Sibley East runs over LHS
The 2015 football season came to an end for the Luverne Cardinals during the quarterfinal round of the Section 3AAA Playoffs Oct. 14 in Luverne.
Luverne, the tournament’s fourth seed, took on No. 5 Sibley East at Cardinal Field.
The visiting Wolverines unleashed an impressive ground against the Cardinals to pile up 382 rushing yards to set the stage for a 33-19 victory.
The loss ends Luverne’s 5-4 season.
“It all came down to us not able to run the football and we couldn’t stop the run,” said LHS coach Todd Oye.
“They just were stronger than we were up front.”
Although SE controlled the game on the ground, the Wolverines opened the scoring with a big passing play.
Luverne received the game’s opening kickoff and advanced the ball inside of the SE 20-yard line before losing a fumble.
The Wolverines moved the ball to midfield with four running plays before tricking the Cardinals with a reverse pass from Gavin Bates to Scott Holmquist that covered 50 yards for a touchdown.
When Lorenzo Bortloetto added his first of three extra points following the touchdown, SE sported a 7-0 lead 4:19 into the game.
It didn’t take the Cardinals long to answer the challenge with a big play of their own.
On the second play of their second offensive possession, quarterback Jaxon Nelson hooked up with Nick Overgaard for a 65-yard touchdown pass at the 6:43 mark of the first quarter.
The extra-point attempt was blocked, leaving the Wolverines with a 7-6 edge.
Luverne made a bid to gain the lead with its next offensive possession, but a threat ended when the Cards lost the ball on downs at the SE 29.
The Wolverines upped the lead to 14-6 after putting together a six-play, 71-yard drive ending with a 44-yard scamper by Kevin Durham with 9:59 remaining in the second quarter.
SE did make a bid to score again late in the first half with a drive that produced a first-and-goal situation at the LHS four-yard line.
The Cardinal defense, however, stopped the Wolverines on downs to keep the deficit at eight points entering the second half.
SE iced the contest by putting together three impressive drives with its first three offensive possessions of the second half.
The Wolverines received the kickoff to start the third quarter and promptly moved the ball 72 yards in 11 plays.
Brody Bates capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to make it a 21-6 game at the 7:39 mark of the second quarter.
LHS made a bid to answer SE’s touchdown, but its ensuing drive stalled on downs at the Wolverines’ 20.
The SE offense took the field and covered 80 yards in five plays with Brody Bates breaking loose for a 67-yard touchdown run to up the lead to 21 points (27-6) with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cardinals battled back to trim the difference to 15 points (27-12) before the third quarter was complete.
A six-play, 67-yard possession ending with Nelson scoring on a 14-yard run with 33 seconds left in the stanza gave the Cardinals and their faithful hope.
SE, however, erased any chance of an LHS comeback by putting together a 20-play, 65-yard drive with its next possession.
Brody Bates capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to up the lead to 21 points (33-12) with 2:47 remaining in the game.
LHS capped the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run by Nelson and an extra point from Chris Jelken with six seconds left, but the game’s outcome had been settled by then.
Luverne: 89 rushing yards, 257 passing yards, 346 total yards, 22 first downs, seven penalties for 55 yards, one turnover.
SE: 383 rushing yards, 50 passing yards, 432 total yards, 18 first downs, seven penalties for 60 yards, zero turnovers.
Rushing: Nelson 10-48, Erik Tofteland 10-29, Blake Baum 2-13.
Passing: Nelson 14-23 for 247 yards, Overgaard 1-2 for 10 yards.
Receiving: Overgaard 7-162, Layne Curtis 4-56, Mitchell Muller 2-29, Tofteland 1-10, Kasyn Kruse 1-1.
Defense: Curtis 7.6 tackles, Brandon Claussen seven tackles, Declan Beers 5-5 tackles, Brennan Hart five tackles, Solomon Nielsen five tackles, Logan Stratton five tackles, Jelken four tackles, Tofteland three tackles, Nelson three tackles, Andrew Reisch one sack, Will Natte one sack.