The 2020 Minnesota high school football season didn’t end the way everybody had hoped, but it ended just the same Friday night with a spattering of section contests around the area.
Some teams entered into their section tournaments did not play at all, and some just played one game. Two was all any team could play after Gov. Tim Walz announced on Wednesday that youth and high school sports must “pause” for four weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Hills-Beaver Creek was one of several southwest Minnesota teams that was able to move its scheduled Saturday section game to Friday -- the last day prep squads were allowed to play.
H-BC defeated Mountain Lake Area 52-7 in Hills, giving the undefeated Patriots the right to be called the Section 3 Nine-Man champions.
Elsewhere close to home, Wabasso defeated Murray County Central 28-15 for the Section 3A championship (story elsewhere on this website). Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda came from behind to top Edgerton 38-32 in Section 3 Nine-Man competition. And in a Section 3AAA game, Luverne drilled Sibley East 44-67.
H-BC 52, MLA 7
HILLS -- The Patriots rolled to their seventh victory by getting a big jump on Mountain Lake Area early and coasting the rest of the way. The score was the same at halftime as it ended, 52-7.
Tyson Bork scored four touchdowns in the showdown, on runs of 95, 12, 3 and 23 yards. Gavin Wysong ran for two scores (71 and 27 yards) and passed 30 yards to Oliver Deelstra for another.
For the game, Bork had 254 yards on 18 carries and Wysong had 147 on seven.
The Pats had 492 total yards, and 432 of it came on the ground. MLA had just 77 total yards.
Defensively, Calvin Erickson had five tackles and two sacks for the winners. Wysong and Tryce Bennett both intercepted a pass.
H-BC head coach Rex Metzger said his players were very happy to earn the section crown, but they’ll also wonder what might have happened if they’d been able to continue playing. “You’d like to see how you match up with other teams around the state. But obviously we’re not going to get that chance,” he added.
MLA 7 0 0 0 -- 7
H-BC 28 24 0 0 -- 52
HL-O/F 38, Edgerton 32
HERON LAKE -- For the second time this year, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda dispatched Edgerton, but this game was much closer -- and the Coyotes had to come from behind to do it.
Edgerton scored the first three touchdowns of the game on two Chase Bootsma runs (5 and 2 yards) and a Gabe Gilberton 30-yard run. The Flying Dutchmen led 24-0 before the host team could get on the scoreboard.
But before the half, HL-O/F scored twice on a 5-yard Matt Madsen carry and a 2-yard Brayden Peil run. In the second half, the Coyotes outscored Edgerton 22-8.
Bootsma scored his third TD of the game in the third quarter on a 3-yard carry. Then HL-O/F scored three times in the fourth with a 4-yard Madsen run, a 35-yard pass from Eli Fest to Trevor King, and an 11-yard Madsen run.
HL-O/F, which finished the season with a 5-1 record, had 177 yards rushing and 200 yards passing by game’s end. Madsen carried 23 times for 129 yards and Fest completed 13 of 26 passes for 200. King caught four aerials for 100 yards.
Defensively, King made 16 tackles and Peil made 15.
Edgerton 16 8 8 0 -- 32
HL-O/F 0 16 0 22 -- 38
Luverne 44, Sibley East 6
LUVERNE -- LaShad Smith rushed for 129 yards and the first touchdown of the game as Luverne spanked Sibley East. Bailey Cowell accounted for two more scores.
Smith’s first quarter scoring run covered eight yards. Cowell got the next two in the second quarter on a 4-yard run and a 23-yard TD pass to Shaid Shearer.
In the third stanza, Ashton Sandbulte scored on a 7-yard carry. In the fourth, Casey Sehr threw for a 2-yard score to Cowell. Later, Sibley East’s Caleb Dose was sacked at the 1-yard line and fumbled, and Andy Halverson recovered it for a TD.
Sibley East scored last, on a 38-yard pass from Dose to Jordan Latzke.
The Cardinals finished with 298 total yards, 103 of it coming through the air. Sibley East was held to 184 yards.