week in review 10-20
By Craig Swalboski
After finding itself at the last minute unexpectedly playing on its home field, the Rochester Mayo Spartans played brilliantly, decisively beating crosstown rival Century 28-6 Wednesday night. Terrible field conditions forced the move of the game from Century to Mayo. The Spartans’ Mario Butler rushed for 308 yards and four touchdowns. Century had already clinched the Big Nine Conference championship and still drew the No. 2 seed for the Section One, Class AAAAA playoffs. First-round opponent? Mayo.
John Marshall beat Austin 35-14 on Oct. 12 and then thumped Mankato East 28-7 to finish with a 5-3 record and the No. 5 seed. The Rockets travel to Lakeville North in Tuesday’s section quarterfinals.
Lourdes topped Byron 21-7 in Wednesday’s regular-season finale to earn a share of the Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division championship and the No. 1 seed in the Section One, Class AAA playoffs. Alex Roman rushed for 211 yards, giving him 1,427 for the season, a school record.
Southland survived a scoreless second half to beat Caledonia 14-13 in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Rebels thus won the Three Rivers Conference South Division championship, but the Warriors got a No. 1 seed in the section (1AA) while Southland is No. 3 in the rugged Section 2AA tournament.
Stewartville played La Crescent tough but lost 13-10 when the Lancers ran the final 3 minutes, 11 seconds off the clock, including a fourth-and-inches conversion from their own 28-yard line. La Crescent tied Lourdes for the HVL Blue title, while Triton — thanks to Chace Sackett’s interception in the final minute of play — edged Winona Cotter 30-28 to take the HVL Gold crown.
But the defending state Class AA champion Cobras are seeded second in 2AA behind unbeaten New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
Others to be seeded first in their sections in pairings announced Thursday include Lakeville South in Section One of Class AAAAA, Northfield in 1AAAA, Goodhue in 1A and Houston in Section One, Nine-Man.
Mayo advanced to the state Class AA meet with a 3-2 overtime win over Century in the Section One championship game. Venezuelan exchange student Rodrigo Lepervanche scored the winning goal. The Spartans were the No. 3 seed in the section; they last went to state in 2004.
The Lourdes boys were ranked sixth in the state Class A poll and seeded first in Section 1A, and the Eagles looked like they were bound for a return trip to the state tournament. But Northfield scored with 7.2 seconds left to tie the game, and after a scoreless overtime, Northfield won a shootout 5-4 to win the section championship game 3-2 and advance to state.
The Century girls eliminated Mayo 2-0 in the section semifinals but then lost to No. 1 seed Lakeville South 3-0 in Tuesday’s title game.
The fifth-seeded Lourdes girls played a strong game last Saturday in scoring a mild upset, 5-2 over No. 4 Kasson-Mantorville in the Section 1A quarterfinals. But the Eagles ran into a buzzsaw in Tuesday’s semifinals, losing 6-0 to No. 1 La Crescent on a muddy field.
Century’s Emily Rogers won her second straight Section 1AA singles championship, winning in the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship in straight sets, losing only seven games in the six sets. Rogers was third in the state meet last year and advances there again. Mayo’s Emilie Renault and Erin Kappers won the doubles title, with Century’s Jory Kircher and Mary Ellen Donovan taking second place to also advance.
In Class A, Lourdes advanced two singles players and one doubles team to the state individual meet. Alexa Palen crushed teammate Courtney Rust 6-0, 6-2 in the singles final; both advance to state. The doubles team of Sarah Rossman and Mary Utz were runners-up and also qualify.
In team play the previous week, both Mayo and Lourdes won section titles and will compete for state championships in their respective classes, beginning Wednesday.
Kelsey Torchia of Lourdes was the individual winner in the Hiawatha Valley League girls cross country meet Wednesday in Stewartville. The Eagles won the team title, too. Byron was the boys team champion, and Winona Cotter’s Donny Wasinger was individual champion, coming in 47 seconds ahead of runner-up Travis Beniak of Zumbrota-Mazeppa.
Kristen Ostrem of Rushford-Peterson/Lewiston-Altura was girls champion and Tom Pesch of Plainview-Elgin-Millville was the boys champion in the Three Rivers Conference meet. Dover-Eyota/St. Charles won the girls team title and PEM the boys.
In the Big Nine Conference meet, Mayo’s Hilary Noska was second in the girls race and the Mayo team was third. In the boys competition, Century had four runners in the top 17 and placed third. Shane Steele of Century was sixth to lead all Rochester boys in the race.