Football: Defense freezes South
Rosemount's football season looked to be slipping away when a 17-7 loss to Prior Lake on homecoming dropped the team to 1-3.
But just two weeks later, the Irish took the field on a chilly night at Lakeville South and looked rejuvenated. They made some changes to a turnover-plagued offense and used their fourth straight strong defensive showing to spoil the Cougars' homecoming with a 12-0 shutout victory Friday night.
The Irish's first shutout since the 2009 season gives them a chance to move back above .500 with another South Suburban Conference win at home tomorrow night against winless Bloomington Jefferson.
The Irish lost a pair of fumbles Friday, but won the turnover battle thanks to three Cougar fumbles and an Andrew Dawson interception that halted a potential scoring drive late in the second quarter.
Lakeville South opened the game with a fumble on its fourth play from scrimmage. Rosemount answered with a 14-play drive that moved the ball to the 11-yard line, but first-time starting quarterback Jackson Erdmann's run up the middle on 4th and 3 came up a yard short and gave the ball back to the home team. Erdmann finished 9 of 10 for 88 yards through the air and rushed 14 times for 46 yards in his debut.
Both teams exchanged punts and fumbles over the first five possessions of the third quarter before a big special teams play threatened to break the scoreless tie. Rosemount's Dimitri Williams fielded a South punt at his own 37-yard line and raced 55 yards before being taken down at the eight. Three plays later, Erdmann lunged across the goal line from one yard out to give the Irish a 6-0 lead.
After another South punt, the Irish used their best drive of the game to pad their lead and eat up a good chunk of the fourth quarter. A sack on the first play pushed the ball all the way back to the eight, but pass interference penalty and two long catches by Sean Kalinowski (four catches for 54 yards) moved the ball across midfield. Runs by Trent Woodcock (21 carries for 63 yards) and Erdmann got the ball into the red zone and on third and nine Erdmann hit Kalinowski on a slant pass over the middle for a touchdown. By the time the 16-play, 84-yard drive ended, the Irish held a 12-0 lead and just 5:46 remained on the clock.
South (2-4) lost another fumble and turned the ball over on downs on their next two drives, setting up an Irish kneel-down to end the game. The Cougars finished with just eight first downs and 187 total yards as they were shut out for the second time in four weeks.
Rosemount finished 8 of 15 on third downs and won the time of possession battle 30:57-17:03 ... Gabe Ehlers punted four times for a total of 96 yards ... The Irish defense has allowed 47 points in four games since allowing 34 to No. 1-ranked Eden Prairie in Week 2 ... Lakeville South scored 49 points in Week 2 when it handed ninth-ranked Prior Lake its only loss ... The regular season concludes with a trip to eighth-ranked (Class 6A) Lakeville North on Wednesday.