MAYER – Just when it looked the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms were on their way to another convincing win, the Mayer Lutheran Crusaders gave them all they could handle. The Crusaders trailed by three scores two different times in the game, only to rally and close the deficit to just one score. In the end, it was the Awesome Blossoms who added a late score on a controversial call to hold off the Crusaders for a 48-34 victory Friday night in a battle between two of the top-ranked teams in Class A.
“It was exactly what we expected,” Mayer Lutheran coach Dean Aurich said. “We told the kids that this is going to tell us where we are at right now, but we got three or four more weeks to get better. This was a big test for us. We knew that.”
Blooming Prairie, the No. 4 ranked team in Class A, came out swinging. After going three and out on their first drive of the game, the Awesome Blossoms got the scoring started midway through the first quarter. Seth Peterson found Ben Hagen for a two-yard touchdown, giving the Blossom a 6-0 lead. Peterson was just getting started as he threw another touchdown early in the second quarter, extending Blooming Prairie’s lead to 13-0.
Down two scores and in an unfamiliar position, Mayer Lutheran battled back. The Crusaders finally got on the board with a 25-yard touchdown connection between Baden Noennig and Mitchell Thiesfeld. The big play capped off a six play 60 yard drive for their first score.
Just when it looked the Crusaders had some momentum going their way, Peterson and the Awesome Blossoms got hot again. Peterson threw two more touchdown passes in the second quarter, giving Blooming Prairie a 26-7 lead with just under four minutes to go.
Down three scores, Mayer Lutheran knew how important it was to get some points on the board before half. What happened next couldn’t have been drawn up any better. On 4th and 10 desperately needing points, Noennig found Mark Masters for a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 26-14 with just over a minute left to play in the first half.
Instead of going into the half with a two-score lead, Blooming Prairie elected to be aggressive, and Mayer Lutheran made them pay for it. Peterson’s pass was tipped by Zander Flucas, and right into the hands of Kaleb Winter, for a huge interception that set up the Crusaders in scoring position again.
It didn’t take long for Mayer Lutheran to turn the interception into points. A 22-yard touchdown pass from Noennig to Austin Crown brought the Crusaders within one score at the half.
“It was a big swing,” Aurich said. “That Winter interception was big, and then it just went our way.”
Look for the rest of the story, as well as more HJ sports coverage, in the Friday, Oct. 19 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.
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PREP FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD – WEEK 7
MID SOUTHEAST (WEST)
Blooming Prairie 48, Mayer Lutheran 34
Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 38, Bethlehem Academy 6
Medford 35, MN Valley Lutheran 26
St. Clair/Loyola 22, Kenyon-Wanamingo 6
United South Central 40, J-W-P 6
EAST CENTRAL SOUTH
Milaca 28, Watertown-Mayer 7
Delano 20, Litchfield 13
Holy Family 33, Dassel-Cokato 7
Annandale 21, Glencoe-Silver Lake 0
MID STATE SUB 1
Eden Valley-Watkins 54, HLWW 20
Melrose 28, Holdingford 6
Rockford 14, Maple Lake 6
Pierz 47, Paynesville 14