|11/8/2019 11:58:00 PM|
Wolverines roll into state semifinals
|State Football Results and Schedule|
|Class Nine-Man State Tournament|
Quarterfinals: Nov. 8
MIB 42, South Ridge 6
Hancock 32, RCW 20
Win-E-Mac 48, WAO 6
MLA 42, Grand Meadow 12
Semifinals: at US Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
Mt. Iron-Buhl vs. Hancock, Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m.
Win-E-Mac vs. Mt. Lake Area, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.
Prep Bowl: at US Bank Stadium (Minneapolis). Nov. 30
Prep Bowl, 10 a.m.
GM 00-00-00-12 = 12
MLA 14-06-15-07 = 42
In three of its previous four trips to the Class Nine-Man state tournament, the Mt. Lake Area football team saw its season end with a loss to the Section 1 champion.
Friday in the state quarterfinals in Austin, the Wolverines exorcized those past demons and ended Section 1's six-year state title reign, knocking out Grand Meadow with a 42-12 victory.
MLA used a punishing running attack and a suffocating defensive performance to build a 42-0 lead before Grand Meadow scored twice late in the game.
MLA opened the game with a time-consuming 12-play, 76-yard drive, but a crucial third-down conversion on the game's third play kept the Wolverine offense on the field. Quarterback Abe Stoesz hit Adam Karschnik for a 22-yard completion to move the chains. After two more first downs, the Wolverines cashed in, as Stoesz raced 35 yards for a touchdown. Stoesz hit Kolby Kremmin for the two-point conversion, giving the Wolverines an 8-0 lead six minutes into the game.
The MLA defense held the Superlarks to a three-and-out, setting up an eight-play, 57-yard drive, capped with a 1-yard Stoesz touchdown run for a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Moments later, Grand Meadow tried to take to the air, but Brett Willaby deflected the pass, with Stoesz recording an interception on the final play of the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Stoesz burst through a gap and raced 45 yards to paydirt, giving the Wolverines a 20-0 lead.
After another Superlark three-and-out and a short punt, the Wolverines seemed to be in position to add to the lead. But a rare Wolverine miscue, a fumble, was recovered by Grand Meadow deep in its own territory.
The Superlark offense picked up its initial first down of the game late in the quarter, as Grand Meadow tried to march the length of the field. A 25-yard scramble by quarterback Evan Oehlke and a 13-yard completion to Ben Kraft gave Grand Meadow first-and-goal from the Wolverine 4. But a holding penalty pushed the ball outside the 10, and on fourth-and-goal from the 7, an Oehlke pass was batted away by Stoesz, turning the ball over on downs right before halftime.
The Wolverines forced a three-and-out to start the second half and again had a short field to work with, moving 52 yards in seven plays. A 31-yard pass from Stoesz to Sebastian Rehnelt on third-and-12 gave the Wolverines a fresh set of downs, and Stoesz eventually scored on a 5-yard run. Mace Herrig's two-point conversion run gave MLA a 28-0 lead with 6:37 to go in the third quarter.
The Wolverine defense came up with another stop, as Stoesz recorded his second interception of the game, giving MLA the ball at its own 44. Eight plays later, on fourth-and-9 from the Grand Meadow 22, Stoesz hooked up with Ethan Nickel for a 22-yard touchdown strike. Kremmin's extra-point kick gave MLA a 35-0 lead.
The Wolverines forced another three-and-out, setting up a punishing 14-play, 49-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard Micah Holmberg touchdown run. Kremmin's extra-point gave MLA a 42-0 lead with 6:27 to go in the game.
Grand Meadow was able to avert the shutout, scoring two plays after the ensuing kickoff on a 48-yard run by Dusty Copley. Then, on the ensuing Wolverine drive, an MLA fumble was scooped up by Luke Speer and returned 15 yards for the game's final points.
Stoesz led the Wolverines on the ground with 200 yards rushing on 26 carries. Herrig rushed 11 times for 58 yards.
Stoesz completed 4-of-8 passes for 81 yards. Karschnik had two catches for 28 yards, while Rehnelt had one reception for 31 yards.
With the win, the Wolverines advance to the state semifinals for the second straight season. MLA will take on Section 6 Nine-Man champion Win-E-Mac. The Patriots advanced with a 48-6 victory over Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Friday night.