SHERBURN - The Martin County West Mavericks finished out their first regular season in the Southern Minnesota football conference the way that they started it, cruising by the Red Rock Central Falcons 69-6.
The Mavericks erupted for 28 points in the first quarter and scored 14 in the second to ease by the Falcons on Wednesday in Sherburn.
"Our line has been awesome all year, and tonight we were able to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted because they were moving people," said Martin County West head coach T.J. Schmidtke.
YARDS?AFTER?CATCH — Martin County West junior wide receiver Wesley Cook races up field after catching a pass. Cook finished with five catches for 155 yards as the Mavericks cruised by the Falcons in Southern Minnesota Conference football action on Wednesday in Sherburn. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Sophomore Thor Larson, who rushed 10 times for 208 yards, started off the Mavericks scoring outburt with a 9-yard carry.
The Mavericks went 52 yards on seven plays in just one minute and 45 seconds to reach the end zone.
Martin County West senior quarterback Jake Faber connected with junior wide receiver Wesley Cook for one of Cook's five catches for 155 yards. The opening play was good for 12 yards. Cook also took a large part of the drive with another of his catches, this time for 9 yards along the Maverick sideline.
Then after Faber raced for a 6-yard gain, Larson carried the ball into the endzone on the ensuing play. An Anders Fuller PAT gave the Mavericks a 7-0 lead.
After the Maverick defense stalled the Falcons on a three and out, the Mavericks needed just two plays to light up the scoreboard again.
Faber tried to connect with Cook on a pass over the middle to kickstart Martin County West's second drive, but with the pass sailing high, it fell incomplete.
The duo would not be stopped on the next play, with Cook catching Faber's pass and racing by the Falcon defense for the 70-yard touchdown.
After Red Rock Central used nine plays to go 43 yards on their next drive, the Maverick defense, which forced five turnovers in the game, once again stepped up big.
Jordan Schroepfer, who ran 16 times for 54 yards to top the Falcon offense, avoided Maverick defenders for a 20-yard gain before the visitors looked to score with a first down at the 8-yard line.
The Mavericks stopped all progress, and on the field goal attempt, junior Alex Saxen pushed in from the right edge to block the kick, holding the Falcons scoreless.
"I think that they were able to move the ball tonight, but when we needed to make stops we were able to get them," said Schmidtke. "We know that we weren't perfect, and we still have a lot of things we need to work on, but they had some big plays tonight."
With the ball on the 19-yard line, the Mavericks' effective offense took over, needing just three plays to find the end zone.
For the Mavericks, Larson ripped off back-to-back runs of 21 and 6 yards to put the ball on the Falcons' 34.
From there, Faber found his favorite target of the night: Cook, for the 34-yard score.
Fuller, who made nine of his 10 PATs, sent the ball through the uprights to go up 21-0, with 3:26 left in the first quarter.
After another three and out by the Falcons' offense, the Mavericks handed the ball to Larson on the opening play of their drive.
With the drive starting on the Mavericks' 33, Larson took the ball and raced 67 yards for his second touchdown of the game to put the Mavericks ahead 28-0.
"We have such depth on our line; we substitute every couple plays and so I think that really helps us when we are moving the ball," said Schmidtke. "We are always trying to get our kids on and off the field as fast as possible on both offense and defense, and tonight we were able to do that well."
Martin County West (7-1) awaits today's seeding meeting to see who they will face in the opening round of the Section 3AA playoffs on Tuesday.
Red Rock Central (2-5) also will find out their next opponent in today's seeding meeting for the opening round of the Section 3A playoffs.
RRC 0 0 6 0 - 6
MCW 28 14 14 13 - 69
MCW - Thor Larson 9 run (Anders Fuller kick), 10:15.
MCW - Wesley Cook 70 yard pass from Jake Faber (Fuller kick), 8:33.
MCW - Cook 34 yard pass from Faber (Fuller kick), 3:26.
MCW - Larson 67 run (Fuller kick), 1:47.
MCW - Larson 14 run (Fuller kick), 7:29.
MCW - Sam Baker 5 yard pass from Faber (Fuller kick), 1:57.
RRC - Spencer Jenniges 65 yard kick return (kick fail), 11:49.
MCW - Baker 22 run (Fuller kick), 4:20.
MCW - Elijah Gronewold 8 run (Fuller kick), 2:41.
MCW - Brandon Williamson 34 run (kick fail), 8:40.
MCW - Williamson 98 run (Fuller kick), 2:22.
Offense: Rushing: MCW 33-465; RRC 38-72. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Yards): MCW 11-17-0-221; RRC 6-12-2-87. Penalties: RRC 2-10; MCW 4-39. Fumbles-lost: RRC 5-3; MCW 0-0.
Offense: Rushing: Thor Larson (MCW) 10-208; Jordan Schroepfer (RRC) 16-54; Sam Baker (MCW) 4-47; Dylan Jones (MCW) 3-34. Passing: Jake Faber (MCW) 10-15-0-208; Taylor Bunting (RRC) 6-12-2-87; Sam Baker (MCW) 1-2-0-13. Receiving: Wesley Cook (MCW) 5-155; Alex Biehn (MCW) 1-17; Derek Christians (RRC) 2-22; Tanner Lange (MCW) 1-13; Jacob Helmstetter (MCW) 1-12.
Defense: Interceptions: Alex Biehn (MCW) and Dylan Jones (MCW). Fumble Recoveries: Alex Saxen (MCW); Phillip Bowie (MCW) and Andrew Ringnell (MCW).
Madelia 36, Randolph 24 - Blackhawks quarterback Kyle Schultz completed 16 of 20 passes for 229 yards, while Derrick VanHee ran 25 times for 170 yards to pace Madelia to a 36-24 Southern Confederacy Conference victory on Wednesday in Madelia.
VanHee rushed for three touchdowns with his running efforts, scoring on carries of eight, two and one yard.
Rylie Benzel caught seven of Schultz's passes for 122 yards to help lead the air attack.
Jesus Lopez helped lead the Blackhawks defense with eight tackles, including five quarterback sacks. Jake Denn added eight tackles for Madelia in the win.
Madelia (6-2) is awaiting today's seeding meeting to find out who they will host in the opening round of the Section 2, 9-man playoffs on Tuesday.
Randolph (1-7) also waits to find out their opponent for the opening round of the Section 2, 9-man playoffs.
Janesville-Waldorf- Pemberton 18, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 14 - The Bulldogs closed out their regular season schedule with an 18-14 Southern Confederacy Conference victory over the?Jaguars on Wednesday in Janesville.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman (5-3) awaits today's meeting to find out their Section 2, 9-man playoff opponent on Tuesday.
Blue Earth Area 42, St. James 14 - The Bucs snapped their three-game losing streak and cruised by the Saints 42-14 in South Central Conference football action on Wednesday in St. James.
Blue Earth Area (5-3) awaits today's meeting to find out their first opponent for the Section 3AAA playoffs.