Lakeville South running back Johnny Shabaz (24) breaks a tackle from Lakeville North defensive back Carter Patterson (33) en route to a touchdown. Photo: Matt Blewett * firstname.lastname@example.org
The South has risen again.
For two consecutive seasons, Lakeville South took a midseason change in stride. A year ago, the Cougars revamped their offense and went from a losing team to a state tournament semifinalist.
That was nothing compared to this season, when head coach Tyler Krebs abruptly resigned before the fourth game amid a police investigation. Interim coach Ben Burk kept the focus by imploring players to stay dialed in to the little things that elevated the program — film study and four days per week of weight room work.
Those little things produced the biggest upset through six weeks of high school football.
Playing across town at Lakeville North, fifth-ranked Lakeville South stunned the top-ranked and defending Class 6A champion 34-19, the Cougars’ first victory in 11 tries in the rivalry since 2010.
“Good programs put things in place so they can weather storms like that,” said Burk, who won his debut a week ago against Prior Lake. “Football teaches us how to deal with adversity. And when problems arise, you can either confront them head-on or you can fold.
“Our kids bought in and now they are reaping the benefits of their commitment,” Burk said.
Lakeville South running back Willie Bastyr (28) breaks a tackle attempt by Lakeville North's Vinnie Zuehlsdorff (5). Photo: Matt Blewett * email@example.com
The South has risen again.
Fifth-ranked Lakeville South upset top-ranked and defending Class 6A champion Lakeville North 34-19 on Friday, the Cougars' first victory in the cross-town rivalry in 11 tries since 2010.
Senior running back Johnny Shabaz scored twice for South (5-1), playing at host Lakeville North. Junior running back Riley Haglund put the Cougars ahead 27-12 with 7:12 left.
South’s defense, which bottled up and battered North (5-1) quarterback RaJa Nelson all game, squashed any fourth-quarter comeback chance thanks to Daniel Attoh’s interception.
South’s straight-T offense, which uses a three-running back set and misdirection to befuddle defenses, gouged the Panthers throughout the first half.
Shabaz struck first, emerging from a scrum and dashing 60 yards for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Cougars’ passing game also provided points. On the first play of the second quarter, junior quarterback Reid Patterson hit senior George Brekke for a 18-yard touchdown strike and a 14-0 advantage.
A 4-yard Logan Freeburg surge into the end zone cut North’s deficit to 14-6 but the favored Panthers never overtook South.
Check back later for more on the game.