New London-Spicer's Brycen Christensen (81) blocks Milaca's Peyton Hunt (7) from a pass as the Wildcats defeated the Wolves 18-14. Photo by Aiyanna Taylor, SportsEngine
New London-Spicer found itself in a familiar spot at halftime on Thursday night. The Wildcats fell behind early and trailed 14-6. So what does the coaching staff tell the team at halftime while trailing once again this postseason? New London-Spicer head coach Chad Gustafson preached resiliency.
“First thing we talked about is you’ve got to keep believing, because we’ve been down now three times in the playoffs, and we’ve been able to come back,” Gustafson said.
The Wildcats came through again, this time scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 7:37 left in the game to take an 18-14 lead. That score held up as the final as New London-Spicer defeated Milaca in the Class 3A state quarterfinals Thursday night at Jerry Schempf Field at Elk River High School.
Milaca's defense tackles New London-Spicer's Mason Delzer (7), protecting the end zone in the first half. Photo by Aiyanna Taylor, SportsEngine
Stifled by the opposing defense in the first half, New London-Spicer rallied with two touchdowns in the second half to defeat Milaca 18-14 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals Thursday night at Jerry Schempf Field at Elk River High School.
Milaca grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first half, a gap New London-Spicer closed to 14-6 by halftime. The Wildcats took the lead with 7:37 to play in the fourth quarter on a 60-yard touchdown reception by Grant Paffrath.
The Wildcats (9-2) move past the state quarterfinals for the first time since they finished as the Class 3A runners-up in 2014. They lost in last year’s state quarterfinal when Esko scored the winning touchdown with 15 seconds left in the game.
Milaca’s only two losses this season came at the hands of New London-Spicer. The Wolves (9-2) lost to the Wildcats on Oct. 7 by a 44-36 margin.
New London-Spicer's Gabe Rohman (6) runs against Milaca during the Wildcats' 18-14 victory. Rohman scored one touchdown in the win on a 43-yard reception. Photo by Aiyanna Taylor, SportsEngine
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