Posted On: 09/29/19 1:56 AM

It was a special night at TCO Stadium Saturday night – especially for the Mankato West Scarlets. In a game overflowing with big plays, the Scarlets’ special teams made the biggest plays. Three times Rochester Mayo scored first-half touchdowns – appearing to stay in the game. Two times the Scarlets countered with a kickoff returns for touchdowns. Mankato West went into halftime with a 22-point lead and coasted to a 58-21 win.
After the teams exchanged punts, Mankato West’s passing game heated up. A completion to the post followed by a route down the sidelines to Melchi Collins resulted in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jack Foster giving Mankato West 7-0 lead.
One play later, Mayo’s Asa Cummings found a huge hole behind lineman Zach Andreen and ran 74 yards untouched for a touchdown to cut the West lead to one.
Mankato West’s offense kept rolling with pinpoint passing from Foster. They marched right down the field and Foster scored on a short touchdown run.
West went to the ground on their next drive. Running back Wyatt Block picked up big chunks of yardage up the middle. After picking up a few first downs on the ground, the Scarlets went back to the air and Foster threw a 40-yard touchdown to Jon Sikel – giving the Scarlets a 20-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
Mayo came right back on the arm of quarterback Cade Sheehan and the hands of wide receiver Cayden Holcomb. Holcomb – a sophomore – made a great catch down the sidelines for a 40-yard touchdown. It was well covered, but the Mayo wide receiver made a great catch on a perfectly thrown ball by Sheehan. The extra point made the score 20-14 West.
Any momentum the Spartans might have had was erased on the next play. Sikel took the kickoff back 70-yards to give the Scarlets back their two-score lead.
Mayo answered again. Sheehan’s pass to Mason Greseth resulted in a short touchdown pass. It was set up by a Sheehan bomb to Michael Mankaka who made a great adjustment and 35-yard catch inside the five on a fourth and 15. However, West would score twice in the final two minutes of the half.
Block scooped up a squib kick, made a couple of moves and returned the kick 79 yards for a touchdown. Mayo tried to get points before the half, but West’s defense came up big. Collins undercut a deep out route and picked off the pass. A few plays later Collins would score on a pass from Foster with forty seconds to play in the half. Despite being outgained in the half, West would go into the locker room up 43-21.
Mayo’s offense started strong. Despite a spectacular catch by Holcomb that deflected off two Scarlets’ defenders and got the Spartans near the red zone, Mayo could not convert on a fourth down at the 21-yard line – giving the ball back to West.
After the fireworks of the first half, that would be the closest either team would get to scoring in the third quarter.
West would score again early in the fourth quarter with a 39-yard catch and run by Sikel. The two-point conversion would make the score 51-21.
West would add one more score late in the game to make the final score 58-21.
Mankato West (4-1) travels to Owatonna, and Rochester Mayo (3-2) goes home to face Rochester John Marshall.