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For perhaps the first time in his long tenure, Scott Haley is going deep into his system in November. The Red Wing girls hockey coach has been blessed with high-end talent for much of his time guiding the Wingers, but that often came with a short bench. This season, Haley has a front-runner for Ms. Hockey, and a support group that will roll 11 others over the board that are more than capable of holding their own.
ROCHESTER — Goodhue has weapons on offense. Running back Mason Huemann may not hit a bunch of home runs, but rare is the carry where the senior loses yards. Quarterback Jack Gadient can run and throw, and when he airs it out, fellow senior Ryan Schoenfelder is as tough a matchup as there is in the area.
ROCHESTER — Hayley Dessner was going to be a problem, but Dave Lyons knew that. What the Red Wing volleyball coach did not know was that his team would struggle as bad as it did. In their Sub-section 1AA-East semifinal, the Wingers put together perhaps their most complete match of the season. But Thursday's final was anything but, and that resulted in a 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 26-24) victory for Plainview-Elgin-Millville.
PINE ISLAND — The Section 1AAA tournament is as wide-open as it has been in years. That made Tuesday's game between fifth-seeded Zumbrota-Mazeppa and fourth-seeded Pine Island more intriguing than it may have been in past seasons. Top-seeded Rochester Lourdes, like every other team in the bracket, is flawed and beatable. This is not the year where the winner of the 4/5 game is sacrificial lamb. And neither the Cougars nor Panthers played like it.
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.
RUSHFORD — With just more than a minute to play in the first quarter, Friday's showdown between two of Class 1A's top teams, lightning forced a stoppage that lasted almost an hour. When top-ranked Rushford-Peterson and No. 4 Goodhue finally got back on the field, what transpired was not in the minds of anyone. Backed by 376 yards of rushing, and a defense that continues to dominate, the Wildcats stunned a soaked crowd with a 36-0 drubbing of the Trojans.
Rain greeted Lake City on Thursday, but there was no dampening the Tigers and their hopes for a deep run in the Section 1A tournament, both as a team and individually. A location change from a home meet to a neutral site in Red Wing ended with Lake City trouncing St. Croix Lutheran Academy, 7-0, in the first round of the Section 1A tournament. The rest of the team competition will be a tough task as No. 2-ranked Rochester Lourdes is the top seed. Lake City, ranked 10th, is the No. 2 seed, and Cannon Falls, the third seed, lost to the Tigers, 4-3, a couple weeks ago.
The goal for Red Wing cross-country is the state meet in the beginning of November. And with the section meet less than a month away, the Wingers are getting to a crucial part of their season. And what better place to start the end-of-season grind than Friday's home meet, in front of friends and family on a course that lends itself to speed.
RANDOLPH — Randolph's 3-0 start was put to the test on Friday, but the Rockets knew what was coming since the season started. Second-ranked Spring Grove is hoping to make a run at the 9-Man state title this year, and that included a stop in Randolph for Week 4. At halftime, things looked bleak for the Rockets, but Alex Folz eliminated any chance of a comeback with a touchdown pass and an interception return for a touchdown less than a minute-and-a-half out of the locker room to lead the Lions to a 53-7 victory.
LAKE CITY — Homecoming for Lake City got off to a fast start on Friday, and the Tigers ended up controlling much of their game against Pine Island. Lake City had the advantage in passing and total yards, turnovers, first downs and time of possession. But the Panthers got the edge, ever so slightly, in the most important category: points. Pine Island stopped the Tigers on a 4th-and-5 with 1 minute, 31 seconds left in the game and ran out the clock for a 19-18 victory. "We need to be a little more stout against the run.