Minnesota State Community and Technical College showed why it’s the top ranked Division III Junior College football team in the nation on Saturday as the Spartans cruised to a 49-8 victory over Minnesota West at Trojan Field.
The Spartans completed an 8-0 regular season in decisive fashion and dropped the Bluejays to 3-5 overall. Minnesota West will play a first-round playoff game Sunday at Central Lakes in Brainerd at a time yet to be determined.
Minnesota State quarterback Kenneth Cooper threw three touchdown passes, Denzel Miller returned a punt 84 yards for another TD and the Spartans’ defense picked off Minnesota West quarterback Brock Starley four times and forced another turnover on a fumble. The first Minnesota State TD came on a 48-yard scamper from Rondarius Gregory with 11:37 left in the first quarter. The guests from Fergus Falls added a second TD on a seven-yard Cooper pass to Marquez Hurst with 7:08 still left in the opening quarter, and a Carsen McKnight 38-yard field goal with 2:49 left in the first made it a 17-0 game.
A Jacob Drietz one-yard run and 48-yard pass from Cooper to Eustace McGowan made it 32-0 in the second quarter. Minnesota West got on the board with 37 seconds left before halftime when Teyel Lowe forced a Cooper fumble and Jonathan Altidor scooped up the loose ball and returned it 12 yards for a TD. Ian Stamer caught the two-point conversion pass to make it 32-8.
The Spartans, however, blanked the Bluejays in the second half. For Minnesota West, Starley completed 13-of-30 passes for just 68 yards. Rashard Anderson topped the ground game with 31 yards on eight carries, while Trevon Sanders and Stephen Lewis had three catches each for a combined 64 yards.
On defense, Tate Gaul had five solo tackles and six assisted tackles for the Jays. JayVarion Peters-Johnson had eight total tackles and Darrick Baartman seven.
The Minnesota West volleyball team split a pair of matches over the weekend, winning 3-0 Friday against Anoka-Ramsey and falling 3-0 to St. Cloud Tech.
Game scores in the Anoka-Ramsey match were 25-17, 25-18, 25-21. Kennedy Buckneberg led the way for the Lady Jays with 11 kills and 12 digs. Kiarra Danielson contributed 12 digs, three ace serves and 15 set assists. Also chipping in were: Sami Polzin, six kills and 11 digs; Dannyn Peterson, nine digs; Hattie DeVries, six kills; and Courtney Moser, 14 set assists.
Game scores against St. Cloud Tech were 25-15, 25-13, 25-21. Peterson had seven kills and 13 digs for Minnesota West and Danielson added four kills, 14 digs and 10 set assists. Other contributors were: Sami Polzin, seven kills and 13 digs; Katarina Polzine, 15-of-15 serving with one ace; and Moser, eight set assists.
The Lady Jays are 11-16 this season and have three regular-season matches remaining – all at home. Minnesota West hosts Ridgewater College on Wednesday, Western Technical College on Friday and Century College on Saturday.
In area high school football action Friday night, it was:
Mountain Lake Area 47, Madelia 6
Westbrook-Walnut Grove 39, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 38
Hills-Beaver Creek 22, Red Rock Central 0
Edgerton 36, Granada-Huntley-East Chain-Truman 22
Adrian 38, New Ulm Cathedral 0
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 38, Sleepy Eye 8
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 48, Windom Area 8
Jackson County Central 12, Pipestone Area 7
Marshall 14, Jordan 6
Unity 30, Sheldon 8
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock 62, Okoboji 6
West Lyon 42, Cherokee 12
Ridge View 28, Sibley-Ocheyedan 7
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 41, Akron-Westfield 8
Harris-Lake Park 68, North Iowa 6
In area high school volleyball Friday, it was:
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 2, Winona 0
Burnsville 2, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 0
Rochester Century 2, Jackson County Central 0
East Ridge 2, Jackson County Central 0
Marshall 2, Stewartville 0
Marshall 2, Hill-Murray 0
In area high school volleyball Saturday, it was:
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 2, Farmington 1
Legacy Christian Academy 2, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 0
Prior Lake 2, Jackson County Central 0
Jackson County Central 2, Caledonia 0
Jackson County Central 2, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 0
Marshall 2, Eden Prairie 0
Marshall 2, Northfield 1
Lakeville North 2, Marshall 0