Bilhal Kone scored three TDs Saturday night, helping catapult Apple Valley into the Class 5A, Section 3 final after beating Hastings 37-6. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy/ Sun Thisweek Newspapers
Apple Valley running back Connor Elliot (26) tries to fend off Hastings defender John Chorlton. After beating the Raiders 37-6, the Eagles will face St. Thomas Academy in the Class 5A, Section 3 final. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy/ Sun Thisweek Newspapers
There isn’t enough room on the roster to define Apple Valley’s Bilhal Kone. He’s listed as a wide receiver and defensive back, but his roles don’t end there.
Kone rushed for two touchdowns, caught another touchdown, and handled all kicking and punt duties for No. 2 seed and host Apple Valley, which throttled No. 3 Hastings 37-6 in Saturday’s Class 5A, Section 3 semifinal.
“I just listen to what my coaches tell me and whatever position they put me, I just try to go through and roll on from there,” Kone said. “It doesn’t really matter what I have to do. Anything for the team.”
After a 1-4 start to the season, which included losses to two ranked foes and a Class 6A opponent, Apple Valley (5-4) has won four straight by an average of 24 points.
Hastings quarterback Dylan Wagner looks to pass in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Apple Valley. The Raiders lost the Class 5A, Section 3 semifinal to the Eagles. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy/ Sun Thisweek Newspapers
It was deja vu in the best way for Apple Valley.
Ten days after a 38-point dismantling in the regular season finale against Hastings, the No. 2 seed and host Eagles again roughed up the No. 3 Raiders, this time by a 37-6 final Saturday in the Class 5A, Section 3 semifinals.
Apple Valley’s Bilhal Kone did it all. He rushed for two touchdowns, caught a touchdown from Noah Halmer and, just before halftime, kicked a 32-yard field goal to put his team up 17-0.
Kone also ran a faked punt on 4th-and-17 from the Hastings' 37 for 23 yards to set up his touchdown grab in the second quarter.
Linebacker Tony Anger picked off two passes on defense and was the bell cow in the backfield for the Eagles. He rushed 21 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Jason Fischbach caught a 73-yard touchdown pass from Halmer.
Devon McSorley helped Hastings (4-6) find glimpses of success with a power running game. The senior running back finished with 21 rushes for 88 yards.
Isadore Arnold caught a 3-yard touchdown from Dylan Wagner for Hasting’s touchdown against Apple Valley’s reserves in the fourth quarter.
Apple Valley (5-4) advances to the section championship 7 p.m. Friday at No. 1 St. Thomas Academy (8-1), which beat No. 4 Park of Cottage Grove 49-0 on Saturday.
MN Football Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.