Keenan Siminski, shown here running down Lyle/Pacelli’s David Diang, had seven tackles in section win over the Athletics.
Keenan Siminski, shown here running down Lyle/Pacelli’s David Diang, had seven tackles in section win over the Athletics.
Top-seeded Spring Grove had no difficulty defeating the eighth-seeded Lyle/Pacelli Athletics in the opening (quarterfinal) round of Section 1 nine-man playoffs.

The Lions scored each time they touched the ball in the first half (seven possessions and a punt return), while cruising to a 56-0 lead.

With very few reserves in uniform, the L/P starters outscored the Lion reserves 14-0 in the second half, making the final tally 56-14.

Spring Grove's two starting running backs combined for only four carries. Josh Olerud (three carries, 37 yards) scored on two of his three carries with 9 and 27-yard runs. Caleb Happel ran for 10 yards on his only run.

Seven Lions had touchdowns. Starting wingback Spencer Dunn took one handoff and went 34 yards to the end zone. Starting offensive lineman Harrison Speltz moved into the backfield for four carries (23 yards) and scored on a 3-yard plunge.

Junior reserve Jayme Lenning was the leading rusher with a career-high 98 yards on 18 carries including a 14-yard run for his first varsity TD.

When freshman Brady Schuttemeier partially blocked an L/P punt in the end zone, Matthew Schleich returned it 18 yards for a special teams TD.

Tanguy de Monval kicked 8 of 8 extra points with holds by quarterback Blaine Storlie and snaps from Nick Holty.

Storlie completed 6 of 8 passes without a sack or an interception for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

Brady Schuttemeier took a screen pass untouched for 40 yards and his first varsity TD.

Freshman Alex Engelhardt had a team-high two receptions including a 7-yard TD toss. Five different Lions caught passes including Dunn (1 for 28 yards), Olerud (1 for 18) and Mitchell Anderson (1-14).

Passing produced negative results for the Athletics. Matt Kasel completed only 1 of 3 throws for one yard. He was sacked four times for a total loss of 24 yards and was intercepted by Storlie on L/P's third play from scrimmage. Storlie took that pick 3 yards to the L/P 10 yard-line. Olerud scored from the nine.

Field position was a factor in the first half runaway, as Spring Grove snapped the ball only twice in Lion territory while running 24 first-half plays. In the second half, the Lion reserves had a 14-play, 39-yard drive that ended on downs at the L/P 25.

After only 13 yards of offense in the first half, the Athletics gained 109 yards in the second half against Spring Grove reserves. L/P never broke a play for more than 14 yards, and it took the Athletics 15 plays to go 75 yards for their first touchdown.

Freshman Daniel Bollingberg (12 carries, 44 yards) finally broke the ice on a 10-yard run. After an errant Spring Grove punt snap, the Athletics had to go only 25 yards for the game's final score when Garrett Lester (30 carries, 91 yards) hit the end zone on a 14-yard run.

The Lions totaled 327 yards of offense. Defensively, Olerud led Lion tacklers with 10 stops including a sack. Keenan Siminski was in on 7 tackles while there were 6 each by Dunn, Happel and Brady Schuttemeier. Lenning, Mikal Guberud and Brandon Schuttemeier were each credited with 5 tackles.

Dunn also took the ball away from an L/P running back, one of two Athletic turnovers.

For the fifth time in nine games, Spring Grove had no turnovers.

L/P ends the season at 1-8. Spring Grove has won six straight versus the Athletics including an 80-14 decision this season back in week four. The Lions lead the series 9 wins to 2.

In other quarterfinal action, Houston defeated Mabel-Canton 67-28, Lanesboro topped LeRoy-Ostrander 64-54 and Grand Meadow swamped Glenville-Emmons 42-8.