Three football coaches in the Metro South district went into last Friday’s games looking for their first victory at their new schools, and two of them got it.
Lakeville South scored 21 consecutive points in the second half in defeating Eagan 35-21 and giving coach Tyler Krebs his first victory in his second game as the Cougars’ head coach. Eagan fell to 0-2 and is 0-9 in Ben Hanson’s tenure as Wildcats head coach.
Burnsville held on to beat Eastview 12-7 as Vince Varpness won his first game as Blaze head coach.
As the clock ran down in the Lakeville South-Eastview game, there was speculation that the Cougars would douse Krebs with the contents of the water cooler to celebrate their victory. That didn’t happen, and Krebs didn’t mind.
“It’s a great win for our program. It’s not a milestone win for me,” said Krebs, who was Burnsville’s head coach the previous six years. “They can save that for championships. Win some championships, and they can do that. It’s one win, and our goal is to get better in Week 3.”
South and Eagan were tied 14-14 at halftime. The Cougars spent the break watching replays of the first half, looking for things that needed fixing. Krebs said it had more to do with cleaning up small details as opposed to fixing major breakdowns.
“We picked out five or six plays on each side of the ball we wanted to clean up,” Krebs said. “These kids are smart and disciplined. You tell them what to do and they pick it up fast.”
South lost to Edina 34-9 in the first week of the regular season. Penalties and turnover (three fumbles lost) were a problem then, and the Cougars believed they weren’t as aggressive as they needed to be.
That changed against Eagan. “We were a lot more physical and came in with the mindset that we have to execute to win,” senior captain Brady Torborg said. “We executed some things but we didn’t do everything perfectly, and that’s the stuff we still have to work on yet.”
South senior Jeremiah Jacobson scored the game’s first touchdown on a 9-yard run in the first quarter. Just before the quarter ended, Eagan quarterback Kaden Hanson threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jackson McCullum, then threw to Tate Sundberg for a 2-point conversion that gave the Wildcats their only lead of the game at 8-7.
Jacobson scored on a 16-yard run in the second quarter, putting South back in front 14-8, before Eagan responded with a 2-yard run by Antwann McClenty. The Wildcats’ conversion attempt failed and the game went to halftime tied 14-14.
After getting the second half kickoff, Lakeville South drove for the go-ahead touchdown, finishing the possession with a 12-yard pass from George Brekke to Ben Huddock. Later, a 29-yard pass from Brekke to Torborg put the ball at the Eagan 2, and junior T.J. Nelson carried it in two plays later.
In the fourth quarter, Zach Stelzer ran 45 yards on a fake punt to the Eagan 4, and Nelson scored on the next play. Eagan’s Carter Lyons ran it in from 17 yards with two minutes remaining for his team’s final touchdown.
Brekke, a sophomore, made his first varsity start at quarterback.
“I thought he played great except for one bad throw (which was intercepted),” Krebs said. “He was mature, made plays, commanded the huddle. He’s a smart kid. He’s going to be a good football player.”
Lakeville South, not deep to begin with, had to play without its top two running backs by the second half. Logan Gudmundson missed the entire game because of a knee injury that is expected to keep him out several more weeks. Jacobson had to come out after an ankle injury flared up. In stepped Nelson, who scored South’s final two touchdowns.
“We don’t have a ton of depth and we’re playing against some really good teams,” Krebs said. “We need some guys to step up and we hope those guys get healthy.”
After allowing some big plays by Eagan in the first half, Lakeville South had more success containing the Wildcats in the second half because “we got a lot more pressure,” Torborg said. “Our line got really competitive, really physical, then our outside (line)backers cleaned everything up the line disrupted.”
After being on the road the first two weeks, Lakeville South plays Burnsville (1-1) in its home opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. That same night, Eagan will be at home against Rosemount, which is 0-2 after losing to Edina 20-17 in overtime last Friday. Rosemount’s two losses have been by four points.
In other local action last Friday:
Burnsville 12, Eastview 7
Blaze quarterback Marcus Shepley threw two touchdown passes to Tommy Tester in the second quarter, and those gave the Blaze all the points they needed to give Varpness his first victory as head coach.
