11/15/2019 3:39:00 PM Wolverines race past Patriots, advance to Prep Bowl
State Nine-Man Football Schedule
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) Hancock 65, Mt. Iron-Buhl 32 MLA 45, Win-E-Mac 6
Prep Bowl: at US Bank Stadium (Minneapolis). Nov. 30 Hancock vs. Mt. Lake Area, 10 a.m.
WEM 00-00-00-06 = 06 MLA 12-12-21-00 = 45 The Mt. Lake Area football team advanced to the Prep Bowl for the second consecutive season with a commanding 45-6 victory over Win-E-Mac in the Class Nine-Man state semifinals Friday morning at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Wolverine offense scored on four of its five first-half possessions and on seven of its nine drives in the game.
Meanwhile, the Wolverine defense withstood a pair of early drives before controlling play the rest of the way.
The Wolverines took the opening kickoff and moved quickly down the field in just over two minutes of game time. The eight-play, 66-yard drive was capped with a 3-yard Mace Herrig touchdown run for a quick 6-0 lead.
Win-E-Mac tried to answer, marching the length of the field to the MLA 15-yard line. But three incomplete passes allowed MLA to force a turnover on downs.
The Wolverines wasted little time capitalizing, moving 85 yards in eight plays. A 19-yard completion from Abe Stoesz to Herrig and a 24-yard run from Stoesz set up a 23-yard touchdown dash from Herrig for a 12-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Patriots again marched the length of the field, giving themselves first-and-goal at the Wolverine 10 late in the first quarter. But a pass from Win-E-Mac quarterback Gavin Walker was picked off by Stoesz in the end zone, turning the ball over.
MLA's offense was halted on its next drive, as the Patriots forced the Wolverines to punt for just the third time all season. But a Win-E-Mac three-and-out gave the Wolverines the ball at their own 35.
Just four plays later, Stoesz broke through the Patriot defense and dashed for a 39-yard touchdown, giving the Wolverines an 18-0 lead.
MLA's defense forced another three-and-out on the following Patriot drive, giving the Wolverines the ball late in the first half. A 38-yard pass from Stoesz to Jon Faber helped set up a 21-yard touchdown lob from Stoesz to Adam Karschnik, giving the Wolverines a 24-0 halftime lead.
MLA's defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half, with the Wolverines covering 74 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. Stoesz hit Faber with a 17-yard touchdown. Kolby Kremmin's extra-point kick gave the Wolverines a 31-0 lead.
Win-E-Mac tried to answer, moving across the midfield stripe before stalling out. The Wolverines quickly moved upfield, as Stoesz scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to cap a 61-yard, nine-play drive for a 38-0 lead.
On the next Patriot possession, Brett Willaby intercepted a pass at the Win-E-Mac 27. On the next play, Herrig burst through the line for a 27-yard touchdown, giving the Wolverines a 45-0 lead.
Win-E-Mac was able to snap the shutout early in the fourth quarter, as Nathan Fortmann scored on a 5-yard run. But the Wolverines were able to run out the fourth-quarter clock, punching their ticket to the Prep Bowl.
MLA's offense tore through the stout Win-E-Mac defense for 503 yards of total offense, including 354 on the ground. Stoesz led the way, rushing 16 times for 181 yards. Herrig added 99 yards on 10 carries.
Stoesz completed 10-of-15 passes for 149 yards. Faber had two catches for 55 yards. Ethan Nickel added four catches for 44 yards.
The Wolverines will now play Hancock in the Prep Bowl, which will be played Nov. 30 at 10 a.m., at U.S. Bank Stadium. Hancock, the Section 4 champion, advanced to the Prep Bowl with a 65-32 win over Mt. Iron-Buhl Thursday.
Next games: Check for updates after each game. MLA: vs. Hancock (at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis), Nov. 30