It wasn’t necessarily an upset for the ages, but it was more than a bit surprising to see previously unbeaten Hastings fall to previously winless South St. Paul 10-7 in a wild finish last week.
The game serves as a tidy reminder that, especially in high school sports, previous performances don’t always guarantee future results.
We’re not giving up on the Raiders (2-1, 2-0) just yet, as they came alive in the fourth quarter, recovering two South St. Paul fumbles, scoring their lone touchdown and recovering an onside kick before missing a 40-yard field goal wide left that would have tied it in the closing seconds.
There’s not much time for Hastings, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A in the Associated Press statewide poll from Sept. 11, to regroup. In our Top Game of the Week, the Raiders, who return 11 starters from last season’s 8-2 team, have a date with No. 8-5A Tartan on Friday in a rematch of last fall’s 27-7 regular-season win for Hastings.
Lead running back Devon McSorley (58 carries, 300 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Dylan Wagner (who shared time with Colby Zak last week) will need to get the Raiders offense on track if they're to have any hope of a bouncing back against Tartan.
The Titans (3-0, 2-0) are coming of a 40-7 drubbing of Hill-Murray. Junior receiver Dorian Singer caught two touchdown passes and ran 55 yards for another TD to lead Tartan to the victory. The previous week Singer caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt 58 yards for another TD — all in the first quarter — in the Titans’ 66-0 rout of North St. Paul.
Tartan made it’s lone state tournament appearance in 2018, when it lost 35-14 to St. Thomas Academy in the Class 5A quarterfinals. Hastings has made eight state tournament appearances, the last coming in 2003. The Raiders were Class 5A champions in 2001.