Football: Irish need to cut back on giveaways
Turnovers have been a killer for the Rosemount football team this season.
The Irish have turned the ball over 16 times - courtesy of nine fumbles and seven interceptions - in eight games. Ten of those giveaways have come in their three losses: four fumbles in a Week 4 setback to Lakeville North; a fumble and an interception the next week at Lakeville South; and three interceptions and a lost fumble in a 28-7 home loss to Eagan in last Wednesday's regular season finale at a chilly Irish Stadium.
Despite all those mistakes, the Irish are in great position to redeem themselves in the section tournament. At 5-3, they earned the No. 1 seed in Section 3AAAAA and a first-round bye that advances them directly to Saturday's section semifinals back at Irish Stadium. The 2 through 6 seeds in the tournament are the same five teams Rosemount beat during the South Suburban Conference season.
The Irish will beat host a Burnsville team it defeated 38-7 in Week 2 or an Eastview squad it downed 28-21 two weeks ago in Apple Valley.
Eagan is just 4-4 this season, but when the Wildcats win, they win big.
The team was 0-3 when it beat Apple Valley 41-0 in Week 4. The Wildcats then dismantled Bloomington Jefferson, 55-7, in Week 5. After a seven-point loss at Prior Lake, they beat Burnsville 31-0 to get back within a game of .500 heading into last Wednesday's regular season finale at Rosemount.
The Wildcats took an early 14-0 lead thanks to a pair of touchdown strikes from quarterback Drew Bauer to Mack Nelson and forced the Irish into their second four-turnover game of the season as they pulled away, 28-7.
Bauer finished 18 of 29 through the air for 183 yards and three touchdowns, and added 28 rushes for 151 yards as he accounted for 334 of Eagan's 385 total yards.
After a scoreless second quarter, the Irish got back within a touchdown thanks to a 26-yard scoring run by senior quarterback Nate LeMoine less than two minutes in to the third.
The score stayed 14-7 throughout most of the third until Bauer hooked up with Michael Busch for his third score through the air to make it 21-7.
Busch added a rushing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put the visitors up by three touchdowns.
LeMoine finished 10 of 25 through the air for 105 yards and two interceptions. Seven of those completions went to Sean Kalinowski for 69 yards.
Senior running back Andy Gustafson once again led the Irish with 56 rushing yards on 12 carries.