Big plays can be hard to come by and aren’t something that teams try to rely on. But when big plays beget bigger plays, good things happen.
So it went at TCO Stadium in Eagan on Saturday night, as Rochester Mayo (3-2, 2-2) and Mankato West came north to play at the Vikings’ training facility. Of the 11 touchdowns scored in 48 minutes of play, only three came on plays shorter than 15 yards. The Scarlets were dominant, scoring eight of those 11 TDs, as they dismantled their old rivals 58-21.
“We knew that [Rochester Mayo] was a good team,” Mankato West coach JJ Helget said. “The key to the game was to stop [quarterback Cade Sheehan] and keep him in the pocket. Our defense needed to make plays when he threw the ball up and we had a couple of big picks and we just let our athletes do the work on offense.”
Under the bright lights of the Minnesota Vikings’ TCO Stadium, it was the big-play ability of Mankato West that stole the spotlight, as the Scarlets, ranked No. 8 in the Class 5A Associated Press’ poll, passed over, ran through, and simply demolished Rochester Mayo in a 58-21 drubbing Saturday night.
Mankato West (4-1, 4-1) quarterback Jack Foster was the star, completing 10 of 18 passes for 189 yards and five touchdowns, plus another 2-yard TD run. Receiver Jon Sikel caught five passes for 96 yards and two TDs.
Wth ex-defensive coordinator and current Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz in attendance, the Scarlets scored six TDs in the first half and, after a quiet third quarter, sealed the win with two more scores in the fourth quarter. The Mankato West defense collected three interceptions.
Cade Sheehan, senior quarterback for Rochester Mayo (3-2, 2-2), connected 17 times on 33 passing attempts for 229 yards, including two TDs. Senior running back Asa Cummings assisted the offense, with 16 carries for 124 yards and a 74-yard TD that gave the Spartans their first score of the night.
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