South St. Paul routs Simley in Section 3 title game

Packers gain 3rd straight state tournament appearance

South St. Paul 27 - Simley 7

The Simley Spartans had hopes of gaining a berth in the Class 4A state tournament last week, but first they had to get past conference rival South St. Paul in the Section 3 championship game.

But it was not to be as the Packers' stifling defense and high-power offense dominated play from the get-go at Ettinger Field in South St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 24. The final score, 27-7, reflected the tone of the game.

This was the second meeting of the Packers (9-1) and Spartans (6-4) this season. On Sept. 4 the game was a bit tighter, with South St. Paul downing Simley, 35-20.

The scoring in the Section 3 title game began with senior quarterback Daniel Pietruszewski's 1-yard plunge into the end zone, followed by a Sam Rohrer extra point boot to give the Packers a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Play moved to the second and Pietruszewski threw a 6-yard aerial that was hauled down by tight end Nate Brandecker. Rohrer's PAT kick was true for a 14-0 South St. Paul lead.

Also in the second quarter it was Pietruszewski on a deja vu play - a 1-yard rush into the end zone for a TD. Rohrer booted the PAT and the teams split for intermission with South St. Paul on top, 21-0.

Early on in the fourth quarter the Simley fans erupted in cheers and applause when junior wide receiver Joel Woja pulled down a pass from quarterback Michael Busch and made his way 41 yards in for a score. Brad Rechtzigel booted the PAT and Simley was on the board at 7-21.

But the Packers responded when once more Pietruszewski plowed his way to pay dirt from 1 yard away. The PAT boot missed and the Packers' led 27-7. The win gave the Packers their third straight state tournament berth. They faced Fridley (8-2) at a neutral site — Macalester College stadium — in the opening round Friday, Oct. 30.

Simley 33 - Hill-Murray 13

The Pioneers traveled Oct. 20 to Simley for a Section 4 Class 4A football semifinal contest and took it on the chin to the tune of 33-13.

The Spartans wasted no time in establishing themselves as a dominant force, scoring the first 33 points of the game.

In the opening quarter Jamie Warrick went into the end zone from 12 yards out. Brad Rechtzigel put the PAT through the uprights for a 7-0 margin.

Next it was Jack Warrick who fell on the ball in the Hill-Murray end zone for a two-point safety.

Following the Hill-Murray punt after the safety, the Spartans went on a drive that culminated with a 17-yard run by Jamie Warrick, and with Rechtzigel's boot the score at the half was 16-0 Simley.

In the third quarter Jamie Warrick found Jake Binley for an 11-yard aerial strike and a TD. Rechtzigel's PAT pushed the score to 23-0.

Play moved into the fourth stanza and the score mounted for the Spartans when Joe Matthews pulled down a 13-yard pass from Jamie Warrick. The PAT advanced the Simley margin to 30-0.

The Spartans' final score came after a drive bogged at the Hill-Murray 23-yard line. Rechtzigel kicked a 40-yard field goal through the uprights for a 33-0 leeway.

The Pioneers avoided a shutout when Randy Clintsman put the ball across the goal line on a 1-yard run. A try for two-points failed, and the count read 33-6.

Clintsman scored again from 1 yard out, and when Charlie Orloske booted the point after, the final of 33-13 went up on the board.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at or at 651-748-7826.


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