Tre Thomas rushed for 101 yards in 22 carries for Burnsville (1-1), which plays at Lakeville South – coached by former Blaze head coach Tyler Krebs – at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.
Shepley completed six of 12 passes for 130 yards, including touchdown passes of 7 and 14 yards to Tester. Tester caught three passes for 31 yards, and Shepley also had long completions to Marquel Brooks (50 yards) and Levi Gutierrez (42 yards).
Eastview quarterback Zach Selchow threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Quintcy Suggs in the third quarter to cut Burnsville’s lead.
Suggs also rushed for 57 yards on eight carries. Selchow completed 11 of 24 passes for 158 yards. Larry Wright had three catches for 55 yards and tight end Mohamed Mahmoud also had three catches.
After losses on the road in its first two games, Eastview seeks its first victory in its home opener at 7 p.m. Friday against Shakopee.
Apple Valley 14, St. Thomas Academy 0
Big plays by junior defensive back Damian Swanson near the end of the first and at the beginning of the second half kept the Apple Valley football team undefeated.
His 100-yard kickoff return of the second-half kickoff produced the first points of the game – and the only points the Eagles needed – in a 14-0 victory at St. Thomas Academy last Friday. Swanson also kept STA off the scoreboard in the final minute of the first half by intercepting a pass at the Eagles’ 5-yard line.
Apple Valley’s second touchdown came in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by quarterback Tyler Cardella.
After that, the Eagles left it to their stingy, opportunistic defense. In addition to Swanson’s first-half interception, the defense recovered three STA fumbles in the second half. Apple Valley (2-0) has allowed just seven points so far this season, and those came in the fourth quarter of a game against Hopkins that the Eagles already had well in hand.
There still are six games remaining in the regular season, but Apple Valley’s victory over STA could be significant for playoff seeding as they are two of the six teams in Class 5A, Section 3.
Next up for the Eagles is a road game at Bloomington Jefferson at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Jefferson (0-2) has been outscored 84-34 in losses to Orono and Chanhassen.
Edina 20, Rosemount 17 (OT)
A 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Meyer to Luke Glenna in overtime gave Edina the victory after Rosemount scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the game.
The Irish, playing their home opener, got the first possession in overtime and ended up with a 21-yard field goal by Nathan Whiting to take a 17-14 lead.
Neither team was able to do much on the ground. The Irish (0-2) managed just 7 yards on 24 attempts. Edina had 80 rushing yards, but almost half of it came on one play, a 36-yard run by Matt Cavanagh in the second quarter that extended the Hornets’ lead to 14-0.
Rosemount got back in the game through the air as quarterback Max Carter completed 16 of 32 passes for 231 yards. The Irish broke through with 10 minutes, 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Carter to junior wide receiver Andrew Reuter.
Carter threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Reuter with 1:32 remaining in the fourth to tie the game.
Reuter had six catches for 124 yards. Jonathan Mann caught five passes for 42 yards.
The Irish, whose two losses have been by a combined four points, will play at Eagan at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.
Shakopee 18, Farmington 16
The Tigers led twice in the first half, but Shakopee scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter and held on for the victory.
Farmington’s Adam Weed returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. A 10-yard touchdown pass from Alijah Moe to Caden Freetly put the Tigers ahead 14-12 in the second quarter. Farmington also scored a safety in the fourth quarter.
Moe led the Tigers in rushing with 54 yards on 10 carries and completed 10 of 34 passes for 146 yards.
Tigers running back Jake Sether had 41 yards on 12 carries and Justin Gutsalyuk caught two passes for 49 yards. Two-way standout Brock Mogensen caught two passes for 70 yards. On defense, Mogensen led the Tigers with 9.5 tackles.
Sam Castillo had 6.5 tackles, including two for losses. Cory Krotzer had 5.5 tackles and Avery Filapek made five stops.
The Tigers, who played on the road the first two weeks of the season, will be at home for four of their next five games. They play Lakeville North in their home opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. North was ranked second in Class 6A but lost to top-ranked Eden Prairie 41-13 last week.