11/3/2017 1:38:00 PM Wolverines club Chargers for section title; RTR ends Falcons' perfect season
MLA 14-30-14-00 = 58 WWG 00-00-08-06 = 14 The Mt. Lake Area football team's speed proved to be the difference, as big plays on offense, defense and special teams set the tone for the Wolverines to defeat Westbrook-Walnut Grove 58-14 Thursday in the Section 3 Nine-Man championship game, played at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
The Wolverines scored on two of their first five offensive plays, then piled up 30 second-quarter points to take a 44-0 halftime lead.
MLA received the opening kickoff and scored on the third play from scrimmage when Abraham Stoesz sliced through a hole up the middle and dashed 53 yards for a touchdown.
WWG marched the length of the field on its opening drive, converting a fourth down deep in Wolverine territory. But an interception by Stoesz gave MLA the ball on its own 12-yard line.
Two plays later, Reynaldo Capetillo found a seam on the outside and outraced the defense for a 76-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion pass gave MLA a 14-0 lead.
Injuries then began to take a toll on the Chargers, who lost five players at different points in the game, with only two returning to play. But WWG had a golden chance to cut the deficit late in the first quarter when Nathan Ross pounced on a fumbled punt, giving WWG the ball at the MLA 28.
But MLA's defense buckled down with a stretch of 15 consecutive Charger offensive snaps that resulted in either no gain, negative yardage or a turnover. WWG turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass.
The Wolverines took advantage, moving quickly downfield and eventually scoring on a 31-yard Jeff Wright run early in the second quarter for a 20-0 lead.
Then, MLA's Mace Herrig intercepted a pass, returning the ball to the Charger 16. Five plays later, Wright plowed into the end zone from two yards out. The two-point conversion gave MLA a 28-0 lead.
After the teams traded punts, MLA again backed the Chargers deep in their own end. David Larson blocked a Wolverine punt. After several players had a chance to fall on the ball, Larson eventually landed on the ball in the end zone, giving MLA a 36-0 lead.
The Chargers then turned the ball over again when quarterback Anthony Ross lost the ball on a sack. Isaac Grev pounced on the ball at the WWG 21. On the next play, Stoesz hooked up with A.J. Vongsy on a swing pass for a 21-yard touchdown, giving MLA a 44-0 halftime lead.
The Wolverines stretched the lead in the third quarter when Vongsy caught another swing pass from Stoesz and outraced the defense for a 60-yard touchdown, giving MLA a 52-0 lead.
The Chargers broke up the shutout late in the third quarter. A 37-yard run from Kyle Kuehl helped set up a 1-yard touchdown from Andrew Quade. The two-point conversion cut MLA's lead to 52-8.
But a long kickoff return, coupled with a Charger penalty, gave MLA the ball at WWG's 27. Three plays later, Stoesz scampered for a 9-yard touchdown, giving MLA a 58-8 lead after three quarters.
WWG's final touchdown came on its last drive of the game when Jake Kleven scored from five yards out.
Capetillo led the Wolverines with 79 yards rushing on three carries. Stoesz rushed five times for 70 yards and Wright added eight carries for 62 yards.
Stoesz completed 4-of-10 passes for 101 yards. Vongsy had three catches for 92 yards.
For the Chargers, Kuehl rushed 11 times for 74 yards. Quade added 49 yards on 19 carries. Nathan Ross rushed four times for 52 yards.
Anthony Ross completed 13-of-21 passes for 32 yards. Quade had six catches for 26 yards.
MLA advances to the state tournament for the first time since 2013. The Wolverines will face Section 2 Nine-Man champion Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Nov. 10 in the first round of the state tournament, played at New Ulm Public High School's new field.
RTR 06-06-08-00 = 20 RRC 00-07-07-00 = 14 Red Rock Central's perfect season came to an abrupt end Thursday as Russell-Tyler-Ruthton knocked off the top-seeded Falcons 20-14 in the Section 2 Nine-Man championship game, played at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
RTR jumped to an early 12-point advantage, but RRC battled back, eventually taking the lead early in the third quarter.
The Falcons pulled to within 12-7 at halftime when Sam Hansen scored on a 1-yard run. Then, after forcing an RTR turnover early in the second half, the Falcons took the lead on a 15-yard Hansen run and the extra-point kick from Jonah Hansen.
But the Falcon defense couldn't get off the field in the third quarter as RTR converted a couple of long third downs on a lengthy drive, capped with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Hansen to his twin brother Carter. The two-point conversion gave RTR a 20-14 lead.
It stayed that way into the fourth quarter, when RTR drove the length of the field. A long pass completion that deflected off two Falcon defenders allowed RTR to keep the drive alive and the clock moving. RTR eventually had first-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but the Falcon defense stiffened, holding the Knights out of the end zone and turning the ball over on downs at the 1-yard line with 4:30 to play.
RRC slowly worked the ball out of its own end and got to near midfield. But on third down, the Falcons bobbled the snap, forcing RRC into a fourth-and-long situation. Quarterback Garrett Marsh was then sacked while trying to scramble on fourth down with just over a minute to play, allowing RTR to run out the clock.
Hansen finished with 220 yards on 32 carries for the Falcons. Marsh completed 4-of-9 passes for 28 yards. Brady Rasmussen had two catches for 14 yards.
Next games: Check for updates after each game. MLA: vs. RTR (at New Ulm), Nov. 10