Jack Paulsrud celebrates

Hillsboro-Central Valley outside linebacker Jack Paulsrud, right, celebrates after recording a sack on Central Cass quarterback Brendan Maajso on Saturday.

In five years as the head coach of Bishop Ryan, Roger Coleman said this year’s team has surprised him the most. 

Nearly 65 percent of the Lions’ roster from a year ago is new and they are one win away from the Dakota Bowl while being led by a freshman quarterback in Jett Lundeen.  

“We have a lot of young guys playing and guys that hadn’t played football for a couple years or not at all,” Coleman said Wednesday. 

“Some of our seniors hadn’t played for us for a couple years or didn’t go to our school, so it’s been a pleasant surprise.”

It’s been a survive-and-advance mentality for Bishop Ryan (10-1) this season. 

The No. 4-seeded Lions got past Hazen in the Class 11B quarterfinals and edged Velva-Garrison 26-20 in triple overtime last week to advance to a 4 p.m. Saturday semifinal contest against Hillsboro-Central Valley (10-1).

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