Minneapolis’s game on the road Friday against Southeast of Saline can be best described as a downward slope.
On the first play from scrimmage, the Lions forced a fumble and took over with great field position. That was the peak.
They couldn’t capitalize, though, and it was all downhill from there in Southeast’s 50-0 victory against Minneapolis.
Both teams lost a fumble in the early goings, as they both worked out the first-game jitters. The Trojans (1-0 overall; 1-0 North Central Acitivies Association) then broke the scoreless tie midway through the first quarter with a Matthew Rodriguez one-yard touchdown plunge. Southeast held the 6-0 lead into the second.
The Trojans threatened again in the second frame, but Gabe Hueser intercepted a Luke Gebhardt pass inside the Minneapolis five-yard line. The momentum was short-lived for Minneapolis, though, as another Lion fumble turned the ball back over on the next play. Southeast then extended its eventual halftime lead t0 14-0 on a Chase Poague four-yard scamper for a score.
Minneapolis’s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter, and Southeast’s started to wake up. Rodriguez added another one-yard rushing touchdown, and Gebhardt hit Poague downfield for a 40-yard passing score shortly after. The Trojans capped off the scoring in the third quarter with a Poague 58-yard punt return for a touchdown, all while the Lion offense was stifled.
Southeast took a 36-0 lead into the fourth quarter, after breaking it open out of the halftime break. Backups Daniel Kejr and Jude Golden added rushing scores in the final quarter, rounding out the 50-point victory.
As for Minneapolis (0-1 overall; 0-1 NCAA), the Lions managed under 100 yards offensively, including just 20 passing yards. The Trojan defense gave Minneapolis trouble all night.
The H&R Block of the Game went to sophomore Braylon Smith, who had a nice hit downfield on a Southeast defender during QB scramble from Gabe Hueser.
The Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game went to senior Chasyn Vogan, who was all over the field in all facets of the game for the Lions. After a snap went over his head on a punt, he found a way to get the kick off and avoid a safety. In the process, he drew a roughing the punter penalty.
Minneapolis plays its home opener next Friday, the 10th, when it hosts Riley County. The Falcons won last year’s matchup 47-0.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on 92.7 The New Zoo in the Salina area and streaming on KSAL.com.