Lanesboro vs. LeRoy-Ostrander

Lanesboro defeated LeRoy-Ostrander in 9-man Section 1 quarterfinal football action on Oct. 23, only 11 days after the same two teams combined to score 112 points. Entering the post season seeded at #3, Lanesboro and #6 LeRoy-Ostrander again packed plenty of offense onto the field, scoring 118 points.

Lanesboro's 64-54 victory was similar to the earlier 68-44 outcome, which also had L-O playing from behind much of the night. LHS returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of both games and big numbers were put up again by the same individuals for both teams.

Burro Niko Anderson ran for 297 yards and 6 touchdowns on 23 carries. He returned one of his two interceptions 30 yards for a TD, caught a two-point extra-point pass and also passed for one two-point conversion. Gabe Decker rushed 12 times for 98 yards including a pair of two-point conversions.

For the Cardinals, quarterback Jace Bunne completed 24 of 45 passes for 524 yards and 7 touchdowns. Lucas Roe caught 11 of those passes for 244 yards and 3 TD. Mitch Scaglione had 7 receptions for 179 yards and 2 TD. Nate Bunne (Jace's cousin) had 4 catches for 95 yards and another two TD.

After scoring the first two touchdowns, LHS never trailed, but the game was close until the Burros broke a 12-12 tie with back-to-back scores to go up 28-12.

L-O answered to get back within eight points (28-20), but LHS made it 34-20 and then stopped L-O on the Burro 19 as the first half ended. LHS opened the second half with a 79-yard TD drive to make it 42-20. Scoring on three straight possessions, the Burros then doubled up L-O 64-32 in the fourth quarter. Then, with many Burro reserves seeing action, L-O scored the final three touchdowns.

The teams combined for just under 1,100 yards with the Cardinals out-gaining the Burros 626 yards to 472 in total offense. Winning the turnover battle 3 to 1, LHS was able to score with some relatively short drives of 15 and 24 yards. LHS also had good field position while covering five short or onside Cardinal kickoffs in addition to stopping L-O on fourth down twice near midfield. However, LHS proved capable of scoring from anywhere, including possessions of 70, 79 and 65 yards. In contrast, all 16 L-O possessions began in Cardinal territory. The Cards had no scoring drive of fewer than 53 yards.

Each team had eight offensive touchdowns while LHS also scored once on defense. The Burros also had an edge in extra points, converting 5 of 9 to the Cards' 3 of 8. Three of the Burros' eight quarterback sacks came on extra-point plays.

Despite two interceptions and eight sacks, L-O was most successful through the air with TD passes of 64, 15, 40, 20, 60, 25 and 43 yards. The Cards had 13 offensive plays that went for 20 yards or more.

The Burros stayed mainly on the ground with 57 runs for 472 yards while throwing only eight passes. Garrett Boggs re-injured his ankle after completing 4 of 6 passes for 39 yards. The junior QB also ran 11 yards for a TD.

In addition to the defensive score, Anderson had TD runs of 52, 6, 43, 20, 36 and 5 yards. A 36-yard dash set up the first of his short-yardage scores. Liam Dorn (6 carries, 24 yards) had an 11-yard TD run as well as a two-point conversion run. Isaac Freese had one reception for 9 yards in addition to a banner night on defense with 25 tackles, 13 of which were solo stops, which also included 5 1/2 sacks. Kole Ruud, in addition to catching a two-point conversion pass, had 14 tackles. Clay Olson was in on 11 stops with one sack. Olson, Ruud and Freese along with Jarrett Brown and Kyle Bearbower comprised an offensive line that contributed to 511 yards of offense. Dorn and Decker were blocking backs.

While not the most points scored by LHS, the total points tallied by both teams probably made it the highest overall scoring game in Burro history.

Lanesboro at Grand Meadow

The #2 seeded Superlarks dominated injury-laden Lanesboro in the section semi-final. Unlike their earlier regular-season game (GM 42-6), the Burros scored with the outcome still in doubt. A 63-yard, 10-play drive put LHS up 8-7 in the first quarter, but the Burros would manage only four more first downs the rest of the way. On the second LHS possession, Niko Anderson scored on a 23-yard run, and Gabe Decker ran in the two-point conversion. The rest of the scoring came from the home team in the 40-8 loss.

With four starters out of uniform with injuries, the LHS lineup was shuffled as never before - on the road against a very formidable opponent. With both quarterbacks out, Kole Ruud moved from end to take snaps under center. He completed his only pass for 2 yards after penalty yardage. LHS called three pass plays resulting in one sack, one completion and an interception. The Burros had 13 offensive plays go for negative yardage and were outgained overall 514 yards to 111.

Anderson carried 25 times for 79 yards, while Isaac Freese gained 35 yards on 11 carries. Freese also had a team-high 15 tackles. Anderson, Alex Reed and Clay Olson each had 8 tackles. Jeremy Hanson was in on 7 stops.

Superlark turnovers included an interception by Decker and fumble recovered by Olson.

GM scored on half of their possessions with drives ranging from 46 to 82 yards. Sophomore Landon Jacobson rushed for 102 yards. Junior quarterback Trenton Bleifus, rushing for 142 yards and passing for 295, had a hand in all six GM touchdowns, running for three and passing for three. Bleifus scored on runs of 3, 1 and 27 yards. He hit Bryce Benson with 69 and 24-yard TD passes, In between there was a 47-yard TD toss to Cameron Turner. Five different Larks had receptions with Benson catching 4 for 107 yards.

LHS closed their season at 6-4 with two losses to the Larks. GM (9-1) was one of only 13 teams to receive votes in the Associated Press state poll and is #14 statewide in 9-man computer rankings.