Minneapolis came from 19 points down and scored 27 unanswered on Friday night at Trojan field to take down Beloit, 34-26.
The win is the first for Minneapolis since 2014 over its rivals.
Beloit used its powerful rushing attacked and strong offensive and defensive fronts to take a 26-7 lead over Minneapolis at the 9:42 in the second quarter. At that point, Beloit had eclipsed 200 yards of offense, while holding Minneapolis to 73 yards total.
Somehow, someway; the Lions were able to turn the tide.
It started with a 48 yard pass. Trent Moeckel found Spencer Davidson over the middle and the MHS senior tight end rumbled up the field for the score–his second of the game. Minneapolis had a sliver, down 26-14 midway through the second.
But the Lions needed to step up defensively. Tom Flax and the Minneapolis coaching staff made some defensive adjustments, including putting Minneapolis in a five-down front. This change seemed to work as the Lions finally stopped Beloit for the first time of the game, late in the first half.
MHS then put together a long drive that was capped off by another Moeckel to Davidson touchdown pass–the third of the half and this one from five yards out–with just over a minute to go in the half.
At halftime, Beloit was leading, but only 26-21.
Both teams drove the ball up and down the field in the third quarter, but neither could punch it in. Minneapolis’ defense came up big on a 4th and goal stop but batting down a Beloit pass in the end zone. Both Colton Bradford and Gannon Cleveland teamed up to knocked the ball away from the Trojan.
Minneapolis then used a seven play, 90 yard drive to regain the lead as Moeckel ran the ball up the middle of the field for 38 yards to put the Lions up 28-26 with 1:06 remaining in the third.
Minneapolis held that lead until Moeckel found his favorite target, Davidson–for the fourth time–and from 35 yards on a pass to pad the lead. However, Beloit blocked the PAT and was still within a score.
The Minneapolis defense was too tough. The Lions forced Beloit to three-straight turnovers on downs in Beloit’s final three possessions.
Beloit (2-5, 1-2 Class 2A, District 8) has dropped its third straight game since getting back to .500. The Trojans are now fourth in the district with -8 points.
Minneapolis (3-4, 2-2 Class 2A, District 8) got the ball back with five minutes to go in the game and was able to run out the clock and pull off its first win in the rivalry in six years. Minneapolis is currently third in District No. 8 with +3 points.
The Nex-Tech Wireless Players of the Game are both Moeckel and Davidson. Moeckel went 13-19 passing for 254 yards, 4 touchdowns passing, 1 rushing, 1 INT, with 375 all-purpose yards. Meanwhile, Davidson reeled in 8 receptions for 172 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Davidson also came in to Friday night with the most receiving yards in Class 2A.
Bradford wins the H&R “Block of the Game” for his pass breakup in the early third quarter.
Up next, it’s Senior Day and Minneapolis welcomes Ellsworth to end off the regular season and to try and clinch a playoff berth with a win. Coverage will be live on 92.7 The New Zoo at 7 p.m.
Photo: Kandy Constable