Minneapolis Wins Season Opener 18-6 over Republic County with a stellar defensive performance

The Minneapolis Lions have now beaten the Republic County Buffaloes six straight times after beating them on Friday evening 18-6 in front of a home crowd, The defense gave up an early touchdown and then shut the Buffaloes after that. After both teams had a three and out, Republic County’s Garrett Siemsen took a direct snap straight up the middle for an 88 yard touchdown run on the first play of the series. He was bottled up at the line of scrimmage but somehow squirted out and just out ran the defenders. a failed two point conversion and the Buffaloes lead 6-0.
Minneapolis didn’t let their heads hang for two long after the long run as they used a 14 play drive that took 8 minutes off the clock and was capped by a 7 yard touchdown run by Zach Nelson. Sophomore Hunter Milum made the PAT attempt and the Lions took a 7-6 lead late in the 1st quarter and never looked back. In the 2nd quarter Minneapolis offense had a 13 yard touchdown run by Braylon Smith called back due to a holding penalty by the Lions. After that Minneapolis failed to punch it and turned the ball over on downs to the Buffaloes deep in Republic County territory. Minneapolis then used a holding call on the Buffaloes in the end zone for a safety, and took a 9-6 lead into halftime.
Both teams were kept out of the end zone in the 3rd quarter even though Minneapolis had another touchdown called back due to a penalty. This time it was on a pass where Junior quarterback Ryan Parks used his legs to extend the play and avoid the rush and threw a beautiful 34 yard pass to Braylon Smith wide open in the endzone. But unfortunately an illegal man downfield brought the play back and the Lions were unable to score and turned the ball back over on downs.
In the 4th quarter after a huge interception by Ryan Parks from the arm of Republic County’s quarterback Trey Melton the Lions were in business once again. They used a 10 play 45 yard drive capped off my a 5 yard touchdown run by Sophomore Mason Smith to take a 15-6 lead. Again, Hunter Milum came up big with another PAT and the Lions lead 16-6. After another turnover on downs on the Lions next possession pinned the Buffaloes in their territory the Minneapolis defense showed up once again. This time using a fumbled pitch recovered in the endzone by Republic County for a Lions 2nd safety of the ballgame and extended their lead to 18-6. That was the end of scoring and pretty much the ballgame as Minneapolis used the rest of clock except for 8 seconds which Republic County had one last play. After a pass interference call on the Lions the Buffaloes had one untimed down but the Trey Melton pass fell incomplete.
Both teams ran the ball the majority of the time and I expect to see more of that this season with Minneapolis as they have 3 or 4 guys that can run well.
The Nex-Tech Wireless Players of the Game were sophomore Zach Nelson and the whole Minneapolis defense. Zach Nelson used 18 carries to run for 92 yards and a touchdown. It was hard not to put the defense on there with their performance after giving up the big run early and then getting 2 safeties after that.
The H&R Block of The Game goes to Tucker Smith as it was his block that allowed Zach Nelson to get into the endzone. Smith sealed off the edge perfectly and allowed Nelson to scamper in,
Minneapolis will travel to Salina next week and take on Sacred Heart in another NCAA league game. The Lions will be the Meridan Media Game of the Week again next week so you can tune into FM 104.9 to catch the action. The Freddy’s and Moka’s Pregame Show will start at 6:45pm with kickoff at 7:00pm.
                           1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH FINAL
Republic County   6      0      0       0      6
Minneapolis          7      2      0       9     18