Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gotta love high-school athletics

Did you give Mankato East a chance to win Wednesday's football game
against Mankato West?
Be honest. Nobody, at least outside of the Cougars' locker room, thought the Cougras could pull off the upset.

That's not to demean the East program, which has struggled the last few
seasons, but the numbers didn't add up for an East victory. West was just
too powerful, having bulldozed every opponent this season.

But with seven minutes to play in the third quarter, East had cut the lead
to 14-11 and were about to try an onside kick.

That's why high-school athletics are so much more fun to watch than college
or professional.

As most know by now, West pulled away in the final 19 minutes to post a
28-11 victory, finishing an undefeated regular season with the sixth
straight Jug victory.

The victory kept West on track for its season's goals, which include a No. 1
seed in the Section 2AAAA playoffs and homefield for the semifinals and
championship game. Eventually, this team has its sights on a state
championship, but there will be some tough battles ahead in that pursuit.

East also has plenty to feel good about. The Cougars pushed West as hard as
any team this season, and despite having just three victories, East now
looks like a formidable opponent in the playoffs.

The only chance East had to pull off the upset was to use running back Tevyn Schmidt and a size advantage in the offensive line to pound the ball at the Scarlets.

It¹s too corny to say that both teams were winners Wednesday night because
that¹s not how life works. You can say that both teams should be proud of
their performances.

The winners were the 3,500 or so folks who sat at Blakeslee Stadium, some in the
protected environment of a press box, who got to watch a very compelling,
fun game.

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