Cougars struggle with ground gameZumbrota-Mazeppa fell in its football opener Friday to Stewartville 28-12 in Zumbrota.
By: R-E News Staff, The Republican Eagle
Zumbrota-Mazeppa fell in its football opener Friday to Stewartville 28-12 in Zumbrota.
Rodney Smith rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers and Shane Mlenar threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith scored both of his touchdowns in the first half and Mlenar added his in the second half.
Smith gave Stewartville a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Cougars cut it to 14-6 before halftime.
Senior quarterback Zach VanOstrand found Kyle Forrey down the far sideline for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
The second half opened poorly for Zumbrota-Mazeppa as it went three-and-out to start and lost yards on each play.
The Tigers capitalized with Mlenar finding Will Gisler for a 5-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-6.
Mlenar found Gisler again in the third quarter for a 53-yard strike to make it 28-6. VanOstrand found Kevin Niebuhr for a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it 28-12.
VanOstrand finished 12-for-27 for 166 yards and one interception.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa finished with just three yards rushing.
“We just weren’t able to run the ball with any consistency and that was the difference,” Cougars head coach Willie Rauen said.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa faces Cotter Friday in Winona.