Rosemount football falls to Minnetonka
The Rosemount Irish football team lost at Minnetonka to the Skippers 21-7 last Friday night in the second round of the class 6A playoffs. The game was tightly contested almost the entire way and both teams showed why they are considered among the best in the state. With the loss, the Irish conclude their season with an overall record of 6-4 and Minnetonka moves on to play top-seeded Prior Lake in Osseo on Friday, Nov. 10.
Playing in the snow
Rosemount and Minnetonka played amid falling snow, though the Skippers' turf field was cleared of snow.
The Irish started off on the wrong foot when they were forced to punt on the first possession of the game and Minnetonka responded with the first score just minutes later. The Skippers started at their own 49 yard line and quarterback Aaron Syverson completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Owen Freese and led Rosemount 7-0 with over eight minutes left in the first quarter.
After exchanging a few punts, the Irish were able to drive down the field with a mix of solid running and quick passes until junior quarterback Max Carter was intercepted in the end zone. However, the Rosemount defense stepped up to force another punt at the end of the first quarter and the offense continued to move the football. Junior running back Garrison Green capped a 64-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven apiece with 6:46 left in the first half.
Right before the end of the first half, the Irish converted a fake punt from the Minnetonka 45 to keep their drive alive but turned the ball over on downs at the Skippers 31 with under a minute left.The score stayed tied at halftime.
Rosemount's drives in the third quarter were marred by penalties and Minnetonka was able to take advantage. The Skipper scored on a 6-yard run with 1:46 left in the third quarter, which was set-up by another long pass play, and Minnetonka led 14-7. Minutes later, the Skippers burst out for a 36-yard run that led to their third score of the game, a 2-yard touchdown run and the Irish trailed 21-7 with 10:31 left in the game.
From there the Skippers' defense tightened up and Rosemount struggled to move the ball. Minnetonka was almost able to run the time out on their last drive and the Irish fell 21-7.
Despite the loss, Carter said that he thought the team performed.
"Our team played well as a whole," he said. "Like coach Erdmann told us, 'In playoff football it's really about playing a whole game and taking advantage of your opportunities' and I agree with that statement."
Rosemount was able to move the ball well against the Minnetonka defense but had drives stall due to penalties, a turnover or a mistake.
"We were able to get a lot of movement on a specific play from offensive line which was beneficial," Carter explained. "The option also worked well because of our running backs' ability to speed down the sideline and how the defense was playing. There wasn't anywhere where we couldn't do something we wanted to, it was more the execution on our part."
Carter completed 15 passes on 32 attempts for 112 yards and an interception. Rosemount's leading receiver was junior Andrew Reuter, who caught five passes for 43 yards. Sophomore Jonathan Mann and Green each added three receptions each.
Green was by far the Irish's most effective rusher. The offensive line was able to open some holes for him and Green took advantage to the tune of 20 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown. His running between the tackles opened up the outside for Mann on sweeps and option plays, who tallied 37 yards on just three carries.
Carter said that it was huge how the Irish responded to a rough start to the season.
"I would say it was a success," he said talking about the season. "We started off with two tough losses and we could have gone downhill fast, but we came back with a string of wins that really brought us together as a team. As a first time varsity football player I loved it. The senior group provided great leadership and showed me how leaders should act and I hope I can provide that for the underclassmen next year. The season was an amazing experience." He also said that the senior class led by example and really made the season special, especially one player in particular.
"This years senior class was amazing," Carter said. "There are multiple players that are going on to play in college. They were like older brothers to me this season, especially my left guard and defensive end Sam Willmott, he has been my neighbor and best bud since I was born. That was a very important relationship along with many others. It was truly special playing with all of them this year, they were really a nose-to-the-grindstone, staying after practice for extra reps and being the last guys in the weight room type of class."
Graduating this spring are Jackson Hahn, Colin Pomeroy, Sam Zeigler, Lee Larson, Alex Ruhnke, Sullivan Lanoue, Jake Simon, Kofi Owusu, Jaden Itschert, Michael Judd, Cole Kraemer, Keenan Wenzel, Tim McNamara, Brady Kubitz, Brandon Horton, Chayse Gibbons, Keller Lampert, Zephaniah Barela, Seth Gorman, Josiah Skaar, Sam Willmott, Nathan Putman, Sam Marschinke, Jacob Smith, Ian Bass, Jacob Brown, Hunzala Zafar, Raysean Johnson and Asa Champion.