Football: Mankato West pounds Red Wing, postseason next
There is never a good time to take a 16-yard loss. But the first play of the game is a particularly brutal moment. And when it results in taking the ensuing snap from the 1-yard line, that's just insult to injury.
Red Wing ended up punting its opening possession, after a 5-yard run, a 5-yard penalty and a 2-yard run followed the botched snap to open the game. And it didn't get much better until late in the Wingers' 63-12 loss to Mankato West on Wednesday.
The Scarlets turned its first chance into a 7-0 lead with three of their four plays going for at least 15 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jack Foster to Dondre Spann. West made it 14-0 after a 27-yard punt return, coming on that doomed opening drive from Red Wing, left the Scarlets just 13 yards from the end zone. That took two plays, with Dustin Mueller finishing it off with a 5-yard run.
Foster would make it 21-0 with 5 minutes, 6 seconds left in the first quarter, and then 28-0 when he hit Spann for a 15-yard score with 40 seconds left in the opening frame.
The second quarter saw Foster add his fourth touchdown, a 6-yard run, and Mueller his second, a 1-yard burst with 3:55 until halftime. Jayden Hatkin made it 49-0 with a 13-yard run a minute later, which was the last time the West starting offense took the field.
The Scarlet defense held the Wingers to one yard of total offense in the first half, with Red Wing quarterback Seth Yeatman totaling 24 yards on 2 of 8 passing. Four Wingers had a rushing attempt in the first 24 minutes, but came out minus-23 yards on the ledger.
In total, Red Wing managed just 162 yards of offense in the game, and most of it came on its two scoring plays. With 8:02 on the clock in the third quarter, Yeatman hit Tre Moore for a 26-yard touchdown, and then with the clock rolling in the fourth, Yeatman connected with Teddy Tauer for a 7-yard gain which Tauer lateraled to Moore, who took it the rest of the way for a 66-yard touchdown.
Yeatman finished 5 of 13 for 178 yards, while the rushing attack ended up with minus-16 yards on 26 attempts. Dontray Jackson's eight yards on nine carries was the team's best effort.
Foster's two quarters totaled 173 yards on 11 of 18 passing, while Spann caught four balls for 75 yards. Spencer Spaude had four receptions for 40 yards and a third-quarter touchdown, while Derek Kollasch had a 7-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter for West.
Red Wing ends the regular season 0-5 in the Big Southeast Blue District, and 0-8 overall. The Wingers will play its Section 1AAAA quarterfinal on the road against Albert Lea (0-8 South Central Red) on Tuesday. The Tigers, who have not scored in double digits this season, lost to Belle Plaine on Wednesday, 37-6.
It will be a game between winless teams, and Red Wing head coach Nate Freier expects his team to be the one to head to Winona for a semifinal against the top team in Class 4A.
"It's not going to be a picnic," Freier said. "Every team is a good football team as far as I'm concerned. You have to prepare for (Albert Lea) the same way you prepare for (Mankato West). And we will...I think we have a good opportunity. The kids are focused. I told them (Wednesday night), 'Nobody wants to turn their stuff in. It's time to play another game. Let's saddle up and roll.'"