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Football: Irish lose to Wayzata in double OT

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Wayzata only held the lead for four plays during Thursday night’s season-opening clash between Class 6A powers in Rosemount.

Fortunately for the Trojans, one of those plays was a 31-yard field goal that sailed wide in the second overtime and made their lone advantage stand in a 24-21 come-from-behind victory over the Irish in a battle of 2012 state semifinalists at Irish Stadium.

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Moments earlier, Wayzata kicker Clay Elmore nailed a 22-yarder that put the visitors in front. Elmore also made a pair of game-tying extra points before that, capping off a 67-yard Wayzata scoring drive that made it 14-14 with 7:49 to go in the fourth quarter and knotting the score at 21-21 after the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime.

The Trojans (1-0) were left to play from behind throughout regulation when their 13-play first-quarter drive ended in a missed field goal from 31 yards out. The Irish responded with an 80-yard touchdown drive, which featured a 41-yard bomb from quarterback Jackson Erdmann to Tray Ashby-Phan that set up Grant Jackson for a 15-yard rushing touchdown.

Irish coach Jeff Erdmann then opened up his bag of tricks, running a direct snap to Nate Sackett out of a spread formation on the two-point conversion try. Sackett was bottled up at the one, but extended the ball around a defender’s leg and inched it across the goal line to make it 8-0.

Wayzata overcame its own defensive mistake, and then capitalized on a couple of Irish miscues to put together a 98-yard touchdown drive of its own late in the first half. The Trojans started from their own 2 after intercepting a 40-yard jump ball from Erdmann on fourth and long. The drive looked to have stalled a couple plays later, but a pass interference call on third and long kept the ball in the Trojans’ hands. Twelve plays later, Wayzata’s quarterback threw a pass up the seam that glanced off a Rosemount defensive player’s hands and into the arms of Wayzata tight end Brandon Lingen for a touchdown.

Leading 8-7, the Rosemount defense held Wayzata in check in the third quarter with a pair of three-and-outs and a forced fumble. The Irish got on the board again with an 11-play drive that set up a 1-yard touchdown sneak by Erdmann with 10 minutes to go. The ensuing extra point came up short, leaving Wayzata within a touchdown and extra point at 14-7.

The Trojans took advantage immediately with a six-play, 67-yard scoring drive that took just over two minutes.

The Irish got the ball back twice in the last eight minutes of regulation, but failed to score. On the first drive, they moved the ball inside the Wayzata 40 before a 15-yard penalty for an illegal block forced them to punt. A completion to Dimitri Williams on the next drive once again moved the ball across midfield, but the Trojans grabbed their fourth interception of the game on the next play.

The Irish got the ball first in overtime and moved the ball from the 10 to the 3, setting up a three-yard touchdown by Jackson, who cut back on a wide pitch and barely stretched the ball across the goal line.

Wayzata tied it again in one play, and then got the ball first in the second overtime. After three runs for five yards, Elmore booted what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.

The Irish (0-1) are back in action Friday night at Eastview.

Statistics

Passing: Jackson Erdmann, 6 for 18, 78 yards.

Rushing: Dimitri Williams, 20 carries for 72 yards. Grant Jackson, 8 carries for 57 yards. Trent Woodcock, 7 carries for 15 yards.

Total offense: Wayzata 223 yards, Rosemount 207 yards.

Punting: Trent Woodcock, 2 for 47 yards.

Punt returns: Dimitri Williams, 1 for 10 yards.

Kickoff returns: Grant Jackson, 1 for 57 yards.

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Matt Steichen
Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
(651) 460-6606
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