Wade Sullivan (21), the runningback for Lakeville North gets tackled out of bounds at their 30 yard line. Wade ran for 126 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 35-0 win against the crosstown rival Cougars. Photo by Chris Juhn
His first name isn’t Ed, but there was a Sullivan putting on a show Friday night at Lakeville South High School.
Lakeville North’s Wade Sullivan dazzled for four quarters, running for 126 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 35-0 win against the crosstown rival Cougars.
“We’re in Minnesota, and if you want to win the whole thing in Minnesota, you’ve got to be a team that can run the football,” Lakeville North coach Brian Vossen said after the win.
“It’s going to get cold,” Vossen added. “You can’t get to the warm place to play until the very end.”
The “warm place” for Vossen and the Panthers is U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings and the state high school football semifinals and finals.
Last year, the Panthers advanced to the third round in the new state tournament format before falling to eventual Class 6A champion Osseo 24-21.
Vossen is confident this Lakeville North team, which is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 6A state high school football poll, can make a similar run this year.
“We’ve got the right type of team to make it happen,” Vossen said.
The nucleus of that team is Sullivan, a 5-foot-9 senior who is on pace to eclipse the 1,410 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns he tallied last season.
While several of Sullivan’s runs on Friday appeared complicated, zigging and zagging through the Lakeville South defense, he has a simplistic outlook on his role as the team’s featured back and offensive catalyst.
“We know what our game plan is,” Sullivan said. “Our [offensive] line is amazing, so we just pop the ball and [get] five or six yards a play.”
Senior quarterback Reed Smith also praised the offensive line’s play after completing 13 of 17 passes for 172 yards.
“It was a great game top to bottom,” Smith said. “The O-line did great, the D-line did great, so (you) got to give it to those big guys up front.”
Smith also said that having Sullivan in the backfield is effective whether he touches the ball or not.
“Handing it off to him makes it easy,” Smith said. “When we do play-action to Wade and stuff, it just opens up the passing game a lot more.”
The measured responses and collected demeanor of Smith and Sullivan helps balance the expressive Vossen.
“I’m an emotional mess all the time,” Vossen said with a grin. “I ride the highs and lows worse than anybody."
“It’s who I am, and luckily I’ve got guys much calmer than myself [around me].”
Lakeville North players celebrate on the field after Braden Walsh (16) intercepted a ball thrown by the Cougars quarterback. The Panthers defeated the Cougars 35-0 away. Photo by Chris Juhn
Senior running back Wade Sullivan ran for 126 yards and four touchdowns to lead Lakeville North to a resounding 35-0 win over intracity rival Lakeville South on Friday night in East Metro District White Division action at Lakeville South High School.
Sullivan ran for one touchdown in each quarter for the Panthers (5-0, 4-0), ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 6A state high school football poll, and junior running back Ryan Dalrymple added a rushing TD in the fourth quarter in the win.
Junior running back Logan Gudmundson ran for 114 yards and senior safety Austin Kern had an interception for the Cougars (1-4, 1-3).
Ryan Dalrymple (1) of Lakeville North runs the ball in to score a touchdown helping his teal defeat rival Lakeville South 35-0 away. Photo by Chris Juhn
Jack Branson (32) of Lakeville North is tackled by Carter Hagen (25) and #77 of Lakeville South. Lakeville North defeated rival Lakeville South 35-0 away. Photo by Chris Juhn