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Lourdes back in section

Lakeville North eliminates Mayo in semifinal

This looks familiar.

For the second straight year, Rochester Lourdes will be playing for the section championship.

And for the second straight year, Mayo suffered a loss, one game away from the section championship.

In a Section One, Class AAA semifinal Saturday night at John Marshall Stadium, Lourdes scored 28 unanswered second-half points to eliminate Plainview-Elgin-Millville 42-14 while at Lakeville, North stopped the Spartans, 17-7.

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The Eagles, riding a six-game winning streak, will take an 8-2 record into the section championship against La Crescent. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday, also at JM Stadium.

The problems that plagued Mayo Saturday were ones they suffered off and on throughout the season.

The Spartans surrendered two big plays on defense and couldn’t gain any sustained momentum on offense.

North took a 14-0 lead with two long passing plays for touchdowns in the second quarter. Mayo was never able to break a big play, something its offense had done plenty of this season.

"Our speech at halftime was, ‘We have 10 guys doing their jobs on each play and one guy not,’" Mayo coach James Miller said. "That hurt us."

Still, the Spartans (5-5) were in the game after senior Mario Butler scored on a 12-yard run midway through the second quarter.

North answered on its next drive with a 41-yard Kyle Roach field goal, and Mayo didn’t seriously threaten again.

Mayo senior Ian Cameron was able to see some bright spots, even at a difficult time. He mentioned Mayo’s ability to bounce back from a two-game losing streak late in the regular season that left it with a 3-4 record, and he mentioned the back-to-back victories Mayo posted over intra-city rival Century.

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"You want to talk about our resurgence, it was definitely built on our defense," he said. "In the playoff game with Century, it wasn’t so much that we wanted to win, but our defense just refused to lose. Unfortunately tonight, we just gave up a couple of big ones."

The past two years, Cameron said, his class has watched as Mayo earned a high seed in the section playoffs, only to have its season end at the hands of a lower seed.

Lourdes scored on its first two possessions but PEM tied it up at half, 14-14.

But it was all Lourdes in the second half, scoring on all four of its possessions. The Eagles did not punt all night.

Lourdes held PEM to just 128 yards and only 19 yards on the ground.

"Our defense responded, just as it has the last few games,'' said Lourdes coach Mike Kesler. "It all starts up front.''

On offense, too. Lourdes rushed for 385 yards and did not complete a pass.

Lourdes had two passes intercepted, one returned for a touchdown by PEM's Jordan Kruger.

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Lourdes quarterback Tyler Greguson rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Roman added 112 yards and also two touchdowns while freshman back Adam Lentz rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown.

PEM finished with a 6-4 record.

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