Lakeville North quarterback Riley Grossman passes for a first down near the White Bear Lake goal line in the first quarter. [Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine]
After being shut out three times in its first five games, the Lakeville North offense has recently found its stride, with at least 21 points in its past four games. That continued Friday against White Bear Lake.
The fifth-seeded Panthers jumped out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter and never looked back, winning 39-0 in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament.
After being shut out three times in its first five games, Lakeville North’s offense has now scored 21 points in each of its past four games. That included Friday’s 39-0 win against White Bear Lake in the first round of the Class 6A tournament.
The Panthers (4-5) scored early and often with a balance of rushing and passing. Three different Lakeville North players — Gavyn Schraufnagel, Alex Kasak and Tommy Niggeling — scored rushing touchdowns. Schraufnagel was the team’s leading rusher with 65 yards.
Under center, freshman quarterback Riley Grossman finished the game 5-for-8 for 142 yards. He threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Najee Nelson in the third quarter.
White Bear Lake (6-3) could not find the end zone despite senior quarterback Connor Gerrell throwing for more than 100 yards and senior running back Anthony Lewis-Royal rushing for 97 yards on 18 carries.
Despite those efforts, the Bears could not recover from four turnovers, including three interceptions by Gerrell. Panther wide receiver/defensive back Ryan Brodin grabbed two of those interceptions, taking one back for a touchdown.
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