SHERBURN - The Martin County West Mavericks and the Medford Titans were in a shootout during the first half of their football game on Friday night in Sherburn.
The Mavericks ran out of steam in the second half and the visiting Titans kept firing to earn the 37-34 Gopher Valley Conference victory.
Medford receiver Derek Butterfield caught what proved to be the game-winning pass on a 33-yard completion from quarterback Kade Cronin at 11:10 in the fourth quarter. A 2-point conversion run by Hunter Clayton made it 37-34 in the Titans' favor.
STUCK?IN THE MIDDLE — Martin County West running back Mitch Sitzmann (middle) delivers a stiff-arm to Medford defender Jacob Vaupel (right) as Tiger defender Luke Van Zuilen (left) tries to strip the football away during Gopher Valley Conference action Friday night in Sherburn. Photo by Leanna Becker
Cordell Weber and Austin Krumwiede made big catches for the Mavericks in their final drive with less than a minute to play in the game. Jake Faber connected with Weber on a 12-yard pass along the Maverick sideline to move the ball to the Titan 41-yard line. Krumwiede followed it up with a catch along the Titans sideline to move the ball to the 35.
Faber was sacked on second down and threw an incomplete pass to the Titans sideline on third down, but a 38-yard pass to Weber on fourth-and-15 put the ball on the 6 with three seconds left.
On the final play of the game, Faber threw a pass to a double-teamed Krumwiede to try and win the game. The pass fell incomplete and Medford sealed the win.
Krumwiede caught a 9-yard pass, with a defender in his face, from Faber on the goal line for the first score of the game at 10:16 in the first quarter.
Medford responded with a 10-play scoring drive, capped by a 2-yard run by Hunter Clayton for a touchdown and the PAT kick was good to tie the game at 7-7.
The Titans then took the lead on Joshua De La Rosa's 23-yard field goal to make it 10-7 after the first quarter.
A promising Maverick drive, which started with Mitch Sitzmann's 29-yard kick return, was cut short when Faber threw an interception to the Titans' Luke Peterson.
Medford took over on the Mavericks 35, and took six plays to drive the remainder of the field for a score. Luke VanZuilen ran in for the 5-yard touchdown, and a failed extra point made it 16-7.
Sitzmann gave the Mavericks good field position again, returning the Titan kick 38 yards to put the ball on Medford's 37.
A 22-yard pass from Faber to Alex Biehn gave the Mavericks the ball on the 15-yard line. A pass to Krumwiede put the ball on the three and a pitch to Sitzmann capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. With an Anders Fuller's extra point, the Mavericks pulled within 16-14 with 8:45 left in the half.
Medford was unable to get anything going on the next drive, and the Mavericks took over at the 25 after a Titan punt.
With two defenders chasing Faber out of the pocket on first down, he threw up a prayer to Krumwiede along the Maverick sideline, which turned into a 75-yard touchdown. With 4:01 left in the half the Mavericks had made it 21-16.
With 36 seconds left in the half Krumwiede picked off a Cronin pass near midfield and gave the Mavericks the ball on the Titan 45.
Krumwiede capped off the drive he started with a 22-yard touchdown catch from Faber with two seconds left on the clock. Krumwiede's touchdown made it 27-16 for the Mavericks at half.
"In the first half, we were able to make the big plays and we kept them from making any," said Martin County West head coach T.J. Schmidtke. "Faber is a great athlete that we can use to throw to anyone. Tonight there were some mistakes overall, just a lot of little things that add up when the difference in the game is five yards."
Early in the second half MCW added to its lead. The Mavericks capped a drive started with another Sitzmann 35-yard return, with Krumwiede's 9-yard run for the score to make it 34-16.
From there, Medford added 21 unanswered points to take the victory.
The Titans scored their first points of the second half on a 5-yard run by VanZuilen at 6:02 to make it 34-23. After trading possessions with MCW, Cronin connected on a 4-yard pass to Hunter Beckstrom with one minute left in the third quarter to make it 34-29.
Medford's ground game pounded out 236 yards of offense, fueled by Clayton's 29 carries for 168 yards and one touchdown, along with VanZuilen's 13 attempts for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Cronin was 7 of 13 passing for 73 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
For the Mavericks, Krumwiede caught 7 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns, while Weber caught three passes for 56 yards.
