of 2009 when they went 14-0 and beat Glencoe-Silver Lake for the championship. It's the second meeting of the season between the two teams who are both members of the Wright County Conference for all other sports outside of football and both play in the East Central District South Division.

The Royals won the thriller between the two teams on Sept 9th by a 38-36 score when W-M's senior kicker Ashton Hecksel hit a 47 yard FG as time expired. In that game Wildcat QB Blake Schultz passed for 326 yards and five touchdowns. Brycen Christensen latched onto three of those with the other two going to Gabe Rohman. Mason Delzer rushed for 138 yards. On the season Delzer has been an offensive catalyst all season rushing for 1655 yards and 22 TD's. Schultz has hit 57% of his aerials for 1513 yards and 16 TD's. As a team the Wildcats have started fast this season outscoring their opponents 118-59 in the first quarter. Head Coach of the Wildcats Chad Gustafson is in his second season at the helm but has multiple decades with the program. He talked with KWLM Sports after their quarterfinal win last week.

For the Royals they were led by senior RB Wyatt McCabe who carried the ball 28 times for 192 yards and four TD's. McCabe has been the bell cow for the Royals all year with 1233 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. The Royals want to run the ball first having rushed twice as often as throwing the football. SR QB Albert Rundell has thrown for over 1300 yards with 19 TD's and just a single interception. The Royals are making their first state tournament appearance since 2002, it is their sixth appearance altogether including a Class B State Championship in 1986. The Royals are coached by Andrew Phillips who is in his fifth year at the helm of the Royals and has turned the program around after starting his career with 21 consecutive losses going 11-1 this season.

You'll be able to hear the Rambow Pregame Show starting at 4:15PM on 106.5FM The Train with Al Rohman and Matt Slinden on the call.