Football: Ho-hum homecomingThe Irish never trailed in a 40-6 Homecoming rout of Apple Valley Friday
By: Matt Steichen, Rosemount Town Pages
Rosemount relished the opportunity to host winless Apple Valley in its homecoming game Friday night after back-to-back losses to top-10 teams Lakeville North and Lakeville South.
Senior running back Andy Gustafson ran 80 yards for a touchdown 24 seconds into the game and the Irish ran away with a 40-6 victory in front of a big crowd at Irish Stadium.
Gustafson finished with a team-high 112 yards on eight carries as the Irish piled up 346 yards on the ground.
After Gustafson’s early fireworks, the Irish wasted little time getting back in the end zone. Apple Valley fumbled the ball away on the ensuing kickoff and quarterback Nate LeMoine made the turnover hurt with a nine-yard touchdown strike to Mitchell Leko.
Apple Valley, which managed just 159 total yards, answered with a long touchdown drive to make it 13-6 after a quarter.
The second quarter was all Irish. LeMoine ran the ball across the goal line from three yards out, then six minutes later found Sean Kalinowski for a 20-yard touchdown strike to make it 27-6. Apple Valley moved the ball into Irish territory in the final two minutes of the half, but a fumble found its way into the arms of linebacker Brian Rogers, who returned it 58 yards for a touchdown to cap a 33-point first half.
Khalid Alkhatib took over the majority of the running back duties in the second half. He rushed for 88 yards and scored the lone touchdown from two yards out with 1:09 remaining. LeMoine had 59 rush yards to go along with 68 through the air, Connor Griffin ran for 49 yards and Tommy Wiita added 33.
Rosemount (4-2) travels to Apple Valley tomorrow to take on Eastview (4-2). The Lightning won both head-to-head matchups in 2009, including a Section 5AAAAA playoff matchup, before the Irish got revenge with a 34-20 win en route to an undefeated South Suburban Conference season last fall.