Section 1AAAA football: Byron wins film script style, KM qualifies for section final


STEWARTVILLE – Ben Halder turned to his players immediately after they scored a touchdown in overtime and let them make the decision: do you want to hit the point after the touchdown to tie the score and force a second overtime, or do you want to go for a 2 point conversion and victory?

Leading by one point to rival Stewartville in a Section 1, class AAAA semifinal football game, the veteran Byron Bears executives did not hesitate in their response.

“The kids said they wanted to go for two,” said Halder. “I said ‘OK, this is your schedule. Let’s go for two.'”

The Bears had just swept the quarterback to their right. One of their assistant coaches upstairs in the coaches’ lodge noticed that the Stewartville back linebacker was selling to chase the running back. So Halder and his assistant coaches had a very quick conversation with quarterback Kale Robinson.

“We told him to take a step to his right and then quickly come back to his left,” said Halder.

That’s what Robinson did on the two-point conversion attempt. The Bears quarterback hasn’t cheated all of the Stewartville defensemen, but he cheated the good ones. Robinson sprinted all the way to his left and stretched towards the pylon in the front corner of the end zone at the last second.

The on-site official immediately raised his arms in the air, signaling a successful try and a 22-21 victory for Byron – one that included a comeback that even a Hollywood screenwriter might find wacky.

Halder doesn’t really remember what happened next other than his players on the sidelines next to him who sprinted to the end zone to celebrate, then made their way to the Bears’ student section to continue the game. celebration.

Byron, who started his season 0-5 – a streak that included narrow one-scoring losses to Winona and Stewartville – will now play for the 1AAAA Section Championship at 7 p.m. Friday at Mayo High School. The Bears will face another rival in this one – and another rival they played a solid game against in the regular season. Byron will meet Kasson-Mantorville in the section final; KM beat the Bears 31-21 in the season opener for both teams.

But the Bears (4-6 overall) chose to spend time on Saturday rethinking their superb comeback victory.

As if the winning game wasn’t amazing enough, consider the following:

• Byron trailed 14-0 with less than 3 minutes left in regulation.

• Robinson threw a touchdown pass to Matt Frigaard with about two and a half minutes left to get the Bears on the board.

• Byron then recovered an offensive kick to regain possession just over two minutes from time in the fourth quarter.

• The Bears advanced to Stewartville 1, where they faced a fourth and a goal. They converted again, Robinson throwing another touchdown pass to James Durst.

• Byron then needed a two-point conversion, which Robinson completed against Kylan Brakke to tie the score 14-14 and force the OT.

• Stewartville scored in the first play of overtime and converted PAT to take a 21-14 lead.

This paved the way for an incredible finish, capped by Robinson’s 2-point conversion, giving the Bears their only lead in the game at the most important moment.

Robinson finished with 181 passing yards and two touchdowns, while Jake Thompson ran 63 yards on 19 carries for the Bears. Durst finished with six catches for 79 yards and one scoring, while Frigaard had two catches for 27 yards and Brakke had two catches for 21 yards.

BYRON 22, STEWARTVILLE 21, OT

Byron 0-0-0-14-8 – 22

Stewartville 7-0-0-7-7 – 21

KASSON – The Donovans were everywhere on the pitch and all over the scoring area here on Saturday afternoon.

Matt Donovan and AJ Donovan collected 32 of Kasson-Mantorville’s 45 points as the No. 2 KoMets claimed a 45-14 victory over third-seeded Winona in a 1AAAA Section semifinal game Saturday.

The KoMets (6-3 overall) will now face their rival Byron at 7 p.m. Friday at Mayo High School in the Section 1AAAA Championship game.

KM quarterback Matt Donovan and the KoMets offense continue to rack up yards and points. Donovan led the KoMets’ optional offense to 501 total yards, including 465 rushing yards.

And what Donovan didn’t do, Anthony Moe-Tucker did. The powerful senior ran 18 times for 197 yards (10.9 yards per carry) and a touchdown for KM. Donovan added 20 carries for 176 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Donovan also had 36 yards and a touchdown.

The KoMets used 10 different running backs – Michael Hoff also scored a rushing touchdown, while Aidan Smith landed a catch for an 11-yard touchdown – in the win.

Winona only managed 201 yards of attack.

The score was tied 7-7 after a quarter, but KM outscored the Winhawks 17-0 in the second to take a 24-7 lead at halftime.

In addition to Matt Donovan’s big day, AJ Donovan had six more points and a 30-yard field goal.

The KoMets will now be looking for their second straight sectional championship – and their second straight victory over rival Byron in the sectional title game. KM defeated the Bears 7-0 in last year’s 1AAAA Section Final.

KM 45, Winona 14

Winona 7-0-0-7 – 14

KM 7-17-14-7 – 45


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