Minneapolis wins season opener 18-6 over Republic County with outstanding defensive performance

The Minneapolis Lions have now beaten the Republic County Buffaloes six straight after beating them Friday night 18-6 in front of a home crowd. The defense gave up an early touchdown, then shut down the Buffaloes after that. After both teams had a three-and-out, Republic County’s Garrett Siemsen took a direct hit straight down the middle for an 88-yard touchdown in the series opener. He was bottled up at the line of scrimmage, but somehow he squirted and just got past 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 went 8 minutes behind and was capped off with a 7-yard touchdown by Zach Nelson. Sophomore Hunter Milum attempted the PAT and the Lions took a 7-6 lead late in the 1st quarter and never looked back. In the 2nd quarter, the Minneapolis offense had a 13-yard touchdown by Braylon Smith recalled due to a penalty hold by the Lions. After that, Minneapolis failed to hit it and returned the ball to the Buffaloes deep in Republic County territory. Minneapolis then used a hold call on the Buffaloes in the end zone for a safety and took a 9-6 halftime lead.

Both teams were held out of the end zone in the 3rd quarter even though Minneapolis had another touchdown called up due to a penalty. This time it was on a pass where junior quarterback Ryan Parks used his legs to spread the play and avoid the rush and threw a nice 34-yard pass to Braylon Smith wide open in the end zone. But unfortunately an illegal man on the field brought the play back and the Lions were unable to score and returned the ball on the downs.

In the 4th quarter, after a huge interception by Ryan Parks off the arm of Republic County quarterback Trey Melton, the Lions were in business again. They used a 10-play 45-yard drive capped off by my 5-yard touchdown run by Sophomore Mason Smith to take a 15-6 lead. Again, Hunter Milum won another PAT and the Lions lead 16-6. After another fluff turnover on the Lions’ next possession that pinned the Buffaloes in their turf, the Minneapolis defense showed up again. This time using a fumble recovered in the end zone by Republic County for a Lions second safety of the ball game and extended their lead to 18-6. It was the end of the score and pretty much the ball game as Minneapolis used the rest of the clock except for 8 seconds where Republic County had one last play. After a pass interference call on the Lions, the Buffaloes had one without a stopwatch, but Trey Melton’s pass fell incomplete.

Both teams ran the ball most of the time and I expect to see more of that this season with Minneapolis because they have 3 or 4 guys who can run well.

The game’s Nex-Tech Wireless players were second Zach Nelson and the entire Minneapolis defense. Zach Nelson used 18 carries to run for 92 yards and a touchdown. It was hard not to put the defense there with their performance after giving up the big run early and getting 2 safeties afterwards.

The H&R block of the game goes to Tucker Smith as it was his block that got Zach Nelson into the end zone. Smith sealed the edge perfectly and allowed Nelson to rush,

Minneapolis travels to Salina next week and takes on Sacred Heart in another NCAA league game. The Lions will again be the Meridan Media Game of the Week next week so you can tune in to FM 104.9 to catch all the action. Freddy’s and Moka’s pre-game show will begin at 6:45 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. kick-off.

1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH FINAL
Republic County 6 0 0 0 6
Minneapolis 7 2 0 9 18

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