Mustangs avenge loss, advance to section final

There was a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Mounds View and White Bear Lake met in the section playoffs nearly every year. What made that era even more notable was that it seemed more often than not that the team that lost the regular-season match-up would rise up and get revenge in the post-season.

That scenario hadn't played out in recent years but it reemerged last Friday at White Bear Lake Stadium. Just two weeks after suffering its worst loss to the Bears in more than 10 years, Mounds View returned the favor in a 14-13, overtime victory.

With the victory, Mounds View advances to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, where it will face a road game at Rosemount on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Irish are the top seed from Section 3-6A and whipped Farmington 49-0 in the first round last week.

This will be the first meeting between Mounds View and Rosemount in five years. The last time they squared off, the Irish came away with a 12-0 victory in the 2008 state quarterfinals. This year's winner moves on to the state tournament on Nov. 7 or 8 at TCF Bank Stadium or the Metrodome.

Mounds View earned its shot at Rosemount thanks to some stout defense and offensive daring against White Bear Lake. In contrast to the game two weeks prior, the playoff match-up yielded far fewer points.

White Bear scored its only touchdown in regulation on a 7-yard pass in the first quarter. Mounds View returned the favor in the third when quarterback Chance Carnahan plunged into the end zone from a yard out.

That dearth of points was quite the change from the 70 points the teams combined for in White Bear's 45-25 victory on Oct. 11.

With the game knotted at 6-6 after four quarters, the teams proceeded to overtime, where the Bears struck first on a 3-yard touchdown pass. That put the pressure on Mounds View to answer.

Facing a fourth-and-13, Mounds View quarterback Joe Fredrickson found Jeremiah Bonde in the end zone for the touchdown. The Mustangs then eschewed the extra-point attempt and instead lined up to try and win the game with a two-point conversion. The Fredrickson-to-Bonde connection worked well enough on the touchdown play that Mounds View went right back to it for the conversion.

It was certainly gutsy for Mounds View to go for the win in overtime but not unprecedented under head coach Jim Galvin. In the 2003 state quarterfinals against Hastings, the Mustangs were in the same situation and went for two instead of settling for a tie and another overtime round. The move didn't pay off 10 years ago as Adam Weber was stopped short of the goal line by the Raiders.

St. Anthony Village

The Huskies faced a tall order in the first round of the section playoffs last week and gave Blake all it could handle for three quarters. The wheels came off in the fourth, however, as the Huskies saw their season come to an end.
Sixth-seeded St. Anthony was a decided underdog to third-seeded Blake in the Section 6AAAA quarterfinals on Oct. 22. The Huskies won just twice in the regular season and one of its losses came at the hands of the Bears in week two.

St. Anthony kept itself in the game much longer in last week's match-up. The Huskies led by a point after three quarters before Blake scored four times in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Through three quarters, the teams had three touchdowns each but St. Anthony led thanks to a pair of successful two-point conversions.

Blake opened the scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run but the Huskies answered late in the first quarter when Justice Spriggs hit Bennett Wiggins for a 2-yard touchdown pass. They added two more points when Zach Siggelkow found Ryan Bernardy for the conversion pass.

Blake went back in front with a pair of short rushing touchdowns in the second quarter before St. Anthony closed the gap with a score in the final minute of the half. Spriggs got loose for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 at halftime.

The Huskies put up the only points of the third quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Spriggs to Noah Bluth. That same duo also combined to score the two-point conversion.

The Bears were not going to be denied and they pulled away in the fourth quarter thanks to touchdown runs of 11, 3, 57 and 13 yards. Marcus Berg scored three of them and finished the game with five touchdowns total.

The loss was St. Anthony's first in the opening round of the playoffs since 2009 when it lost a first-round home game to St. Paul Johnson.

The win was Blake's first playoff victory since 2005. Coincidentally, the Bears beat St. Anthony in the playoffs that year, too.

Following its win over St. Anthony, Blake advanced to the section semifinals, where it lost 56-7 to second-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret's on Saturday. Benilde travels to top-seeded DeLaSalle on Friday for the section final.

Section 6AAAA football playoffs
Quarterfinals

Fridley 41, Park Center 14
Blake 48, St. Anthony Village 28

Semifinals
DeLaSalle 48, Fridley 7
Benilde-St. Margaret's 56, Blake 7

Championship game, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. at highest remaining seed
Benilde-St. Margaret's at DeLaSalle

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