Football: Irish roll, 34-13
By opening the season a day early, the Rosemount football team was playing under the Thursday night lights.
For the new Irish players, the change likely didn't alter any possible nervousness about playing in their first varsity game. The opening game of the season can bring anxiety for any player.
Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann wanted his team to get used to the pre-game jitters. In fact, Erdmann is OK if the Irish feel that way before each game as long as it doesn't affect performance. If Rosemount wants to meet its goals, every game is a big game.
"There better be nerves before any game," Erdmann said. "Our conference is very balanced and teams have to play well to be successful. It's always nice to get a win the first time out. We have a lot of areas to work on if we hope to continue progressing as a team."
Rosemount's Kevin Larson and Andrew Hausmann connected for two touchdowns passing, and Larson had two rushing scores in a 34-13 win against Bloomington Kennedy last week. Rosemount plays its first road game of the season tomorrow at Burnsville.
Larson and Hausmann got the Irish started early by scoring the first touchdown at 11:24 of the first quarter. Larson, a returning quarterback, hooked up with Hausmann for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
Hausmann also had a 43-yard touchdown reception. He finished with three catches for 102 yards and added 40 yards rushing on 10 carries.
"He is a fun player to watch," Erdmann said.
Larson was 3 of 9 passing, but added seven carries for 72 yards. He scored twice in the fourth quarter, rushing for a one-yard score and following with a 71-yard touchdown run.
"Kevin is smart and his command of the offense has grown significantly," Erdmann said."
Rosemount led 14-7 at halftime, but was able to take control in the second half. Nicholas Liska had 88 yards rushing for the Irish.
"Several of Kennedy's linebackers played both ways and were worn down in the second half," Erdmann said. "We also adjusted a couple blocking assignments that improved our execution in the second half and we had more sustained drives.
Isaiah Lufkin had a 33-yard run on his only carry and Charles Broback finished the Irish scoring with a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
Despite the big plays, Erdmann knows improvements can be made.
"We had too many five-yard penalties, mental mistakes, and we had some missed blocking assignments that really hurt drives," Erdmann said. "Big plays need to happen for us because a lot of teams will be loading the box to stop our run game. If we crack through the first and second level, we should have some big plays."
A Rosemount turnover gave the Eagles a short field for their first score. Kennedy took possession on the Irish four-yard line and capitalized with a scoring run to tie the game at 7-7.
However, the Rosemount defense held throughout, allowing just a 70-yard touchdown run to finish the scoring with less than two minutes remaining in the game and the Irish first-team defense on the sideline.
Rosemount also forced four turnovers in the game. Brandt Berghuis, Tony Prostrollo and Mike Lewis had fumble recoveries for the Irish.