Irish get to stay inside
Several members of the Rosemount football team gathered on the Griffin Stadium field after their Class 5A state quarterfinal game.
Many of those in attendance that evening chose not to stick around because of the frigid weather conditions.
Some of the players wore large coats. The breaths taken by the group were visible in the cold, damp air. Senior quarterback Chase Vogler shivered as he was interviewed by a reporter.
After what transpired on the field, the Irish weren't really feeling cold. In fact, thanks to their 12-0 victory against Mounds View in the state quarterfinals, they won't have to feel that way again this season.
From now on, they will be playing inside.
"We're hot, we're hot right now," senior captain Garrett Glaus said. "We came out here. It was snowing. This is awesome. We're going to the Ddome. We have our own dome to use, so we have a good week of indoor football. Hopefully, we will have three more weeks of football left."
Glaus got the Irish started in last week's 12-0 quarterfinals victory with a 17-yard touchdown catch on the first offensive possession for Rosemount. Then Glaus essentially ended the game with a late fourth-quarter interception.
The win propels the Irish into the state semifinals on Saturday where they will face No. 2-ranked Wayzata at the Metrodome. The finals will be Friday, Nov. 28 at the Metrodome.
"You have to go to the Dome," Glaus said. "Getting to state, you have to get to the Dome to make it feel like state and we got there."
Glaus' touchdown, on which he dragged his feet just inside the sideline, gave Rosemount a quick 6-0 lead.
"He likes to bail me out," Vogler said. "I led him a little too much. But I have faith in him."
Vogler also hit Zachary Vraa on a 67-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for the final 12-0 advantage.
But the quarterback also missed the second half after breaking a bone in his left hand.
Vogler and coach Jeff Erdmann expect him to play Saturday.
"I will be back Saturday, hopefully," Vogler said after last week's win. "I don't think anything hurts right now. It feels great to go to the Dome. It's been my dream since I was a little squirt watching football at our stadium. So, it feels good to have it come true."
The two first-half scores were more than enough for a defense that put the clamps on Mounds View's offense.
Rosemount posted its third shutout of the season -- second of the playoffs -- with Glaus and Garett Bothun intercepting passes. Christian Willman also recovered a fumble.
The Irish have allowed just two touchdowns in four playoff games.
With Vogler on the sideline, Ben Lucius entered as quarterback in the second half. With Lucius and the running backs leading the way, the Irish chewed up large portions of the game clock with the running game.
Andrew Malicki had 20 carries for 65 yards. Lucius had 12 carries for 40 yards.
"Lucius, it's hard with him because he is a backup strong safety, he's a backup outside linebacker, he's a backup quarterback," Erdmann said. "So, during practice he is all over the place. We're a little more limited with what we can do with him because of how versatile he is."
But time-consuming offense plays right into the hands of a stout defense.
"Offense is key too because they are staying on the field and keeping the defense off the field," said senior linebacker Max Busher. "Defensively, everybody is executing. D-Line is firing off the ball. Outside guys are containing and the D-backs are locking it down pretty good. It comes down to execution and when everybody executes, good things happen."