Five Minneapolis Lions players found the endzone Friday night, as the Lions defeated the Republic County Buffaloes on the road, 46-8, to start the 2018 season.
Minneapolis racked up 461 yards of total offense with 395 rushed on the ground.
Republic County opened the game with the football. The Buffaloes fumbled on their first play from scrimmage on an option-pitch from Quarterback Tate Lapo to Running Back Jared Baxa. Senior Tristin Hauck recovered the fumble for Minneapolis. The Lions would have to run two plays on their opening drive before Junior Quarterback Derek Freel found Junior Kaden Griffin for a 17-yard touchdown pass to score first, 7-0. Senior Tyson Villalpando would add a 16-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter to put Minneapolis up, 14-0, after one.
The Buffaloes would turn the ball over two more times in the first half. The first was a fumble by Baxa, while the second was an interception by Sophomore Trent Moeckel on a Lapo pass. The latter led to a 46-yard touchdown run by Villalpando to extend the Lions lead to 20-0.
Minneapolis would finish the second quarter with three more scores. Freel connected with Sophomore John Nelson for a 39-yard touchdown pass, Hauck ran one in from 39-yards out, and Freel scored on a 52-yard scamper. Lions led 40-0 at the half.
In the second half, the Lions scored on their opening drive off a 2-yard run from Freel to make it 46-0. Republic County would score on the last play of the game with a touchdown run from Lapo.
Hauck finished with seven carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Freel had eight carries for 105 yards and two scores. Freel, also, went 4-for-6 through the air for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Villalpando finished one yard shy of 100 on the ground, gaining 99 yards on nine carries and two scores. Senior Kaden McCullick ran it six times for 55 yards.
Minneapolis will have their home opener next week as the welcome in the Sacred Heart Knights.