Owatonna 35, Mayo 28

OWATONNA -- The Rochester Mayo football team felt like it let a win get away from it a year ago against annual juggernaut Owatonna.

Saturday night in the opener for both sides, the Spartans were left with that same feeling again.

Mayo built a third-quarter lead against the Huskies but could not hold it, allowing two unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns as it lost 35-28 in the Big Southeast Red showdown game.

Mayo trailed 21-14 at halftime before bouncing back with a pair of third-quarter scoring strikes, one of them a 93-yard kick return by Cayden Holcomb.

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"I am proud of our kids with the way they battled back," Mayo coach Donny Holcomb said. "That was especially true in the second half. We gave Owatonna a short field to work with twice in the first half after special-teams mistakes. It wasn't a very solid first half by us. But then our guys kind of banded together and took it to them."

Mayo got much of its offense from first-year starting quarterback Bennett Ellsworth. The junior finished 18-for-33 passing, for 274 yards and a touchdown. The scoring strike was an 11-yard pass to Michael Mankaka.

Both sides got the vast majority of their offense through the air. Owatonna quarterback Brayden Truelson finished with 240 yards passing.

"Bennett really played a good game for his first start," Donny Holcomb said of Ellsworth.

After building that third-quarter lead, Holcomb said his team wore down. The result was his guys getting outscored 14-0 in the crucial fourth quarter.

Owatonna never quit," Holcomb said. "You have to give them credit."

Owatonna 35, Mayo 28

Mayo 0 14 14 0 -- 28

Owatonna 7 14 0 14 -- 35

First quarter

O -- Brayden Truelson 1 run (Versteeg kick), 1:49.

Second quarter

O -- Matt Seykora 1 run (Versteeg kick), 11:12.

M -- Demonte Simmons 1 run (Gideon Heng kick), 7:00.

O -- Brayden Truelson 4 run (Versteeg kick), 3:01.

M -- Michael Mankaka 11 pass from Bennett Ellsworth (Heng kick), :29.

Third quarter

M -- Cayden Holcomb 93 kick return (kick failed), 11:50.

M -- Simmons 5 run (Dominic Stencil pass from Ellsworth), 4:02.

Fourth Quarter

O -- P. Beyer 25 pass from Truelson (Versteeg kick), 9:48.

O -- Tanner Hall 4 run (Versteeg kick), 3:00.



First downs 17 22

Total net yards 314 326

Rushes-yards 40 86

Passing yards 274 240

Comp.-att.-int. 18-33-0 18-25-1

Penalties-yds. 5-35 4-40

Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2

Punts-avg. 5-31.8 2-43.5



Mayo — Demonte Simmons 11-36, Noah Smith 5-7, Lebron See-Stadstad 3-7, Bennett Ellsworth 3-(minus 9). Owatonna -- Tanner Hall 21-92, Matt Seykora 2-3, Brayden Truelson 11-(minus 9).


Mayo -- Ellsworth 18 completions, 33 attempts, 0 interceptions, 1 touchdown for 274 yards. Owatonna — Truelson 18-25-1-1 for 240 yards.


Mayo Mason Greseth 6-97, Cayden Holcomb 5-87, Carter Holcomb 1-28, Dominic Stencil 1-22, Michael Mankaka 4-22, Demonte Simmons 1-18, . Owatonna Peyton Beyer 7-114, Connor Budach 2-36 Tanner Hall 3-34, Caleb Vereide 4-31, Jack Titchenal 2-25