From the Catbird Seat... In the red corner ...It’s the stuff that showdowns are made of. In the red corner, Moose Lake-Willow River. The machine that is otherwise known as the Rebels encountered its first real test in last Friday’s state quarterfinal against Pierz.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
It’s the stuff that showdowns are made of.
In the red corner, Moose Lake-Willow River.
The machine that is otherwise known as the Rebels encountered its first real test in last Friday’s state quarterfinal against Pierz.
Playing at St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium, the Rebels needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 26-20 in the closest game – by a long shot – that they’ve played all season.
In the blue corner, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
Last Saturday, WEM defeated Blue Earth 35-14 at Gustavus Adolphus College to reach the state semifinals.
Blue Earth entered the game as the sixth-ranked team in the state, but trailed 28-0 at halftime and though they cut the lead to 28-14 in the third quarter, never got closer after that.
Sebastian Lee scored three touchdowns – two offensive, one defensive – in the first half as WEM built a huge lead it didn’t lose. He had rushing touchdowns of 32 and 1 yard and hauled an interception back 34 yards for a third score.
Quarterback Tate Harmon completed seven of 11 passes for 129 yards and a pair of scores.
The Bucs (11-0) have been ranked number one in Minnesota Class AA football for most of the season.
The Rebels (12-0) have been ranked number two.
Neither team was seriously challenged during the regular season. The Bucs’ closest game during the regular schedule was a 30-8 win over Maple River on Sept. 23, but LeSueur-
Henderson played them to a 20-point game in a 42-22 section 2AA final game.
Everyone, though, knows about the Rebels and their scoring circus.
They’ve not just dominated teams, they’ve seemingly left stadiums burning in their wake.
Despite needing two fourth-quarter scores against Pierz, junior Jake Disterhaupt still ran for 204 yards on 23 carries, for a team that has rushed for more than 500 yards on five separate occasions this fall.
The two teams clash at 5:45 Friday afternoon at the Metrodome.
One thing is for sure: a titan will fall by the time that game is over.
Rebels Coach Dave Louzek has said over and over again that this team, mighty as it is, might not be his best.
That distinction would go, for the time being, to the 2009 Prep Bowl finalists because of the bond those players developed among themselves.
It’s hard to build that kind of bonding under duress, especially when you never have any. That might be the only chink in the Rebels’ armor this season.
The fourth quarter against Pierz marked the only time this season the Rebels have trailed that late in the game. They came through it with flying colors.
But when you are playing the top ranked team in the state, mistakes can be fatal and now that the Rebels know they can overcome serious adversity, now is the time to find out if they are the best.
Not just in the state, but in the history of the school.
Time will tell. Let’s play ball.