Mustangs host Eastview in crossover round Friday

After nine consecutive games against Suburban East Conference opponents this season, the Mounds View High School football team gets to play a team from outside the SEC this week. After an expected victory in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs last week, the Mustangs welcome Eastview for the crossover round on Friday.

Mounds View kicked off the 6A era of Minnesota high school football with a 42-21 win over Forest Lake last Friday. The Mustangs, seeded second in Section 4AAAAAA, scored five first-half touchdowns to take a 35-0 lead to the locker room at halftime before Forest Lake outscored the Mustangs 21-7 in the second half.

Eastview, a member of the South Suburban Conference, drew the third seed in Section 3AAAAAA and bounced fellow SSC member Burnsville 42-14 on Friday. The Lightning enter Friday's game 6-3 with all three defeats coming at the hands of ranked opponents (Wayzata, Lakeville North, Prior Lake).

Mounds View (8-1) and Eastview, which opened in 1997, have a limited football history against each other. Their only meeting came in a 2007 Class AAAAA state quarterfinal, which the Lightning won 21-13.

Irondale

The Irondale High School football team saw its post-season losing streak stretch to four games with a 14-0 loss to Mahtomedi in the Section 4AAAAA quarterfinals on Oct. 23.

The Knights' most recent playoff win came in the 2009 section quarterfinals against North St. Paul. They went on to lose to Stillwater in the semifinals and have now lost in the quarterfinals three years in a row.

The Zephyrs scored touchdowns in the first and fourth quarter for the only points of the game, which took on an eerie look as fog swept in and became heavier as the game progressed. Mahtomedi opened the scoring on a 2-yard run late in the first quarter and put the game away with a 9-yard touchdown pass with less than three minutes left in the game.

Irondale, after starting the year 4-1, lost three of its last four games to finish the season 5-4. The four defeats came against teams that ended up seeded first (South St. Paul and Chisago Lakes), second (Spring Lake Park) or fourth (Mahtomedi) in their respective section tournaments.

Mahtomedi went on to lose 21-6 to No. 1-seeded and top-ranked Totino-Grace in Saturday's semifinals. Totino hosts second-seeded and second-ranked Spring Lake Park, a 27-26 winner over Andover, for the section title on Friday.

St. Anthony Village

The St. Anthony Village High School football team got its first real taste of Class AAAA playoff football on Saturday and while the Huskies were able to hang for a while, Robbinsdale Cooper proved too tough in the end.

Second-seeded Cooper ended third-seeded St. Anthony's season with a strong second half in its 42-21 victory in the Section 6AAAA semifinals. The Hawks turned a one-point, halftime deficit into a large lead by scoring three times in the third quarter.

Robbinsdale opened the second half scoring on a 65-yard touchdown run by Briceon Scott-Burch, who replaced Francis Kanneh at quarterback in the second half. Cooper added to its newly-acquired lead on its next possession when Ashanti Payne broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run. The Hawks then put the game away when Scott-Burch hit Khayvon Hawkins for a 66-yard touchdown pass.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter as St. Anthony scored on a 2-yard pass from Zach Siggelkow to Ryan Rush and Scott-Burch ran one in from 31 yards out for Cooper.

In the first half, St. Anthony played right with Cooper despite giving up a pair of big plays. The Hawks got their two first-half touchdowns on a 65-yard run by Payne and a 90-yard kickoff return by Billy Kellogg.

St. Anthony had answers for both Cooper scores, however. The Huskies got on the board in the second quarter when Nick Kampa took a backwards pass from Rush and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Billy Johnson to cap a 13-play drive. St. Anthony closed out the first-half scoring on Siggelkow's 9-yard touchdown run that polished off a nine-play drive.

The Huskies advanced to the semifinals by taking care of fellow Tri-Metro Conference member Blake, the sixth seed, in the quarterfinals on Oct. 23. St. Anthony jumped out to a 28-0 lead en route to a 41-28 victory.

Like St. Anthony, Blake was a Class AAA team last season.

The Huskies got things rolling on their first possession thanks in part to a rushing attack that had struggled much of the season. Following a pair of incomplete passes to begin the drive, Zach Siggelkow amassed 18 yards on three carries. Facing a third-and-two, quarterback Ryan Rush threw a short pass that Billy Johnson turned into a 62-yard touchdown play.

Rush and Johnson struck for another big play later in the first quarter as they teamed up for a 36-yard scoring strike to put St. Anthony ahead 14-0. Johnson scored his third touchdown of the game midway through the second quarter on a 49-yard run and made it four scores 15 seconds later when he caught a 34-yard pass from Rush.

In between the two quick scores, St. Anthony executed a perfect onside kick. Josh Carpenter hit a popup about 30 yards to an open area of the field and Cody Bauleke beat everyone to the ball.

Blake began its comeback attempt quickly as Jack McNeill took a Logan Kline pass 62 yards for a score on the first play from scrimmage following Johnson's fourth touchdown.

The Bears capitalized on a St. Anthony fumble to score again late in the fourth quarter. After recovering the loose ball at the Huskies' 48-yard line, Blake drove to the two before Marcus Berg ran it in for a touchdown with 1:18 left in the first half.

Blake then benefitted from a pair of incomplete passes to get the ball back one more time in the second quarter. The Bears were unable to put up any more points, however, as a 40-yard field goal try as time expired was wide left.

Blake opened the second half with the ball and scored on the first play from scrimmage. Berg busted free for a 65-yard touchdown run to make the score 28-21 in favor of St. Anthony, whose early cushion had nearly vanished.

The Huskies regained control of the game after that and put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Bauleke scored on a 4-yard run early in the fourth and Jesus Romero added some insurance with a 9-yard touchdown run with 2:30 left in the game.

Blake closed out the scoring with a touchdown with two seconds left on the clock.

St. Anthony finishes the season 7-3. Cooper moves on and will travel to top-seeded and No. 1-ranked DeLaSalle on Friday. The Islanders, following a first-round bye, edged fourth-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret's 26-24 on Saturday.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.