Football: Rebels get redemption

Published 12:05 am Sunday, October 30, 2011

Southland running back Tyler Kressin is congratulated by his teammates after scoring in the second half of Southland's 35-12 win at Fillmore Central in the Section 1A semifinals Saturday. -- Rocky Hulne/

HARMONY — The last time Southland played a football game at Fillmore Central, they didn’t score a point and they suffered there first loss of the season.

This time around, the Rebels had another first — they advanced to the Section title game for the first time under head coach Shawn Kennedy.

“I’ve never been so proud of a football team. They just wanted it,” Kennedy said.

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The Southland defense dominated for the first three quarters as the No. 2 seeded Rebels beat the Falcons 35-12 in a Section 1A semifinal game Saturday.

The No. 2 Falcons (7-3 overall) never ran a play past the 50-yard line until the end of the third quarter, while Southland forced three turnovers and racked up three sacks while holding FC to 51 yards on the ground.

Southland linebacker Ben Wolterman returns an interception in the first half of the Rebel win at Fillmore Central Saturday. -- Rocky Hulne/

“We came ready to play,” Southland linebacker Ben Wolterman said. “Everyone did their job and played smart football.”

Southland (8-2 overall) forced two early turnovers as Drew Loecher recovered a fumble and Wolterman picked off a pass over the middle. Those defensive plays led to a 7-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Frodl that made it 7-0, and a 1-yard run by Mike Goergen on third and goal that made it 14-0 with 3:04 left in the first quarter.

“The (early scores) motivate us. We’re in this game, and we aren’t letting go,” Southland running back Tyler Kressin said. “After we scored, everything felt in rhythm. It was one positive thing after another positive thing.”

Southland’s offense struggled in the second quarter, but in the third quarter, Kressin, a senior running back, took the game over. Kressin, who ran for 129 yards, plunged in from three yards out to make it 21-0 and on Southland’s next possession, he ran the ball to the goal-line, where he fumbled but Mike Goergen recovered in the end zone to make it 28-0 with 3:32 left in the third.

Kressin, who couldn’t haul in a potential game-tying TD in the regular season loss to FC, saved his best run for last when took a hand-off on a counter, burst to the outside, spun around a Fillmore defender, and dove over the goal-line to finish off a 25-yard TD run that made it 35-0 with 2:14 left.

“(The first Fillmore game) lit a fire in my belly and I wanted redemption,” Kressin said. “We got what we came here for.”

Kennedy is glad to be advancing to the Section 1A title game, which will be at No. 1 Blooming Prairie (9-1 overall) Friday at 7 p.m., but he was also quick to give credit to Falcons head coach Chris Mensink.

“I have so much respect for Chris’s program, because I’ve never seen a team improve so much in one year,” Kennedy said. “I thought we’d need 35 or 40 points to beat this team because they’re explosive. Tyler Kressin ran phenomenal and that offensive line blocked their butts off.”


Southland 14 14 7 0 — 35

Fillmore 0 0 0 12 — 12

First quarter

(S) Jake Frodl 7 run (Lee DeHough kick) (3 plays, 30 yards) 6:16

(S) Mike Goergen 1 run (DeHough kick) (6 plays, 23 yards) 3:04

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

(S) Tyler Kressin 3 run (DeHough kick) (7 plays, 41 yards) 6:36

(S) Goergen 1 run (DeHough kick) (3 plays, 29 yards) 3:32

(S) Kressin 25 run (DeHough kick) (2 plays, 38 yards) 2:14

Fourth quarter

(FC) Tanner Ristau 55 pass from to Andy Todd (kick failed) (1 plays, 55 yards) 7:08

(FC) Marcus Tucker 65 pass from Todd (run failed) (5 plays, 83 yards) 1:22


Rushing: Tyler Kressin, 19-for-129, 2 TD; Nick Schmitz, 10-for-45; Mike Goergen, 11-for-34, 2 TD; Jake Frodl, 9-for-6, TD; Passing: Frodl, 5-for-9, 66; Receiving: Bendtsen, 3-for-52; Alex Ruechel, 1-for-11; Nick Schmitz, 2-for-(-2); Interceptions: Ben Wolterman (1), Bendtsen (1); Fumble recovery: Drew Loecher (1); Sacks: Loecher (1), Ezra Smith (1), Goergen (1); Penalties: 6-for-55


Rushing: Tanner Ristau, 15-for-49; Zach Olstad, 7-for-22; Andy Todd, 5-for-(-20); Passing: Todd, 9-for-22, 168, 2 TD, 2 INT; Receiving: Ristau, 4-for-68, TD; Marcus Tucker, 1-for-65, TD; Mitch Johnson, 4-for-40; Olstad, 1-for-2; Penalties: 4-for-33