MLA loses nail-biter to R-T-R Knights
It was a low-scoring nail-biter Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) State 9-Man Quarter-Final game on the turf at New Ulm Public High School tonight (Friday, November 10).
A nail-biter that saw all of the scoring take place in the first quarter.
The Wolverines’ football season was ended by the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (R-T-R) Knights, MLA on the short end of an 8-6 score.
Mountain Lake Area (MLA) sparked right after the opening kick-off. The squad score on the first play of the game on a 69-yard TD run by sophomore quarterback Abe Stoesz. The two-point conversion failed, but the Wolverines held the early lead, 6-0.
R-T-R cobbled together an 11-play 82-yard drive that included a pair of long passes, one from junior quarterback Cooper Hansen to senior tight end Jonah Johnson, and the second for the score, a 24-yard TD pass from Cooper Hansen to his wide receiver twin brother, Carter Hansen, with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter for their score. The two-point conversion pass was good.
In the second quarter, the Maroon-and-Silver took over on their own 16, after stopping R-T-R on fourth down. They would hold the ball the remainder of the second quarter, heading down the field in a 17-play drive to the Knights’ 24. With two seconds remaining in the first half, Stoesz handed off the ball, with the toss back to Stoesz. He took it down to the two-yard line as time ran out.
The Wolverines had a couple second half scoring opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize. Stoesz intercepted a Cooper Hansen pass, tipped by wide receiver Carter Hansen, MLA taking over on their own 21.
In that drive, a Stoesz to junior Drake Harder pass had the team down to the R-T-R 12. The offense moved it down to the eight, but, on fourth and six, failed to gain the first and turned over the ball over on downs.
On another R-T-R possession, MLA’s Eli Karschnik nabbed an interception, but the offense failed to move the pigskin.
The Knights had a fourth quarter scoring opportunity from the MLA 10, but couldn’t collect a first down on a fourth-and-six.
With one minute and two seconds remaining in the game, the Wolverines took over on their own eight-yard-line. They moved it out to their own 34 with plays that included an eight-yard pickup using a hook-and-ladder to Adam Karschnik. However, on fourth and long – and with just 18 seconds left on the clock – the pass for the first down went incomplete.
R-T-R took over, took a knee and took the win.
For the game, the Wolverines were hurt on both sides of the ball with the absence of hard-nosed senior fullback/linebacker Jeff Wright due to a left-shoulder injury.
MLA closes their 2017 football campaign with an 8-4 record – and the Section 3 9-Man title.
The Knights (10-2) will play Nevis (10-1), who defeated North Woods Friday night, 42-14, at 9 a.m. next Friday, November 17 at U. S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.