Sibley East’s football team couldn’t put the brakes on Mayer Lutheran’s rushing attack Friday. The Wolverines were upended by the Crusaders 33-6 in Minnesota River Conference (MRC) action at Arlington.
The visitors rallied for a 27-0 lead at halftime. Sibley East would strike first in the second half but it would prove to be the end of the highlights for the black and gold.
Mayer Lutheran racked up nearly 300 rushing yards on 67 attempts. All five touchdowns for the Crusaders came from their running game. Colton Otto led the charge for Mayer Lutheran with 117 yards on 20 carries.
Time of possession was also dominated by the visitors. Mayer Lutheran had more than 80 offensive plays on the night, twice as many as the Wolverines.
Sibley East again failed to establish any kind of rushing attack. The Wolverines gained 38 yards on 16 carries.
A fumble on Sibley East’s first play from scrimmage set up the opening touchdown of the night for the Crusaders. Mayer Lutheran took over the ball on the 35-yard line and scored on eight plays.
The Crusaders extended their lead to 12-0 later in the first frame. A four yard run by Clay Hoese capped an eight play, 65-drive by Mayer Lutheran.
Another Sibley East fumble set up a touchdown for the Crusaders early in the second frame. Mayer Lutheran took over on the Wolverines’ 26-yard line and scored in five plays. This time the Crusaders were successful on the two point conversion attempt extending their lead to 20-0.
A 25-yard pass play set up the final touchdown of the half for Mayer Lutheran. Otto capped the seven play, 50-yard drive for the Crusaders with a two yard touchdown run. A extra point kick gave Mayer Lutheran a 27-0 lead at halftime.
Sibley East fans were heard from early in the second half. Mayer Lutheran fumbled on its second play from scrimmage and the loose ball was pounced on by Sibley East junior A.J. Dufrane.
The Wolverines quickly turned the miscue into points as quarterback Erik Goetsch connected with Nate Pilacinski for a 36-yard touchdown. Sibley East’s extra point kick was blocked.
Mayer Lutheran would foil in chance of a Sibley East comeback by answering on the ensuing possession. The Crusaders ate up much of the third quarter clock with an eleven play, 58-yard scoring drive. David Mielke reached paydirt for Mayer Lutheran with a 15-yard scamper.
Goetsch completed a 29-yard pass to Brett Pioske on Sibley East’s next drive but the Wolverine offense would be stymied the rest of the way.
Goetsch finished the game completing 4 of 17 passes for 89 yards. Pilacinski was his top target. The junior caught 3 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also charted 73 yards on four kick returns.
Lincoln Bjorklund led Sibley East’s defense with a season best 17 tackles. Todd Pauly and Pioske added 15 and 12 tackles respectively. Pioske also had an interception while DuFrane and Dustin Reid recovered fumbles.
Other top tacklers for Sibley East included: Brandon Salisbury (9), DuFrane (9), Andy McGuire (7) and Sean Dietz (7).
Gridders will open playoffs at Glencoe on Tuesday
It will be a tough task for Sibley East’s footballers on Tuesday, October 23rd. The Wolverines will face defending state champion Glencoe-Silver Lake in the opening round of the Section 3AAA playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Glencoe.
In recent years, Glencoe-Silver Lake has proven to be one of the top football programs in the state. The Panthers won another state title last season and are undefeated in their 2007 campaign.
GSL sealed a top seed in the section with a 49-7 win over Annandale last week.