MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a huge Friday night in high school football with several big match-ups, and several players and teams stepped up to the challenge.
I’ll start in the Big Nine Conference in southern Minnesota where there is a logjam of teams at the top. Mankato West, Faribault, Owatonna and Rochester Mayo are all 3-0 overall, including 2-0 in conference play. Look for those four teams to beat each other up a bit in the final five weeks of the season. Mankato West, last year’s Big Nine champion, is the favorite until somebody beats them.
The Classic Suburban Conference is also stacked with a trio of 3-0 teams. St. Thomas Academy, South St. Paul and Hill-Murray are all 3-0. The Cadets are No. 1 in Class 4A after beating Mahtomedi, and South St. Paul is ranked No. 4 in 4A.
There were several big performances in Week 3, but we could only choose four and here they are:
Watertown-Mayer Snaps 21-Game Losing Streak
The Watertown-Mayer football team had plenty of reasons to celebrate Friday night after the Royals beat Jordan 35-7. The win snapped a 21-game losing streak that lasted more than two seasons. Andrew Wahlstrom had five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the win. Nick Tschida also had two touchdown runs and Adrian Aliason had a pair of touchdown passes.
Wayzata Senior Keys Trojans To Victory
Senior running back Erik Roti had a big night as the Wayzata Trojans improved to 3-0 on the regular season after a 44-21 non-conference win over Anoka Friday night. Roti ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns and had a receiving touchdown in the victory, which was his only catch of the night. Wayzata is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A and travels to Illinois for its next contest.
Gopher Recruit Leads Mankato West To Victory
Phillip Nelson has steadily improved over the course of three seasons to become one of the top quarterbacks on one of the state’s top teams. Nelson completed 13 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns as the Scarlets routed Winona 57-0 in Big Nine Conference action. He also ran for 55 yards and a touchdown. Nelson, who has started at quarterback since he was a sophomore, verbally committed to play football for Jerry Kill at the University of Minnesota. Mankato West hosts Faribault this week in a battle of undefeated teams.
Tusler’s Big Game Leads Osseo Over Coon Rapids
Bridgeport Tusler isn’t a household or standout name in high school football, but he made a name for himself Friday night as Osseo cruised to a 54-0 win over Coon Rapids in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Tusler scored five touchdowns, including a receiving touchdown, as the junior tailback had a night that most high school players can only dream of. After losing their opener, the Orioles are now 2-1 as they host Andover Friday night.
Jottings: St. Michael-Albertville football coach Earl Bauman, who retired after last season, was honored on the field during halftime Friday night for his 31 years of dedication both in teaching and coaching. Two coaches will also be going for milestones when they hit the field this Friday night. Carter Ross, the coach at Westbrook-Walnut Grove, and Detroit Lakes coach Flint Motschenbacher, will both try for their 100th career victories. Ross is in his 15th season and Motschenbacher is in his 14th.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally every Friday night at about 10:20 for complete prep football coverage from Frank Vascellaro, Mike Max and John Lauritsen. This week, Southwest hosts Washburn in Minneapolis City Conference action for our featured “Game of the Week.”