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Rosemount defeats Woodbury 9-7 in rare Monday evening game

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 10/26/20, 8:00PM CDT


The two teams, both sidelined by COVID issues in recent weeks, hastily arranged the game amid concerns about schedules holding up during the tumultuous season.

Rosemount’s Christian Graske (7) paused after he walked into the end zone untouched after a seven-yard run in the third quarter for what proved to be the winning touchdown. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

All things considered, perhaps this was everything that could have been hoped for

Sure, there were mistakes. Fumbles and interceptions and penalties, and one monumental game-turning gaffe on a kickoff. But it would have been unfair to expect more.

Rosemount outslugged Woodbury 9-7 in a rare Monday high school football game. Both teams had felt the constricting grip of COVID-19, forcing the non-traditional date. Rosemount had sat on the sidelines watching the first two weeks of the season pass by after a positive COVID test. Woodbury canceled its last Friday game against Cretin-Derham Hall while it sorted out implications of a positive test.

The game was arranged on the fly Saturday morning, with Rosemount’s coach reaching out to Woodbury’s.

Two days later, with nary a preparatory practice nor scouting session between them — Rosemount did have a pregame walk-through in its practice bubble — two Metro Top 10 programs met to play arguably the coldest October prep game in state history.

“Is this a tough thing to come back after a Friday night and play on Monday against the No. 4 team in the metro? Yeah,” said Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann, whose team defeated Eagan on Friday. “But we don’t care. We were very happy Woodbury took us up on this. We were just excited for the kids to get an opportunity to play.”

First report

Rosemount scored nine points in a little over a minute in the third quarter and made a stout defensive stand late in the fourth quarter to hold off a potential game-winning drive by Woodbury en route to a hard-fought 9-7 victory in a rare Monday game.

The game featured two teams that had been hit by the Covid bug and it was put together hastily on Saturday after the Royals were unable to play on Friday.

Neither team scored in a sloppy first-half. Rosemount took a 3-0 lead in the third quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Leyton Simmering. A mental mistake on the ensuing kickoff cost Woodbury the ball when it failed to cover a live ball deep in its territory. Running back Christian Graske scored from seven yards out two plays later.

Woodbury cut the lead to 9-7 on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Donald West to Mac Lockner, but the Royals failed to convert on fourth-and-12 at the Rosemount 30 with less than two minute to go, ending their final threat.

The Irish had to miss its first two games of the season after a positive COVID test. Rosemount returned to action Friday in a victory against Eagan.

Woodbury canceled its game Friday against Cretin-Derham Hall while school officials investigated ramifications of a positive COVID test. 

Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann reached out to Woodbury coach Andy Hill on Saturday about playing on Monday. The call came after learning that five football programs in the north metro will be sidelined after Friday because the Anoka-Hennepin School District is moving to COVID-required distance learning.

The Irish are scheduled to play their third game in eight days on Friday at Champlin Park. Woodbury moved its game against East Ridge to Saturday. 

Check back later for more on the game.

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