A quartet of turnovers proved to be the unfortunate defining factor for Minneapolis football in a non-district game Friday night.
The Lions hosted their home opener against Riley County, and the turnover difference coupled with four Trey Harmison rushing scores propelled the Falcons to a 42-21 victory.
Minneapolis gave up three of its four turnovers in its first three possessions, and Riley County jumped out to a 12-0 lead as a result early in the second quarter. Harmison raced for a 40-rushing score on Riley County’s first offensive play, and Blake Brokenicky added a six-yard touchdown plunge on the first play of the second frame. Both conversions were no good.
The Lions (0-2) answered back midway through the second quarter, as Gabe Hueser lofted a pass to Jonathan Lowe in the end zone for Minneapolis’s first points of the season. The Falcons (2-0) wasted no time in responding, though, and Harmison piled on two more rushing scores in the final five minutes of the first half to take a 27-7 lead into intermission.
Riley County kept it going in the second half, forcing a Lion safety midway through the third quarter. Harmison then tallied another touchdown with his feet, and Brokenicky broke away for a 50-yard score on the ground.
The Falcons led 42-7 going into the final quarter. From there, Minneapolis found the scoreboard again with two touchdowns in the final minutes. Hueser sped down the sideline on a 76-yard touchdown run, and Gannon Cleveland added a three-yard rushing score.
The Nex-Tek Wireless Player of the Game went to senior wide receiver Jonathan Lowe. Lowe caught five balls for 81 yards and the first Lion touchdown of the 2021 campaign.
Senior running back Desi Green had the H&R Block of the game. Green was the lead blocker for Hueser on the 76-yard touchdown run, and he helped clear the way.
Minneapolis goes back on the road next week to take on Republic County in Belleville. The Lions won last year’s matchup 20-14. The game will be broadcasted as always on 92.7 The New Zoo in the Salina area, and it will stream online on ksal.com.