Miscues bury Mounds View in loss at Stillwater

The Mounds View High School football team saw its three-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Stillwater Ponies last week. Stillwater took advantage of a slew of Mounds View turnovers to open a 17-point lead in the first half en route to a 20-7 victory.

Mounds View turned the ball over three times in the first half and Stillwater converted those miscues into 14 points. The Mustangs’ other three first-half possessions ended in punts and two of those were three-and-out situations.

The loss dropped Mounds View to 4-2 overall heading into a tough final two games. The Mustangs return home this week to host a Jekyl and Hyde Woodbury team. 

The Royals, picked by some to have a solid season based on some Division I-caliber talent on the roster, struggled out of the gate and opened the season 0-3. Since then, Woodbury has won three in a row by shutting out two opponents, including Stillwater in week five, and drilling White Bear Lake 50-23 last week.

The Stillwater team that Mounds View faced last week entered the game having lost three in a row. In addition to falling to Woodbury, the Ponies lost 42-21 to Cretin-Derham Hall in week three and 30-7 to East Ridge the following week.

All of that was forgotten in a hurry in the second quarter. Holding a 3-0 lead thanks to a 25-yard, first-quarter field goal, Stillwater tacked on 14 points in the second quarter after Mounds View fumbled on consecutive possessions.

The first fumble gave Stillwater the ball on the Mounds View 24-yard line and two plays later the Ponies were in the end zone. Stillwater scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass.

The second giveaway set up the Ponies on the Mustangs’ 25 and four plays later Stillwater converted on a three-yard touchdown pass.

Mounds View tried to climb back into the game as Ryan Nickel hit Jack Graham for a 12-yard touchdown pass with four minutes left in the third quarter. That would be it for the Mustangs’ scoring, however.

Stillwater scored the only points of the fourth quarter on a 26-yard field goal.

Aside from the turnovers, the story of the game was Stillwater’s defense, which held Mounds View to 127 total yards. Nickel threw for 82 yards and the Mustangs’ ground game accounted for 45.

Mounds View held the Ponies to 210 yards of total offense but a couple of short fields thanks to those fumbles in the second quarter were enough to sink the Mustangs.

Following the Woodbury game, Mounds View closes out the regular season in week eight with a trip to St. Paul to face Cretin-Derham Hall. The Mustangs probably need a win in one of their final two games to earn a home game in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

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