Minnetonka – W, 28-21 over No. 2 (6A) Maple Grove
The No. 3 Skippers emerged from a see-saw, turnover-filled affair to get the seven-point victory at home against the Crimson.
Junior quarterback Aaron Syverson continued his breakout season with a 240-yard, three-touchdown performance against the stout Maple Grove defense. His third passing score was a 37-yard strike to Eric Douville that stopped a run of 21-straight Crimson points and gave Minnetonka the lead for good.
With Maple Grove driving for a potential game-tying score, the Skippers defense provided the heroics. The unit stuffed Crimson running back Evan Hull on a fourth-down rush with less than 30 seconds to play to seal the win.
Nevis – W, 44-12 over No. 6 (9M) Waubun
The rematch of last year’s Section 8, 9-Man final had the makings of another classic when Waubun trailed Nevis 16-12 midway through the second quarter.
The Tigers, however, had other ideas. In a role reversal from last year’s playoff game, they scored the final 28 points of the game to pull away and improve their record to 3-0.
The Nevis defense harassed the Bombers offense all game, forcing six turnovers and allowing only 220 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jack DeWulf recorded four total touchdowns (two rush, two pass), including a pair of scoring strikes to younger brother Luke. The second DeWulf-to-DeWulf connection gave the Tigers a 24-12 halftime lead.
Kyle Schmidt paced the Tigers ground game with 102 yards and a touchdown.
Moorhead – W, 18-14 over St. Cloud Tech
The Spuds turned in one of the best defensive performances of the young season in their upset of St. Cloud Tech at St. John’s University. The Tigers entered the game averaging more than 440 yards of offense and 43 points in the first two games, but Moorhead held them to just 332 yards and 14 points.
Kevin Feeney’s defense picked off Tech quarterback Nate Trewick three times, including Jack Stetz’s late interception that sealed the win, and held receivers Breyvn Spann-Ford and James Kaczor well under their season averages.
Stetz also scored a second-quarter touchdown to extend Moorhead’s lead to 18-0. The Spuds travel to Bemidji this week.
Chaska – W, 14-0 over No. 6 (5A) Chanhassen
After losing both meetings to rival Chanhassen in 2016, the Hawks earned possession of “The Jug” with the shutout win on the road. Quarterback Connor Souba scored both touchdowns for the unbeaten Hawks, which won the traveling trophy for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
It was the second-straight goose egg by the Chaska defense. Justin Bach led the unit with 10 tackles, while Clay Atkinson posted five stops with an interception that halted a Storm drive inside the Chaska red zone. Senior lineman Evan Oetter recovered a fumble late in the opening half to set up the first of Souba’s two scores.
Ottertail Central – W, 35-6 over No. 4 (2A) Pillager
In another section final rematch from 2016, Ottertail Central got some revenge against Pillager with a convincing victory in Battle Lake.
Two forced fumbles, along with a blocked punt by Dustin Olson, propelled Ottertail Central to a 21-0 lead, and the Bulldogs defense did the rest, holding fourth-ranked Pillager to just a single touchdown in the victory.
Quarterback Nick VanErp, although he did not complete a single pass, was nearly unstoppable in the Bulldogs running game. The junior carried the ball only seven times, but scored four touchdowns, including 80- and 54-yard jaunts in the first half. OTC rushed for more than 370 yards in the win.