Friday night the Lakeville South Cougars battled the Woodbury Royals and the weather conditions in a first-round 6A playoff game. In a game where defense, special teams, and field position ruled, the Cougars did just enough on offense – mainly…
Friday night the Lakeville South Cougars battled the Woodbury Royals and the weather conditions in a first-round 6A playoff game. In a game where defense, special teams, and field position ruled, the Cougars did just enough on offense – mainly taking care of the ball – to win 13-0.
Defensive back Ty Willman read a crossing route, and as the wind knocked down the pass, he was able to cut in front of the receiver for the interception. Offensively the Cougars didn't try to throw much, but on a third and eight, he caught a deep crossing route from Brady Torborg for thirty yards.
Stephen Shabaz dropped a running back for a 3-yard loss. Then he read a fake punt and forced the runner to go outside where teammate Tyler Haglund cleaned up and made the tackle. Shabaz also tracked down a jet sweep on the other side of the field for a tackle for loss.
Jared Stewart came up with a sack on a fourth down pass attempt. He got to the quarterback a second time – this one for a ten-yard loss. Later he stopped a run to the outside for a short loss, pursued from the backside to tackle a back for a loss. Possibly his best moment as a pass rusher was when he put instant pressure on the quarterback and forced the quarterback to run, but Stewart caught him from behind for a short gain. Despite his focus on rushing the passer he read a draw play and made a tackle for a five-yard loss.
The pressure on the quarterback came from all over the field. Haglund and Cody Larson combined on a sack. Haglund also came through clean on a blitz that didn't get him a sack, but his pressure forced an early throw, Haglund played well against the run too. He made a tackle on an outside run and got good penetration that resulted in a tackle on an inside run.
Defensive tackle Matt Borowicz read a screen and stopped it for no gain. He demanded double teams and helped the linebackers – including Aaron Rose who was able to tally a sack – roam free all game.
Defensive backs Logan Gudmundson, Torborg, Willman, and Drew Ahrenholz – who picked off a ball that was tipped at the line of scrimmage – kept almost everything in front of them in the secondary and made sure tackles when Woodbury was able to complete passes underneath the coverage.
Torborg – who was making his first start of the season at quarterback – helped his team in many ways. With the night being a field position game he changed it multiple times. He pinned Woodbury deep with a punt inside the ten. He also had a 45-yard punt. At defensive back, the senior cut in front of another underthrown ball for an interception, came up strong in run support and made a tackle for a loss of five. The safety broke up a pass across the middle with a nice hit and put the game away with an interception return for a touchdown with under two minutes to play.
“Our defensive line got pressure – making the quarterback throw bad balls,” Torborg said. “I just had to make the catches.”
At quarterback, he picked up a first down on a designed run up the middle. A second run up the middle would net another first down. Late in the game, he was on a planned rollout pass play, but Torborg didn't like what he saw downfield. He used a pump fake to freeze a defender and ran for 30 yards.
“He is so valuable on defense,” head coach Tyler Krebs told northstarfooballnews.com. “We move him around a lot on offense, but we knew this was going to be a sloppy game, so we wanted the ball in his hands as much as possible.”
Torborg wasn't the only special teamer that made an impact. John Olson kicked a 31-yard field goal for the Cougars' first points.
Jeremiah Jacobson ran the ball well in the wet conditions. He broke a free on two runs to the outside. It was a much shorter run, but northstarfootballnews.com’s 110th rated senior’s most impressive run might have been a six-yard gain. He was surrounded behind the line of scrimmage but made a move at the line of scrimmage to turn no gain into a positive play. One of his best runs was behind Borowicz who had a nice seal block on the outside. Another one of his successful runs was behind tackle Abdulla Alishaqui and tight end Riley Mahlman who sealed off the edge.
Lakeville South will travel north to take on St. Michael-Albertville on Friday night.