Mahtomedi running back Brandon Anderson fights through Simley defenders on Sept. 1 at Simley High School. Anderson had two rushing touchdowns in a come from behind win over the Spartans. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
The Zephyrs were desperate for their first lead of the game when Mahtomedi receiver Tim Lindquist collided with a Simley cornerback when he faked a cutback on a route he ran with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
Coach Dave Muetzel entered the huddle during a timeout, suggesting two plays; the same fake-and-go or an out route.
“I told [Muetzel] the corner’s going to collision the route again, and he looks at me and says ‘what do you want to run’,” quarterback Brodi Larson said, suggesting Lindquist continue to stretch the route.
Larson proved his assertion, placing a back shoulder fade into the hands of Lindquist in the end zone with 16 seconds remaining to clinch Mahtomedi a 35-28 win over the Spartans Friday night at Simley High School.
“When I saw the ball in the air-- it was black and white,” Lindquist said. “I had to go get it.”
The duo’s late game heroics completed a 21-point comeback in the final quarter as Mahtomedi (1-0) trailed by two touchdowns entering the final 12 minutes of the game.
That early deficit may have been the lack of experience on the varsity field as the Zephyrs returned just four starters from last year’s team that made its first state tournament appearance since 2010.
“The speed is really up there and it’s fun to play [on varsity]” Lindquist said. “Tonight Simley came out fast and played incredible.”
Evan Johnson was the epitome of that speed, returning the game’s opening kickoff 91 yards to the end zone which put the Spartans (0-1) in the driver’s seat the majority of the game.
Returning starters Adam Devore and Austin Jerylo anchored the Mahtomedi offensive line, allowing the Zephyrs to control the ball with their running back tandem of Adam Olson and Brandon Anderson.
“Devore was five or seven yards downfield before I even made that cut," Olson said, describing his game-tying touchdown with 3:05 left in regulation. “The offensive line earned that touchdown.”
Despite giving up an early lead, Anderson scored two touchdowns early in the game to help Mahtomedi keep pace with the Spartans.
As part of his coaching philosophy, Muetzel leaves his players with the duty of motivating themselves and likes encourages them to think for themselves. Larson’s call and Friday’s comeback may be good signs of overcoming adversity, but Muetzel said it's only Week 1.
“You don’t know it’s a learning experience until you go further on and see the results of it,” he added. “but for a first game this was a situation I’m glad we tapped into.”
Lindquist and his teammates aim to extend their class’ win streak and improve upon their varsity record.
“We’re not in a rebuild year,” Lindquist said. “A lot of people want to say we’re in a rebuild year after losing a lot of talented seniors, but our takeaway is to never doubt ourselves, keep working as a team and stay humble.”
Mahtomedi's Tim Lindquist leaps for the game winning touchdown, with 16 seconds left, to beat Simley Friday night. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Quarterback Brodi Larson connected with Tim Lindquist for a 24-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining in regulation, capping a 21-point comeback in the final quarter to clinch Mahtomedi a 35-28 victory over Simley in Suburban Grey district action on Friday night at Simley High School.
Brandon Anderson scored twice for the Zephyrs (1-0) while Adam Olson found the end zone with 3:07 remaining to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
Evan Johnson returned the game’s opening kickoff 91 yards to set the tone for the Spartans (0-1) as they compiled a 28-14 lead through three quarters. Jake Binley threw touchdowns to Johnson and Devon Richards, and ran in another.
Simley's Evan Johnson took the opening kick of the 2017 Spartan season all the way to the house, for an early lead over visiting Mahtomedi. Johnson also had a receiving touchdown in the game. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
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