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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 11/8/2012 9:04:03 PM

By Luke Sleeper
Johnís Journal correspondent

After his teamís upset victory over Edina on Friday, Rosemount football coach Jeff Erdmann said, ďNobody knew who we were, no one thought we could do it except us and (the fans) in the crowd.Ē

Rosemountís 14-10 defeat of No. 1-seeded Edina in the Class 6A quarterfinals at the Metrodome should do more than enough to let others know about the unseeded Irish, who were 4-4 in the regular season. A game that was filled with penalties, turnovers and more penalties ended with a last-minute drive by Edina that came up short.

Edina had a slow start on offense until senior quarterback Mark Handberg hit junior receiver Erik Veker for a 44-yard pass. Moments later, Handberg gave his team an early lead by running in a touchdown from six yards out.

A 37-yard field goal by Patrick LeCorre gave the Hornets a 10-0 lead at halftime.

Rosemount, historically a run-first team, found much of its success through the passing game Friday. Jackson Erdmann, the Irish sophomore quarterback and coachís son, at times picked apart the Edina defense with his favorite targets: senior Sean Kalinowski and sophomore Dimitri Williams.

Williams was a vital piece to the Rosemount attack; Erdmann used him very creatively -- similar to the way the Vikings use star receiver Percy Harvin. One play he is in the backfield, the next heís split out wide.

A trick play by the Irish spurred them on to their first score. Erdmann threw a backwards pass to Kalinowski, who hit Williams downfield for a gain of 27 yards. The drive finished with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kalinowski.

Long passing plays to Kalinowski and Williams set up Rosemountís second touchdown, a 1-yard run by Williams.

It was then up to Edina (9-2) to respond. Its best chance came when Handberg found an open Vecker downfield. The pass fell through his hands just yards away from the end zone.

A few plays later, Irish defensive lineman Brian Rogers sacked Handberg on fourth down, ending Edinaís hopes at a state championship. The Rosemount defensive line made Handberg uncomfortable all game long.

Rosemount (7-4) advances to play in the semifinals next week, where it will play fifth-seeded Lakeville North.

Lakeville North 23, Prior Lake 3

Lakeville North avenged an early-season loss to South Suburban Conference rival Prior Lake with a 23-3 victory in the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament.

The Metrodome rematch between the No. 4-seeded Lakers and No.5-seeded Panthers began the same as the first meeting: two tough defenses battling it out as the teamís offenses struggled to gain yards on the ground or through the air.

Prior Lake kicker Eric Tusa put the first points on the board with a booming 45-yard field goal, but it was a Lakeville drive late in the first half that proved to be the turning point in the game.

The Panthers (10-1) found their rhythm through big runs by junior running back Jamiah Newell. A long run by Lakeville North quarterback Zach Creighton put his team in field goal position as time was ticking away in the first half. Senior kicker Hunter Cobb tied the score on a field goal with seconds to spare.

Creighton most likely wanted this rematch more than anyone. The senior captain threw five interceptions in his teamís first meeting with Prior Lake on Sept. 28. He and Newellís success in the ground game opened up opportunities for Creighton in the passing game.

The now-balanced Panther offensive attack had much more success in the second half. Newell had two rushing touchdowns, capitalizing on his brother Kyrellís two key interceptions of Prior Lake quarterback Nick Vanek.

Senior linebacker Mitch Johnson scored the final touchdown for Lakeville North late in the fourth quarter from 1 yard out.


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