PREP FOOTBALL: Superlarks too much for WolverinesROCHESTER — Mountain Lake Area was able to weather the storm that hit it Friday night for three quarters. But Grand Meadow just had too many weapons coming at the Wolverines from too many directions. That resulted in the Wolverines’ season coming to an end with a 34-20 loss in a Nine-Man state quarterfinal game at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium.
ROCHESTER — Mountain Lake Area was able to weather the storm that hit it Friday night for three quarters.
But Grand Meadow just had too many weapons coming at the Wolverines from too many directions. That resulted in the Wolverines’ season coming to an end with a 34-20 loss in a Nine-Man state quarterfinal game at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium.
“Grand Meadow’s a big, strong team and we just got a little worn down,” Wolverines coach Tim Kirk said. “They scouted us pretty well and switched up their defenses, with guys blitzing from different directions. They’re so disciplined, give the credit to them.”
Mountain Lake Area (9-3) trailed just 12-6 at halftime and 20-14 after three quarters.
Junior running back Andrew Hempeck — who led the Wolverines with 86 rushing yards on 19 carries — scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter to tie the score 6-6.
Grand Meadow answered with a 64-yard scoring pass from Trenton Bleifus to Collin Jacobson for a 12-6 lead late in the first half. The Superlarks (11-1) extended their lead to 20-6 on the opening drive of the second half when Landon Jacobson scored on a 26-yard run.
But the Wolverines battled right back, going 80 yards in 10 plays and pulling within 20-14 when quarterback Carter Kirk plunged in from a yard out.
The turning point came early in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines had held Grand Meadow on downs at the MLA 38, but Kirk fumbled on a third-and-9 play and the Superlarks recovered. Eight plays later, Perry Stejskal scored on a 4-yard run to make the score 28-14.
“Six or seven of our guys are underclassmen,” Tim Kirk said. “We’re still learning. We haven’t been (to state) since 2003 and maybe it was a little bit of bright lights, big city. We came out a little flat and missed some opportunities.”
Carter Kirk hit Josiah Stoesz for a 29-yard touchdown with 3:56 to go, but an onside kick failed and Grand Meadow scored with 1:13 to cap the scoring.
The Wolverines finished with 329 yards of total offense, including 168 rushing and 161 passing. Grand Meadow piled up 432 yards, including 336 rushing yards.
Hempeck led the Wolverines with 86 yards rushing on 19 carries, while Kirk had 15 yards on 12 carries. Ryan Klassen rushed for 57 yards on nine carries and Levi Kass had two carries for 10 yards. Stejskal led the Superlarks with 109 yards on 16 rushes.
Kirk was 7 for 17 through the air for 148 yards and a touchdown, while Hempeck was 1 of 1 for 13 yards for the Wolverines. Bleifus was 5 of 8 for GM for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Eric Wenner had three catches for 82 yards for MLA, while Stoesz made one grab for 29 yards and a touchdown. Hempeck had one catch for 28 yards to go along a 13 yard catch by Kirk. Collin Jacobson led the Superlarks with one catch for 64 yards and a touchdown.
The Superlarks will face South Ridge at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 in a state semifinal at the Metrodome.
MLA 0 6 8 6 — 20
GM 6 6 8 14 — 34