Orono quarterback Nick Prentice (1) lands with the ball just one yard short of the goal line during the second half. Photo: Leila Navidi * email@example.com
Somewhere between the thrill of crushing the No. 1 team in Class 4A and the prospects of playing the No. 1 seed in Section 5, Orono forgot priority No. 1 on Tuesday night — defeating Mound Westonka.
Though unfocused to start and turnover-prone throughout, the host Spartans rallied for a 23-17 victory to open their Class 4A, Section 5 title pursuit.
“I can’t believe I make my living on the mentality of 15-, 16- and 17-year-old boys because sometimes you just can’t tell them anything,” Orono coach Jeff Weiland said. “Mentally, they weren’t there tonight so we were fortunate to beat a great Mound Westonka team.”
The game showed the depth in Section 5. Mound Westonka got the No. 5 seed after a six-victory season. And the White Hawks came prepared, building a 17-8 lead on three scoring drives.
Both touchdowns in that stretch came after special teams’ miscues by No. 4 seed Orono. Punt returners fumbled the ball on both occasions, leading to a Brandon Hokkanen 17-yard touchdown pass to Calvin MacKell and an Adam Nobs’ 8-yard scoring run.
Orono edged visiting Mound Westonka in a 23-17 victory Tuesday in a Class 4A, Section 5 first round game.
The Spartans went ahead to stay on quarterback Nick Prentice’s short touchdown run and two-point conversion late in the third quarter. No. 5 seed Mound Westonka (6-3) couldn’t retake the lead.
No. 4 seed Orono (6-3) advances to play Saturday at No. 1 seed SMB-Wolfpack.
Check back later for more on the game.