NRHEG Football Rallies from Behind for Playoff Victory
LeSueuer-Henderson scored fairly late in the second quarter for a 20-6 lead over New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva in their Section 2AA quarterfinal football playoff game. The Panthers made a dent in the deficit before halftime and took the lead late in the third on their way to a 36-23 win, their second in 11 days against the Giants.
Jared Miller of LeSueur-Henderson scored his third touchdown of the night with 3:47 remaining in the second quarter. NRHEG responded with a drive that ended with Perry Peterson scoring on a seven-yard run with 52 seconds left before halftime to make the score 20-14 with his two-point conversion run. It was his second score of the night, and he was far from done for the evening.
NRHEG coach Dan Stork said in an email, "I was very impressed with how our kids settled down and adjusted after being down 20-6 in the first half. Perry Peterson had an incredible night carrying the ball 44 times for 270 yards and 4 touchdowns. He simply would not be denied. Our line, Quinten Arndt, Spencer Tufte, Jack Hogstad, Alex Buckmeier, Hunter Knudson, Sawyer VanMaldeghem and Jacob Schuller did a great job of opening holes against a huge LSH d-line."
Peterson scored on a five-yard scamper four minutes into the third quarter to tie the game and ran in the two-point conversion for the Panthers' first lead at 22-20. With under a minute left in the third quarter, Peterson scored his fourth touchdown, an 11-yard run for a 28-20 advantage.
LeSueur-Henderson kicked a field goal with 6:47 remaining to pull within 28-23. The Panthers (5-4, No. 4 seed) put the game away with Jake Stork's two-yard touchdown push with 1:22 left. Peterson threw the two-point conversion pass to Cole Stahloch for the final points of the Panthers 36-28 win. NRHEG out gained the Giants 395-218.
The Panthers will face top-seed and defending section champion Maple River (7-1) Saturday at 7PM in Mapleton. The Eagles beat the Panthers 25-6 October 6. Stork added, "We get just what we wanted now. Another shot at Maple River...Should be a heck of a game."
WEM will host Blue Earth Area in the other 2AA semifinal. Blue Earth Area eliminated Medford 34-13 on Tuesday. WEM beat Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial 54-14.