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Section 3A football finals: T-M-B wears down Adrian

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Adrian Dragons quarterback Logan Rogers (6) runs around the left end led by teammate Dillon John (9) during Friday night’s section football game in Marshall.1 / 2
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Tracy-Milroy-Balaton quarterback Brett Swenhaugen (1) finds an open field ahead Friday against the Adrian Dragons. T-M-B, the third seed in Section 3A, defeated the top-seeded Dragons at Southwest State University in Marshall.2 / 2

MARSHALL — Tracy-Milroy-Balaton rounded up a second half that wore Adrian down Friday afternoon in Marshall.

The No. 3 seed Panthers pulled away to eliminate Section 3’s top-seeded Dragons 35-14 in the Section 3A football championship at Southwest State University’s Mattke Field.

“We just played our hearts out tonight,” T-M-B quarterback Brett Swenhaugen said after the game. “Our running game and our line really picked it up in the second half. That gave me time to throw. It was all our line. They’re everything.”

Turnovers plagued both teams through the opening half and Adrian responded with a defensive luster which led to a scoreless game through the first quarter.

Swenhaugen snuck in on a one-yard keeper to break the ice for his Panthers. Adrian completed its first pass of the game as an answer, on a 55-yard connection from quarterback Logan Rogers to Jacob Bullerman-Diekmann and the game was knotted at 6-6 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

“We thought we controlled the ball well in the first half but we just turned it over in the red zone a few times,” said T-M-B coach Randy McIntire, whose team lost 27-13 to Adrian early in the season. “I told our kids at halftime that we haven’t beaten them in three halves yet. We’ve been tied or behind in every one. We had to win one.”

Swenhaugen opened the second half for the Panthers to drive down field on first down passes to Zach Seaton and then Joey Felt. Swenhaugen found Eric Donner for a 16-yard score just inside six minutes left in the third quarter, handing their club a 12-6 lead and an edge they would not relinquish.

Swenhaugen connected with tight end Josh Kirk and Seaton for fourth quarter touchdowns of 46 and 61 yards respectively. Elijah Koening also finished with a 13-yard score to help put the game away.

All Adrian could answer with was a two-yard rush from Jordan Dingmann with 7:07 left in the game.

Dingmann led the Dragons with 17 carries for 97 yards. Bullerman-Diekmann ended the day with two catches for 64 yards.

“We didn’t make the plays and, if you look at total yardage at half, we probably should have been in worse shape than we were,” Adrian coach Randy Strand said. “A lot of credit to T-M-B.

“Our seniors have had a heck of a career for themselves,” Strand added. “There’s nothing to hang our heads about. We got beat by a better team.”

T-M-B quarterback Brett Swenhaugen had 27 keepers for 87 yards on the ground on 288 yards passing. Seaton had seven catches to lead the Panthers with 151 yards. Kirk had four catches for 84 yards.

The Panthers move forward to face the winner of Friday night’s game between Blooming Prairie and Bethlehem Academy. That quarterfinal game is slated for Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. in Rochester.

“It all came together for us,” McIntire said. “Once we get some film on whoever we are playing we’ll get a game plan together and be ready for them.”

T-M-B 0 6 6 23 — 35

Adrian 0 6 0 8 —14

Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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