Knights come back to win
SLEEPY EYE – For its Homecoming, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to score 29 unanswered points in beating Minnesota Valley Lutheran 36-23 in a Southwest District, East Subdistrict football game on Friday.
After a first half riddled with miscue after miscue – in a game that had too many penalties to count and lasted almost three hours – the Knights (3-2) managed to settle down and make plays when they needed to.
“The guys just had to dig down deep and tell themselves that they could win this team and that they are a good football team,” St. Mary’s coach Brent Kucera said. “They just had to get it done, basically. Not much to it.”
Senior running back Nathan Schroepfer sparked the Knights to the momentum shift with touchdown runs of 2 and 12 yards to tie the game 23-23. After rushing for 42 first-half yards, Schroepfer broke for seven carries of at least 9 yards to eventually net him 143 rushing yards on 28 carries for three total touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Nick Strate was also effective in getting the Knights going in the second half with carries of 14, 16 and 10 yards before his 34-yard scamper to make it 36-23 in the fourth quarter.
“When you get those big runs, you get that energy and the team feeds off that,” Kucera said. “Nate ran very well, put the team on his back and Nick Strate performed very well – best he’s ever run. I’m real proud of how he stepped up tonight.”
Strate finished with a game-high 165 rushing yards on 15 carries and also went 2-for-9 passing with a 50-yard touchdown pass to Max Heiderscheidt on third down that gave the Knights the lead 29-23.
For the Chargers (2-3), senior quarterback A.J. Buboltz had a 73-yard bomb of a touchdown pass to Matt Stein on the second play of the game. Buboltz later found Matt Munsen from 5 yards out for a score.
However, Buboltz was picked off twice – once by Cole Owens and Nic Helget – for turnovers that led to points for the Knights. Buboltz finished 7-for-16 passing for 161 yards.
Josiah Glowicki rushed for 50 yards on 19 carries for one touchdown. Stein had three receptions for 118 yards, Munsen had two receptions for 8 yards and Jake Kettner had two receptions for 25 yards.
Both teams return to action next Friday. St. Mary’s plays Red Rock Central at Lamberton, while MVL plays at Sleepy Eye.
MVL 7 7 9 0 – 23
S.E. St. Mary’s 7 0 8 21 – 36
S – Schroepfer 1-yd TD run (Rosenhammer PAT good), 7:25
M – Buboltz to Stein 73-yd TD pass (Kowalke PAT good), 6:32
M – Glowicki 1-yd TD run (Kowalke PAT good), 8:03
M – Team safety on penalty, 8:41
M – Buboltz to Munsen 5-yd TD pass (Kowalke PAT good), 5:57
S – Schroepfer 2-yd TD run (2-pt. conv. good), 2:13
S – Schroepfer 12-yd TD run (2-pt. conv. good), 10:08
S – N Strate to M Heiderscheidt 50-yd TD pass (Rosenhammer PAT blocked), 6:02
S – N Strate 34-yd TD run (Rosenhammer PAT good), 4:54