South looking to rebound from rout at Rosemount
A little trickery, a lot of Jamiah Newell rushing yardage and a whole bunch of defense kept Lakeville North’s football team from losing for a second consecutive week.
The Panthers, stinging from their first loss of the season at Prior Lake on Sept. 27, allowed Burnsville an early touchdown before overwhelming the Blaze 41-7 at home last Friday. Newell gained 186 yards on 16 carries and scored once. He now has 879 yards for the season and needs 121 more to reach 1,000 for the second straight year.
The victory also kept North in close pursuit of Rosemount in the South Suburban Conference. Rosemount is 5-0 in the league (5-1 overall) after routing Lakeville South 35-7 last Friday. Lakeville North is 5-1 overall and in the conference going into its game Friday, Oct. 11, at Eagan. The Panthers’ game at Rosemount on Wednesday, Oct. 16, could determine the SSC champion.
Prior Lake, 4-1 in league play, remains in contention, and Bloomington Jefferson (3-2) has the slimmest of mathematical chances.
Lakeville North appeared ready to settle for a first-quarter field goal and cut Burnsville’s lead to 7-3 when holder Zach Beier stood up, rolled out and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Gregory Menard. Instead of 7-3, it was 7-7. Less than two minutes later North had the ball again and Newell scored on a 20-yard run.
In the second quarter Menard scored on a 7-yard run and linebacker Tristyn Hanson returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown. Tanner Jacobus and Luke Branson had touchdown runs in the second half to complete the blowout.
Although Burnsville passed for 168 yards, its running game was ineffective, gaining 17 yards on 27 carries. Linebacker Jesse Cardenas led the North defense with nine tackles and Tyler Bonjean intercepted a pass.
Lakeville North is going for its third consecutive South Suburban Conference championship. The Panthers won it outright in 2011 and tied Prior Lake for the title last year. The Panthers have not finished lower than second in their conference since 2008.
Things fell apart quickly for Lakeville South in its 35-7 loss at Rosemount last week. The South Suburban Conference-leading Irish scored their first touchdown in the final minute of the first quarter, returned an interception for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and added two more scores before halftime to lead 27-0.
Lakeville South broke up the shutout in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard pass from Brenon Larson-Gulsvig to Luke Iverson.
Mark Ruhl led South in rushing with 41 yards and caught one pass for an 83-yard gain. Alex Gardner rushed for 38 yards. Larson-Gulsvig completed six of 14 passes for 115 yards.
Three turnovers did not help the Cougars (3-3 overall, 2-3 South Suburban) as they lost for the second consecutive week. South’s offense has scored just 10 points in its last two games.
The Cougars will try to break out of that slump when they face winless Bloomington Kennedy at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. Lakeville South goes to Bloomington Jefferson for its final regular-season game Oct. 16.
Victories in the final two regular-season games would all but assure South of a home game when the Class 6 playoffs begin Oct. 25. One victory in the last two games might be enough, too.