9-Man playoffs: E/E gets rematch with MLA in Section 3
Lopsided contests were many across the region as the high school football playoffs began for area schools in Minnesota on Tuesday evening.
Out of the four games in 9-Man football’s Section 3, Edgerton/Ellsworth, Mountain Lake Area, Hills-Beaver Creek and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley all advanced from the first round and will have opportunities to play on Saturday.
E/E defeated Fulda 62-8, MLA thumped Hancock 70-8, H-BC outlasted W-WG 44-26 and C-M-B beat Renville County West 52-13.
Second round games are scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. and will be held at the higher seed’s home field. E/E will travel to MLA and H-BC will go to top-seeded C-M-B.
MLA 70, Hancock 8
MOUNTAIN LAKE —The Wolverines from Mountain Lake Area thumped Hancock in the opening round of postseason action.
Hancock went scoreless through the first three frames as MLA clearly put the game out of reach early. MLA won the game 62-8 to advance to its rematch with Edgerton-Ellsworth, set for Saturday in Mountain Lake.
The maroon-and-black struck twice in the first quarter Tuesday when Jose Gonzalez returned a kickoff and junior Eric Wenner caught a 16-yard catch from quarterback Carter Kirk. It put the hometown squad up 16-0.
The team put up six scores in a big second quarter to spread the gap.
Senior tailback Demar Rodney had two rushes for touchdowns, of 19 and 21 yards, Josh Grev recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown, MLA senior Andrew Hempeck had a 14-yard touchdown reception along with a six-yard touchdown run for the night. Logan Johnson also scored on a 19-yard run for MLA and Caleb Bargen returned a kick-off 85 yards for a touchdown.
MLA coach Tim Kirk said the start for his club was a little rough against Hancock. Once the team got into a rhthym, things began to come together. The younger Kirk was injured last week and was held out there as a precautionary measure. He returned to the field this week.
“Carter didn’t play last week and he is probably 85 percent,” coach Kirk said of his son. “We had six or seven dropped passes in that first quarter and then we kind of got it going. I think the cold kind of affected us.”
The win for the Wolverines sets up a Saturday game in Mountain Lake against Edgerton/Ellsworth. In a regular season matchup between the two powerhouses, MLA and E/E were tied for third in the state 9-Man rankings. Mountain Lake Area won 48-18 on Edgerton’s home field.
“It’ll be a battle versus Edgerton/Ellsworth,” coach Kirk said of the rematch. “We’ve got to be ready to play.”
Hancock 0 0 0 8 — 8
MLA 16 38 8 8 — 70
E/E 62, Fulda 8
EDGERTON —The Flying Dutchmen assured themselves another game by defeating Fulda 62-8.
Edgerton/Ellsworth held a 48-0 advantage at halftime and scored just 14 points in the second half en route to its win. E/E senior Nate Paulsen chipped in and scored in three different ways. He had a pass for a score, a catch for a score, and two rushes for scores. He finished with five touchdowns in all.
Freshman quarterback Bailey Fey was 8-of-10 with 157 yards through the air and three touchdowns. Paulsen was 4-for-5 for 56 yards passing and had six carrries for 143 yards rushing. He finished with three catches for 75 yards. Dutchmen junior Tyler Kurrasch had three catches for 84 yards and six carries for 75 yards. Kurrasch led the defense with eight tackles and Ashton Roskamp added seven stops and a sack.
The win for the black-and-red sets up another tussle with Mountain Lake Area. The Wolverines beat E/E less than two weeks ago 48-18.
“We came out and played well on both sides of the ball tonight,” E/E football coach Andrew Flieschman said of his team’s win over Fulda. “It’s back to work for us for Mountain Lake. We will go out, give it our best shot, and play as hard as we can.”
Fulda 0 0 0 8 — 8
E/E 28 20 8 6 — 62
H-BC 44, W-WG 26
WESTBROOK —Hills-Beaver Creek was victorious over Westbrook-Walnut Grove to begin postseason action. The Patriots came back from a loss last week to the Chargers and advance to Saturday’s second round.
H-BC led 20-12 after one quarter Tuesday night and used two scores in the fourth quarter to further put the game away. H-BC senior Dylan Gehrke tossed two touchdowns on the night and rushed for a couple more against W-WG. He was 17-of-32 through the air for 184 yards. He rushed for 73 yards on nine carries.
Junior wide receiver Braden Ellingson had nine catches for two scores and 81 yards for H-BC. Senior tailback Caleb Vis led the team on the ground with 283 yards on 45 touches and had scores of 68 yards and four yards in the meeting. He had five receptions for 59 yards.
W-WG had its quarterback, senior Shane Buckman, throw for all four of the team’s touchdowns. He was 19-of-34 for 350 yards. Tristan Joel, Sean McCroskey, and Tyler Schoborg each made trips to pay dirt as receivers for the Chargers. Schoburg had 16 tackles to lead his team’s defense. Mitchell Jarmer and Buckman each had a dozen stops.
After winning last Wednesday night over the same team his club lost to in the opening round Tuesday, W-WG coach Carter Ross said the regular season win did big things for his program and the team is proud going forward as they prepare for next season.
“Last week was a big win for us. Hills-Beaver Creek is a good team, and that win put a shot of adrenaline into our program,” Ross said. “This was a good game tonight for them, but it was great for us to go toe-to-toe with them last week.”
The Patriots march on to face Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Saturday. While playing the defending state champions sounds like a daunting task, Coach Rex Metzger said he is excited for his team to take the challenge.
“The first game we played with W-WG kind of turned into a shootout. Tonight we were able to control the ball well with our run game,” Metzger said. “We’ll now be playing the defending state champs. It won’t be easy, but we’ll do everything we can.”
H-BC 20 8 0 16 — 44
W-WG 12 8 0 6 — 26