Area gridiron teams face district leaders in week six

The top three teams in the East Metro Red District following the week-four slate of high school football games were Mahtomedi, South St. Paul and Park-Cottage Grove. Those are also the teams that the three Review-area high schools face in week six.

 

Hill-Murray

The Pioneers are at home on Oct. 7 and host Park-Cottage Grove, which went 3-1 through the first half of the regular season. The Wolfpack’s lone loss in their first four games was to unbeaten South St. Paul and they own wins over Simley, St. Thomas Academy and Tartan.

The home game is the final one of the season for Hill-Murray, which debuted its brand new stadium earlier in the season. The Pioneers dropped their first two home games to Hastings and Mahtomedi and were 0-4 through week four.

Mahtomedi handed Hill-Murray loss No. 4 on Sept. 23 as the Zephyrs won 38-6. Mahtomedi led 31-0 at halftime and both teams scored once in the second half.

Hill-Murray’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter when Trent Hauser hit Eric Cote for a 38-yard pass. 

Gaining yards was a tough task for Hill-Murray, which finished the game with 100 yards of offense. Hauser and Jack Still combined to complete 4 of 14 passes for 68 yards while Patrick Kennedy led the rushing attack with 48 yards on 13 carries. Cote caught two of the completed passes for 42 yards and the one touchdown.

Defensively, Duncan Roman paced the Pioneers with seven tackles while John Eger and Drew Cochran recorded six tackles each.

Hill-Murray visited North on Sept. 30, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

 

North

Like Hill-Murray, the Polars were winless through the first four games of the season. Finding a victory in week six won’t be easy.

North heads east on Highway 36 on Oct. 7 to visit Mahtomedi. After beating Hill-Murray in week four, the Zephyrs remained fourth in the Class AAAAA rankings.

Through four games, North had trouble getting its offense in gear. The Polars were scoring an average of fewer than eight points per game. Henry Sibley shut out North 14-0 on Sept. 23 in a mud-fest game at Mattson Field in West St. Paul.

Rain prior to and early in the game made the grass field at Mattson a mud pit and as the game went along, the numbers on the players’ jerseys became less and less discernable. 

The only points of the game came in the first half as the Warriors scored a first-quarter touchdown on a five-yard run and a second-quarter TD on a one-yard run.

Neither team reached 160 yards in total offense. Sibley amassed 159 yards rushing and did not complete a pass. 

North ran for 106 yards and got 83 of those from Fisayo Oduyemi. Josh Steckler completed two passes for 38 yards.

North hosted Hill-Murray for homecoming on Sept. 30. Results of that game were not available for this edition of the Review. 

 

Tartan

The Titans have the honor of hosting a No. 1-ranked team on Oct. 7. Visiting Tartan that night is South St. Paul, which took over sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the Class AAAA Associated Press poll after blanking Hastings in week four.

The unbeaten Packers survived a couple of close calls earlier in the season but had little trouble with Hastings.

Tartan, 2-2 at the halfway point of the season, has shown the ability to shut down lesser opponents but has struggled against teams at the top of the district standings.

Week four was an example of the latter as Park-Cottage Grove, which sat in third place after four games, unleashed its offense against the Titans. The Wolfpack scored three times in each of the final three quarters to take home a 69-32 victory.

Park was impressive enough in the first half as it ran for four touchdowns but it then tacked on six more scores in the second half. One of those scores in the second half came on a 90-yard interception return.

Tartan put up its second-most points in a game this season in the loss but most of the scoring came after Park already had the game well in hand.

After falling behind 14-0, Tartan got on the board in the second quarter when Marco Hernandez hit Jordan Thompson for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Park answered with two more second-quarter scores and led 28-7 at halftime.

Tartan reached the end zone three times in the third quarter but was unable to make a dent in the deficit it faced on the scoreboard. Each third-quarter TD was an answer to a previous Park score.

The Hernandez-to-Thompson connection worked again, this time for a 63-yard scoring play. Kingston Myles added to his season touchdown total with a six-yard scoring run and Hernandez and Thompson closed out the scoring in the third on a 34-yard touchdown pass.

Tartan had only one answer for the Wolfpack in the fourth quarter as Hernandez threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game. This time he found Joevon Walker for 18 yards.

Tartan trekked to Inver Grove Heights for a match-up against Simley in week five. The game was not completed by press time for this edition of the Review.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

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