Lakeville North Wins State Semi Football Showdown
The Lakeville North Panthers used their size and speed Friday night to defeat crosstown rival Lakeville South 35-13 in a Class 6A State Football semifinal at US Bank Stadium. Marching bands from both schools performed together at halftime in a impressive celebration of Lakeville.
A total of three passes were thrown in the game. Two by Lakeville South out of their Power T offense and one by Lakeville North. South connected for a three yard gain in the only completion of the contest. The Panthers didn't have to throw the football rolling up 420 yards rushing in the game.
Lakeville South held Lakeville North to three plays and a punt on the Panthers first possession of the game. The Cougars executed a 11 play 80 yard drive that ate up 4:59 and scored on a 31 yard run by Johnny Shabaz with 5:06 to go in the first quarter. Everybody in the press box thought the TD was scored by Noah Fiedler because that was the person on the roster associated with the number. A correction was made with the final statistics.
At the end of the first quarter it was Lakeville South 7 Lakeville North 0.
The Cougars would finish the game with 172 yards rushing. 63 yards on the ground in the second half.
Lakeville North had 191 yards on the ground in the first half and scored twice in the second quarter. Their first score capped off a 14 play 83 yard drive that took 5:36. Junior Raja Nelson scampered in the end zone from 13 yards out with 5:41 to go in the half.
The Panthers would take the lead for good with 14 seconds to go in the first half on a 4 yard keeper by quarterback senior Brennan Kuebler. The score ended a 9 play 76 yard drive that took 2:20. At halftime the score was Lakeville North 14 Lakeville South 7.
The Panther domination kicked in during a two touchdown third quarter and another score was added with 5:51 to go in the game for the exclamation point on the victory.
Lakeville South got their final score after a 12 play 68 yard drive that was aided by two personal foul penalties on the Panthers. Sophomore quarterback Reid Patterson scored on a 6 yard run with 8:57 to go in the game to make the score 28-13.
Lakeville North's two third quarter scores were a 17 yard run by senior Brian Curtis Junior at the 7:11 mark capping a 6 play 58 yard drive that took 2:53. Nelson scored with 1:27 to go in the quarter on a 16 yard run ending a 7 play 64 yard drive that took 2:43.
Curtis would carry the ball 25 times for 214 yards including a 50 yard run in that final scoring drive. Nelson would add 174 yards on 23 carries. Both backs have excellent vision, very quick feet and speed. It doesn't hurt to have a talented, massive offensive line in front of them. That line is led by 6'9 305 pound senior Bryce Benhart who will be a Nebraska Cornhusker next year. The center is 6'3 310 pound senior Jack Hansen.
Defensively Lakeville North 6'2 200 junior Landon Carter led the team in tackles with 7.5, had a sack and two tackles for loss. 5'10 190 senior linebacker Samuel Herman had 6 tackles. 6'4 245 senior defensive lineman Eli Mostaert had 4.5 tackles, 1 for loss and a quarterback hurry. Eli and his twin brother Will are going to play next year at North Dakota State.
Lakeville South 6'8 250 sophomore tight end Riley Mahlman has received offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska according to game notes provided by MSHSL .
Lakeville South junior Johnny Shabaz led their rushing attack with 91 yards on 15 carries and senior Jared Stewart had 52 yards on 12 carries while leading the team in tackles with 12 including a sack. Defensive back senior Grant Scheuermann had 8.5 tackles and defensive back senior Jacob Rongitsch recorded 5 tackles in the physical game between the crosstown rivals.
The Cougars end their season 6-6 after starting with a 1-4 record.
The unbeaten Lakeville North Panthers defeated Eden Prairie week two 14-0 and will face the defending State Champion Eagles in Prep Bowl 37 Friday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m. at US Bank Stadium.
The game will be broadcast on KDHL 920 AM and worldwide on the KDHL app. You can download the free app and listen on your favorite mobile device from anywhere in the world.