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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 11/3/2012 10:22:19 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal correspondent

After his team’s 42-0 victory over Roseville on Friday, Lakeville North football coach Brian Vossen told his players that “Tonight we proved that we can beat anyone.” During what is the most important part of the season, the Panthers have begun to play their best football of the year.

The defeat of Roseville sent Lakeville North to its second consecutive appearance in the state tournament.

The Lakeville North defense set the tone for the night early with two sacks on Roseville’s first offensive drive, a trend that would continue throughout the game as the Panthers collected 11 total sacks. The senior pass-rushing trio of Mitch Johnson, Alex Wood and Karl Finkel were in the face of Roseville quarterback Jacques Perra all game long.

Perra, a junior, did make some great throws when given enough time. On several occasions he was able to find speedy receivers Tommy Arcand and Jabari Prim for big gains.

On Noth’s second drive of the game, running back Jamiah Newell put the Panthers on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run. Newell would add another score in the second half.

When Roseville fumbled the ensuing kickoff and gave it back to Lakeville, it was a matter of seconds before the Panthers added to their lead. Quarterback Zach Creighton ran into the end zone from seven yards to make it 14-0.

Creighton, the senior captain, played almost mistake-free football. Along with his touchdown run, he hit senior wide receivers Brandon Morgan and Ben Blake on touchdown passes of 39 yards and 18 yards, respectively.

Senior running back Isaac Sandberg finished off the scoring for Lakeville late in the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run.

With the win, Lakeville North (9-1) was given the No. 5 seed in the Class 6A state tournament. They will face No. 4 seeded Prior Lake on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Metrodome.

It was Prior Lake that gave the Panthers their only loss of the season on Sept. 28 in a 10-6 defensive battle. The Lakers forced six Lakeville turnovers, including four interceptions.

Creighton and the rest of the Panthers offense showed Friday that they have come a long way from the tough loss, as expressed in the words of Vossen to his team in the postgame huddle: “I would be scared to play us right now.”


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