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Hutchinson coach Andy Rostberg has been telling his unbeaten team all season that at some point every team faces adversity.
“We tell them the important thing is how well you respond to it,” Rostberg said.
Rostberg’s Tigers apparently heard his message.
After Becker took advantage of a Hutchinson turnover to take a seven-point lead in the first quarter, the Tigers roared back to defeat Becker 28-14 Thursday in the Class 4A semifinals at the Metrodome.
“That’s the first time all year we’ve been behind,” Rostberg said. “We responded well to everything.”
The Tigers (12-0), who came into the game averaging about 310 yards rushing per game, rushed for 443 yards.
Trailing 7-0, Hutchinson went on a 10-play, 61-yard drive — all on the ground — to tie the score at 7-all. Quarterback McKinley Anderson capped the drive with a 5-yard run.
After stopping Becker on a fourth-and-7 play midway through the second quarter, the Tigers took over on their own 11-yard line. Two plays later, Mitch Petersen scored on an 86-yard run.
Becker then drove to the Hutchinson 33, before Petersen intercepted a pass at the Tigers’ 11. Two plays later again, Petersen ran 38 yards to the Becker 47. Later, on fourth down-and-2, Anderson completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tory Adams which gave Hutchinson 21-7 halftime lead.
Becker (10-2) pulled within 21-14 late in the third quarter when Eric Dudek took a lateral — after a completed pass — for a 20-yard TD.
On the Tigers’ ensuing possession, Anderson went 58 yards and then scored on a 1-yard run to make it 28-14.
The Tigers had three players rush for more than 100 yards: Adams (146), Petersen (144) and Anderson (107).
Becker’s Tommy Benson passed for 285 yards and two TDs. Teammate Joel Hopkins caught 14 passes for 142 yards.