WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) - Do not disrespect the Winhawks. Number-one ranked South St. Paul spent last week talking trash on the internet.
Winona picked up a 24-nothing victory in the state quarterfinal in their first state appearance since 1987.
They now play in the Class AAAA state semifinal game Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. versus Rocori at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Last Friday's shutout is just the second for Winona this season and it gives the team some great confidence and momentum heading into their next challenge.
"I felt like we were going to win that ball game. I wasn't expecting a shutout, I figured they would score a touchdown or two and I knew it was going to be a battle. But our defense just came to play and played from snap one to the end of the game," said Winona head coach John Cassellius.
"This week I'd say it's just the same. Even against South St. Paul they talked on social media but we just let it happen, we didn't feed into it, we just went to the game and played," said Winona junior Robert Warren.
"We know where we're at right now. We're a game away from going to the state championship and going into this next game all we know we've got to do is execute and get the job done on the field on both sides of the ball."
In last Friday's game the Winhawks did what they've been doing all season which is winning the fourth quarter. Their two touchdowns sealed the victory.
For the season they are outscoring opponents 108-to-27 in the final period of play.
"That just shows our conditioning," said Winona senior Alex Franzwa. "We're there to battle all four quarters, we're not just a one half and done. We condition all week for playing in the second half."
"Our offensive line just kind of wears you down, they just keep coming," added Cassellius. "Play one is like play 31. So they just kind of keep coming. I think eventually you just wear people down and all of a sudden a five-yard gain turns into a 35-yard gain"
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