When Brady Torborg intercepted his second pass of the game late in the 4th quarter he took off down Lakeville South's sidelines and put an exclamation point on a defensive struggle by scoring the only touchdown of the game to give the Cougars – after a two-point conversion – a 13-0 win over the Woodbury Royals.
Torborg did double duty for the host Cougars. The senior has started at safety the entire year, but an injury to starting quarterback George Brekke forced Torborg into the dual role of starting safety and starting quarterback.
“He hasn't played quarterback much at all this season,” Lakeville South head coach Tyler Krebs said. “Our starting quarterback got hurt so stepping in this week taking quarterback reps, and then he played full-time on defense, he punted – he is a heck of a football player. He had an unbelievable game tonight.”Outside of Torborg and the defense played by both teams the story of the game was the weather. Neither team consistently moved the ball –, especially against the wind.
Lakeville South had the wind at their back for the first quarter, and they used it to their advantage. Woodbury's Ryan Christensen tried to throw a deep crossing pattern, but the wind knocked the pass down and into the hands of Lakeville North defensive back Ty Willman. Running back Jeremiah Jacobson found some room on an outside run to push the ball into the red zone. A few plays later the Cougars would score the only offensive points of the game – a 31-yard field goal by John Olson that cut through the wind and mixture of snow and rain.
“We did just enough on offense,” Krebs said. “We flipped the field position a few times, and that was key.”
After the post-field goal kickoff, the South defense would force the Woodbury offense back on three straight plays forcing them inside their twenty-yard line. Attempting to punt, Woodbury snapped the ball over the punter's head and out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
Leading 5-0 the defense would take over from there.
“The defense came out firing,” Torborg said. “It all came together.”
South would fumble the free kick and give Woodbury the ball at midfield, but a sack by linebacker Jared Stewart would help force a punt.
The South front seven put pressure on Woodbury's Christensen all game and didn't allow the Royals' offense into the red zone the entire game. Stewart was in the backfield consistently and picked up a pair of first-half sacks.
Willman would contribute on the offensive side of the ball as well. He got to the edge on a sweep for a twenty-yard run – the most significant offensive play of the first quarter. It did not set up a score, but with field position already showing to be critical, it flipped the field and kept Woodbury backed up.
Woodbury picked up fifty-yards on a middle screen, but South forced a fumble at the end of the run and was able to get their third turnover of the first half.
On the opening possession of the second half, Torborg picked off his first pass of the game when he broke on an underthrown ball. Then early in the 4th quarter, he flipped field position with a thirty-yard scramble to move into Woodbury territory.
“Quarterback was a big role, but I knew the guys around me would help. The coaches obviously helped me and (injured, starting quarterback) George Brekke he helped me a ton. I give all the credit to him and our coaches.”
Already facing a defense that had dominated the entire game a sack by South's Aaron Rose put Woodbury in a long distance situation and the Cougars' pass rush and Torborg finished the Royals off.
“I couldn't be more blessed with those picks,” Torborg said. “The line put pressure on the quarterback and made him throw bad balls, and all I had to do was catch them.”
The 51-yard interception return with 1:19 to play in the game would put the game away for the home Cougars and provide the final points in a 13-0 victory.