Football: Lightning bolt past Irish to end season
Turnovers were Rosemount's undoing throughout the regular season, a nd that didn't change in Saturday's Section 3AAAAA semifinals. The top-seeded Irish turned the ball over five times and fourth-seeded Eastview turned all five into touchdowns as it advanced to face Prior Lake in the section finals with a 49-13 victory at Irish Stadium.
The Irish finished the season with a record of 5-4. In the five victories, the team had just six turnovers. In four losses to Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Eagan and Eastview, it had 15.
A pair of first-quarter turnovers Saturday limited the Irish to six offensive plays in the game's first 18 minutes. After starting the game with a defensive stop, senior quarterback Nate LeMoine gave the ball back to Eastview with the first of two interceptions. The Lightning took advantage of the short field, converting two fourth down plays to extend an 11-play, 38-yard drive. LeAndre Kennedy capped off the possession with the first of three short touchdown runs.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave Eastview the ball back at the 21-yard line. After another fourth down conversion moved the ball to the five, Eric Krupke strolled across the goal line for the first of his three ground scores to make it 14-0.
Rosemount rushed the ball three yards on three attempts on its next possession and punted the ball back to Eastview near midfield. From there, the Lightning needed just five plays to drive 54 yards for another touchdown, making it 21-0 with 5:54 left before halftime.
The Irish earned their first first down of the game on a LeMoine run across midfield with 5:20 left. That play ended up sparking a 13-play scoring drive that resulted in a two-yard touchdown by Andy Gustafson and gave the home team some momentum heading into halftime.
The Irish got the ball to start the half, but LeMoine's second interception set up a short Eastview touchdown that made it 28-7. Four plays later, another Rosemount fumble set up another touchdown as the Lightning went ahead 35-7 with five minutes left in the third.
Rosemount answered with its final touchdown of the season when LeMoine found Salih Mohamed for a 30-yard scoring strike.
LeMoine finished 10 of 16 through the air for 130 yards and ran eight times for 52 yards. Five of those completions went to Sean Kalinowski for 76 yards.
Gustafson had 44 yards on 16 carries as the Irish rushed for 106 yards as a team.
Eastview rushed for 147 yards and completed all eight of its passes for 181 yards.
Thirty-six seniors were members of this year's team: Bryce Wilberding, Jake O'Malley, Matt Larson, Ben Sandoz, Brad Jackson, Andy Zeigler, Andy Gustafson, Ryan Yates, Nate LeMoine, Jordan Tumilson, Pat Massey, Charlie Broback, Logan Lindberg, Tommy Wiita, Mitchell Boatman, Michael Gubbels, Marius Lewis, Gabe Moulier, Isaiah Lufkin, Jacob Mortenson, Micah Marshall, Chase O'Brien, Greg Pavola, Brandon Forcier, Tyler Cox, Sebastian Paradise, Peter Leegard, Zak Meade, Henrik Byrlev, Stefan Sauer, Matt Wells, Trevor Jeanes, Mitchell Leko, Tyler Liermann, Justin Johnson, Bo Silberg and Tony Willman.