Gabriel Wolff (3) got around Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted defender Lance Luchsinger (18) on his way to a 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Jackson County Central's 27-0 victory. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Playoff football in Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. While recent weekends have seen sunny days and temperatures nearing the 70s, Thursday night is what you’d expect out of a state tournament game in November, with winds blowing near 20 miles per hour.
Jackson County Central was built for this kind of football, as it came away with a 27-0 victory over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in the Class 2A quarterfinals. Head coach Tom Schuller noted the effect the cold can have on a team’s game.
“It gets to be such a different game plan this time of year,” Schuller said. “You can’t throw the ball and you see the spread teams get into a little bit of trouble.”
A group of Jackson County Central defenders including Logan Butzon (11) wrapped up Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted running back Collin Boese (32) after a short gain in the second half. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Jackson County Central is on its way to U.S. Bank Stadium after defeating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 27-0 in the Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday in St. Anthony.
The opening drive for the Huskies took up a majority of the first quarter as they ran the ball at will, mainly featuring Gabriel Wolff out of the backfield. The senior racked up 46 yards on the first drive and capped it off with a five-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter.
Their second scoring drive took far less time, as Wolff took an outside handoff, broke multiple tackles, then sped away from the secondary for a 64-yard touchdown. Wolff finished with a game-high 182 rushing yards.
The Huskies had a chance to take full control of the game right before the half, but Cam Jones recovered a fumble for the Lakers to keep it a 14-point game.
The Lakers (9-3) slowed down Wolff early in the second half, forcing a three-and-out on the opening drive of the half. Their ensuing drive ate up a lot of clock and eventually ended with an interception by Caleb Vancura on a fake punt attempt in Jackson County Central territory.
Vancura made another big catch later in the next drive, as he hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Roman Voss on the freshman’s second pass of the game.
Noah Thompson scored on the ground in the final minute to put an exclamation point on a dominant victory for the Huskies (12-0).
Jackson County Central quarterback Roman Voss (2) tried to elude Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted defender Bruce Burau (14) as he ran for a first down in the second quarter. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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