Titans drop opening playoff game; Hill-Murray claims gridiron triumph

The playoffs began for both the Tartan Titans and Hill-Murray Pioneers this past Wednesday when games were moved up on the calendar due to the MEA break.

The Tartan season came to a close with a Section 4AAAA 46-19 loss to St. Paul Central, while the Hill-Murray Pioneers extended their season with their first win of the year in a Section 3AAAA 36-28 triumph over New Life Academy/St. Croix Prep. 

Central 46 — Tartan 19

In a Section 4AAAAA football game played at Griffin Stadium Oct. 14 the Central Minutemen scored early and often over the Titans. 

The 46-19 victory propelled Central into the semi-finals of the section where they will run into the upstart North Polars at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at North. The Polars, as a result of their number-two seed, received a first-round bye. 

Central put a pair of first-quarter TD’s on the board to lead Tartan 14-0 and then proceeded to score points in every canto of the game. 

Sam Gubbrud of Central tallied the first six points following a 6-yard jaunt. Truman Emmings added the point after for a 7-0 margin. 

It was Gubbrud again who finished a Central drive with a 3-yard plunge. Emmings made good to give the Minuteman a 14-0 lead as the first quarter came to a close. 

The Titans next put points on the board when Chase Fleischauer pulled down an aerial tossed by Wyatt Peterson on a play that went 36 yards. A run for a 2-point conversion was stopped by the Central defense.

The Minutemen added to their total on a third TD by Gubbrud, who went in from 3 yards out. A boot for the PAT sailed wide but Central had moved to a 20-6 leeway. 

It was Central who put the next points up when Kylan Saffold broke loose and outdistanced the pursuers on a 52-yard ramble. This time a run for a 2-point conversion went for naught but Central went up by 26-6.

In the third quarter Central moved to a larger lead when Jamal Galato made his way to pay dirt from 4 yards out. A run for 2 points was stopped but Central had pushed their lead to 32-6. 

Gubbrud got into the action again when he tossed a pass that was gathered in by Abdi Muse, who scored. Emmings made good on the PAT and Central took a 39-6 lead. 

As play moved into the fourth quarter of action the Minutemen took a bit of a breather as the Titans took a dramatic shot at a comeback. 

The Titans’ Kingston Myles broke free on a gallop of 47 yards for a TD. Kyle Taylor booted the point after and the Titans had scored 13 points. 

Central countered when Saffold broke free from 13 yards out. Once more Emmings puf the final Central 46 points on the scoreboard. 

Then it was Myles who put the final Tartan points on the board when he broke a couple of tackles and raced for a touchdown from 51-yards out. The PAT failed as Tartan fell by the final 46-19. 

Gubbrud was the number-one star of the game as he tossed for one TD and scored three times. He ran the ball 14 times and gained 190 yards for an average of 8.3 per carry and was in on 4 TD’s for the Minutemen. Also for Central, Saffold had a pair of scores and gained 119 yards on 10 totes for an average 11.0 per.


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