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Woodbury overcame a slow start and an 11-point halftime deficit to advance in the Class 6A playoffs with a 24-14 win over upset-minded Osseo Friday.
Visiting Osseo jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead with a productive second quarter while the Royals’ offense struggled to move the ball. But a couple costly turnovers from the Orioles and an offensive regrouping helped Woodbury score 21 unanswered points in a 24-14 win in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
“We went back to the stuff that worked in the beginning of the first quarter, our rollouts and stuff like that,” said quarterback George Bjellos, who completed 21 passes for 236 yards. “That worked really well for us in the second half.”
A muffed punt by Osseo helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Tisdle to cut the deficit to 14-10 late in the third quarter. Then, with less than five minutes remaining in the game, Bjellos completed a pass to Charlie Jacobson who used a key block for a 36-yard touchdown reception and a 17-14 lead.
After Osseo turned the ball over on downs deep in its own territory, Bjellos rushed for a 14-yard touchdown to push the lead to 10 with less than two minutes left.
A few key takeaways by the defense and an offense with momentum helped keep the Royals’ season alive.
“There were just a bunch of little things we had to tweak,” said Jacobson, who had 114 receiving yards to go along with the touchdown.
The win kept Woodbury alive, but the games will not get any easier with one of the four top seeds in the Class 6A bracket, Eden Prairie, looming next on the schedule.
But resilience shown in a win vs. Osseo could help going forward.
“It was one of the weirder games I’ve been a part of, which is why I am really proud of our kids,” head coach Andy Hill said about Friday’s game. “Because we had multiple times where we could have just shrugged our shoulders and said, ‘This is not our night.’”
Costly turnovers left Osseo wondering what could have been after leading by 11 points at halftime as the visiting team seeking an upset win. A muffed punt which led to a touchdown, and a fumble inside Woodbury’s 5-yard line were two instances where the score swung in the Royals’ favor.
“At this level it’s about playing clean football,” head coach Ryan Stockhaus said. “In the second half, we just didn’t play clean football.”
The loss was another for Osseo (3-6) against a Class 6A ranked team in a difficult schedule. The Orioles had losses this year to No. 1 Maple Grove, No. 6 Stillwater, and No. 9 White Bear Lake to go along with Friday’s opponent No. 10 Woodbury.
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team, a lot of great young men,” Stockhaus said. “I’ve got to tip my hat to these guys, they deal with anything. They deal with hell on a day-to-day basis just to get to school sometimes.”
Woodbury is headed to the second round of the Class 6A tournament thanks to a second half surge in a 24-14 victory over visiting Osseo Friday.
The Royals (7-2) overcame a slow start in which the Orioles led 14-3 at the half, outscoring them 21-0 in the second half to erase the deficit.
Quarterback George Bjellos passed for a touchdown to receiver Charlie Jacobson and ran for another in the second half surge. Isaiah Tisdle also rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Osseo (3-6) built its 11-point first half advantage in the second quarter with a rushing touchdown from B.J. Zakiel and a passing touchdown from Nolan Sharapata to Bryce Hawthorne.
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