Faber was 16 of 36 passing for 285 yards, throwing three touchdowns and one interception.
Sitzmann led the ground game for MCW with nine carries for 56 yards and one touchdown.
Martin County West (1-1) travels to New Richland for a Gopher Valley Conference game against New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva at 7 p.m. next Friday night.
Medford (1-1) hosts Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop at 7 p.m. next Friday night in Medford.
Medford 10 6 13 8 - 37
MCW 7 20 7 0 - 34
MCW - Austin Krumwiede 24 yard pass from Jake Faber (Fuller kick), 10:16.
MED - Hunter Clayton 2 run (De La Rosa kick), 7:31.
MED - De La Rosa 23 FG, 1:36.
MED - Luke VanZuilen 5 run (kick fail), 10:27.
MCW - Mitch Sitzmann 3 run (Fuller kick), 8:45.
MCW - Austin Krumwiede 75 yard pass from Jake Faber (Fuller kick), 4:01.
MCW - Austin Krumwiede 22 yard pass from Jake Faber (kick fail), 0:02.
MCW - Austin Krumwiede 5 run (Fuller kick), 8:30.
MED - Luke VanZuilen 5 run (De La Rosa kick), 6:02.
MED - Hunter Beckstrom 4 yard pass from Kade Cronin (run fail), 1:00.
MED - Derek Butterfield 33 yard pass from Kade Cronin (Hunter Clayton run), 11:10.
First Downs: MED 34; MCW 25. Rushing: MED 55-236; MCW 17-61. Passing: MED 7-13-1-73; MCW 16-36-1-285. Fumbles-lost: MCW 2-0. Penalties: MED 4-30; MCW 2-20.
Offense: Rushing: Hunter Clayton (MED) 29-168; Luke VanZuilen (MED) 13-70; Mitch Sitzmann (MCW) 9-56. Passing: Kade Cronin (MED) 7-13-1-73; Jake Faber (MCW) 16-36-1-285. Receiving: Austin Krumwiede (MCW) 7-176; Cordell Weber (MCW) 3-56; Derek Butterfield (MED) 2-45; Hunter Beckstrom (MED) 4-25.
Defense: Interceptions: Austin Krumwiede (MCW) and Luke Peterson (MED).
Blue Earth Area 37, St. Paul Highland Park 21 - The Class 3A No. 5-ranked Bucs coasted to a 37-21 non-league triumph over the Scots on Friday night in St. Paul.
No individual statistics were reported.
Blue Earth Area (2-0) plays host to Windom Area at 7 p.m. next Friday night at Wilson Field in Blue Earth.
Southwestern United 12, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman - Kurt Schmitz scored the game-winning touchdown in double overtime to give the Raiders a 12-6 win over the Jaguars on Friday night in Brewster.
The Raiders got on the board first with in the third quarter before the Jaguars tied it up with running back Jared Green's 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime.
Green led the Jaguars on the ground, rushing 28 times for 168 yards and one touchdown. DaMarko Thomas ran 11 times for 41 yards, while Dylan Petrowiak ran 12 times for 37 yards.
Petrowiak was 7 of 16 passing for 254 yards with two interceptions.
Jake Wolter led the Jaguar defense with 12 tackles, while Thomas and Petrowiak each added nine stops and Jared Wander had seven tackles.
The Raiders carried the ball 57 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman (0-2) travels to Madelia for a Southern Confederacy League game next Friday night.
Emmetsburg 52, North Union 6 - The Emmetsburg E-hawks outscored the North Union Warriors, 52-6, on Friday night in Armstrong.
North Union's Jacob Braddock scored the lone Warrior touchdown with a 1-yard run in the second quarter.
Ty Anderson had 10 carries for 20 yards for the Warriors' offense. Cody Runksmeier added 8 for 18 yards, while Marshall Klingenberg ran three times for 15 yards.
Jacob Adams had two catches for 13 yards for North Union, while Garrett Johnson recorded one catch for six yards.
Braddock was 4 for 9 passing for 21 yards in the lopsided loss.
North Union (1-2) travels to Hull, Iowa, next Friday night to take on Western Christian.