Football: Irish blow by BlazeThe top-seeded Irish (9-0) host second-seeded Eastview (7-3) Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Class 5A, Section 3 finals at Irish Stadium.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
When the Rosemount football team played Burnsville in the second week of the regular season, the Irish jumped to a quick lead and forced the Blaze to play catch-up with their passing game.
Burnsville attempted 23 passes in a 35-6 Rosemount victory.
Since that game, Irish coach Jeff Erdmann felt the Blaze had discovered a balance for its team, based on a strong running attack.
When the two teams met last week in the Class 5A, Section 3 semifinals, Erdmann and the Irish expected to face a different team than they had seven weeks earlier. Surely Burnsville would have liked the game to unfold differently.
However, three early touchdowns by Rosemount again made the Blaze turn to a passing attack. In much the same manner, it was the same outcome that played out earlier this season.
“Somewhat, except we scored much quicker this game, which ended up giving them the ball more possessions,” Erdmann said.
The Irish led 20-0 early in the second quarter and eventually extended the lead in a 41-14 victory last week in the section semifinals. Kevin Larson accounted for three touchdowns. Nicholas Liska had two rushing scores and Andrew Hausmann had the other touchdown.
“Happy with the win and that we scored so often,” Erdmann said.
Eastview beat Bloomington Kennedy, 20-0, in the other semifinal, setting up another conference rematch. Rosemount beat the Lightning 34-20 earlier this season. The Irish host Eastview in the section final tomorrow at 7 p.m.
But, familiarity was bound to be evident throughout the section tournament as each of the teams is in the new South Suburban Conference. Rosemount had played each team during the regular season except for Bloomington Jefferson, a longtime opponent from the former Lake Conference.
The Irish are used to being tested by Eastview in the playoffs. Rosemount lost to the Lightning in the section final last year. Two years ago, the Irish advanced to the state tournament with a section final victory against Eastview.
“Same thing, turnovers will determine the outcome,” Erdmann said. “We have rushed for 300 yards the last three times we have played. The thing that determines our success is whether or not we hold onto the ball. They have won four straight since our game. They are running the ball well and playing good defense.”
It’s the same way Rosemount has stayed unbeaten this season.
After running for 347 yards in the first game against Burnsville this season, the Irish had 391 yards rushing as a team last week on 39 attempts.
Larson had 141 yards on just six carries. Liska added 125 yards rushing and Hausmann had 62 yards on the ground.
“Averaging 10 yards a carry is not something that occurs too often,” Erdmann said. “We executed well with blocking schemes and reads. I think we had them on their heels trying to figure out what we would do next.”
Rosemount forced five turnovers on defense. Mitch Snare recovered a fumble, while the Irish intercepted four passes after Burnsville was forced to go to the air.
Tony Prostrollo had two interceptions. Ben Rossini and Kevin Rennich also had interceptions.