Photo by SportsEngine
Wayzata fell back on its heels on the road Friday night at St. Michael-Albertville.
The Knights took a little more than four minutes to stake a touchdown lead.
Then an onslaught of 26 unanswered points for the momentum-moving Trojans, whose defense frenzied into a killer proficiency, and rode an offense that hammered away on the ground for a 33-13 Class 6A playoff victory.
Wayzata running back Deyon Loveless racked up 179 yards and two touchdowns on a heavy load of 33 carries and was complimented with a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Cole Luongvan.
By the second half, the Trojans had the Knights down and out, and were fully in command.
“We came prepared and with the confidence that we can beat those guys,” Loveless said. “I just wanted to put my best foot forward, and we all executed, especially the offensive line.”
Loveless battled through counters and inside zone runs that broke off seven runs of 10 yards or more, as Wayzata racked up 10 first downs to only two punts all night.
Loveless was the engine that made it go, the one constant for the Trojans until the defense found its footing and the passing game warmed.
“Deyon is running better and better each week,” Brown said. “His confidence is growing, and we talk to our kids all the time that you need to get better each week. Nobody epitomizes that like he does.”
Special teams also keep the Wayzata machine going, Nate Stueve knocked through field goals of 26 and 30 yards to close the second quarter.
The kicks, and the six points perhaps more than anything else, put Wayzata (5-4) in front, and seized back the momentum that was taken from them early from the Knights (3-6).
“Our kids didn’t panic, and they just continued to work very hard,” Brown says. “Good things happen to people that work hard.”
Wayzata advances to next Friday’s meeting with top-seed Rosemount.
Despite the 4-4 regular season mark, the Trojans are confident in the way they are playing right now, and feel like a battle-tested season has made them as dangerous as anyone else.
“When it comes to finishing, I feel like we got it down,” Loveless said. “We’ve battled a lot through the middle eight (regular season games), and we learned through it all.”
Wayzata rode a steady ground attack to a 33-13 victory over St. Michael-Albertville in Friday night’s opening round Class 6A playoffs.
STMA struck first on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Will Barthel to Conner Luongvan less than four minutes in, but the rest of the half—and the game—belonged to Wayzata.
The Trojans leveled the score with 10:05 left in the half when Cole Heilbrun found Ford Griffith for a 13-yard strike. A short time later, kicker Nate Stueve converted a 26-yard field goal, and then a 30-yard field goal as time expired to take a 13-7 halftime lead.
Wayzata kept command in the second half, and ran the ball with brutal efficiency. Senior tailback Deyon Loveless finished with 189 yards on 33 carries, and two touchdowns.
Wayzata advances to a next-round meeting Friday against top-seeded Rosemount.
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