Mahnomen/Waubun – W, 28-7 over No. 4 (AA) Hawley
The third-ranked Thunderbirds throttled their second-straight ranked opponent, racing to a 12-0 lead over the Nuggets after the opening quarter, eventually winning by three touchdowns.
Senior Jon Starkey and junior Parker Syverson were nearly unstoppable out of the Mahnomen/Waubun backfield, rushing for a combined 367 yards and all four touchdowns. The Thunderbirds defense, led by Izaiah Asher, was equally as effective, pitching a shutout in the final two quarters for the second-consecutive game.
Mounds View – W, 21-20 over St. Michael-Albertville
The Mustangs rallied from an early 14-point deficit and tied the game on the final play, winning on the extra point to defeat the Knights by a point. Trevor Redmond’s second touchdown of the game — a seven-yard pass from quarterback Cole Stenstrom — pulled Mounds View even with the hosts at 20, before Redmond calmly kicked the point-after try through the uprights.
That same tandem connected from 46-yards out to put the Mustangs on the scoreboard in the first quarter. The win was the program’s nine season-opening victory in the last 10 seasons.
White Bear Lake – W, 28-27 over Centennial (Circle Pines)
White Bear Lake broke its 19-game losing streak in dramatic fashion with a touchdown pass from Cooper Anderson to Eamon Kerrigan-Kroder with less than a minute remaining to defeat the Cougars.
Trailing 21-6 at half, the Bears rallied to take a one-point lead on a Nicholas Blanding field goal with less than four minutes to play. Centennial took the lead on the ensuing drive, setting the stage for the Bears’ game-winning march and the Anderson to Kerrigan-Kroder heroics.
The win was extra special considering coach Ryan Bartlett was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma this offseason and is still undergoing chemotherapy to battle the cancer, which is now in remission.
Zimmerman – W, 37-19 over No. 1 (AAAA) Delano
A back-and-forth game went the Thunder’s way, as the host turned a four-point, third quarter deficit into an 18-point victory over preseason No. 1 Delano in Zimmerman.
The Thunder’s multifaceted ground game proved to be the difference. Four players rushed for 46 yards or more and all five touchdowns, led by Landon Berroa’s 95 yards and a score. Quarterback Carter McEachern added two touchdowns, both in the final quarter, to help Tom Kish’s squad to the upset.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa – W, 13-10 over Kasson-Mantorville
Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s won a low-scoring battle with Kasson-Mantorville at home, defeating the Class AAAA school in their first meeting since 2012.
The Cougars defense was the story, holding a prolific Kasson-Mantorville offense to just 10 points, none after halftime. They intercepted KoMet’s quarterback Matt Winkle twice, holding the offense to just 256 total yards. Jacob Bennett’s two-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter gave Z-M a lead it would not relinquish. Bennett finished with 87 yards rushing, while quarterback Parker Voth threw for 100 yards and a touchdown in the win.