In a 9-man game that featured a wild fourth quarter and 101 total points scored, it was a two-point conversion and back-to-back defensive plays that tipped the scales. Winners of three straight Mabel-Canton (3-3, 3-3) took on #8 LeRoy-Ostrander (4-1, 5-1), which entered having just dropped its first game to #6 Kingsland. The upstart Cougars led by double digits each half. After L-O scored with its first drive, M-C put up 20-unanswered points to lead 20-7 early in the second quarter. A Tyler Larson 18-yard TD run again made it a two-score game at 26-13 with 1:57 left before the half. But L-O critically scored with 0:14 left on the clock via Camden Hungerholt to Carter Sweeney 47-yard TD pass. M-C led 26-21 at intermission.
To start the second half, the Cards recovered a purposeful on-side kick. A Hungerholt 15-yard TD run, plus conversion pass, gave the Cardinals their first lead since 7-0 at 29-26. But M-C replied with a score, got a stop, and scored again early in the fourth. With 11:40 to go, Paul Tollefsrud’s Cougars again led by two scores at 42-29. But Hungerholt and his line had a big final stanza. Just 44 seconds after M-C’s score, the junior QB was in the end zone with a 7-yard TD run. A conversion pass made it 42-37 M-C. The Cougars went three-and-out. L-O again quickly scored, this time in 1:23. Hungerholt’s second TD of the quarter and fourth of the game made it 43-42 Cardinals (7:12). But L-O’s ensuing on-side was attacked by Cougar Isaac Underbakke. He promptly returned it 48-yards for a score! Cayden Tollefsrud’s two-point run made it 50-43 M-C (7:05). But Hungerholt and line again went to work, this time with a 11-play, 73-yard drive. L-O converted a 4th and fourth early in the series. Hungerholt capped the drive with a 2-yard TD run to narrow M-C’s lead to 50-49. The Cards then got the conversion run by Hungerholt for the 51-50 lead (3:43)!
After a touchback, Tollefsrud nearly scored on M-C’s first play, just getting tripped up on a 42-yard run to the Cardinal 38. But L-O’s big guys up from finally made plays. Malyk Schaefer stuffed a Tollefsrud run for four-yard loss on third and three. On fourth and seven, Mason Diemer sacked Underbakke (1:53). It was L-O’s only two TFLs. The Cardinals then ran out the clock. Trevor Carrier’s group again pulled out the win in the fourth quarter, this time 51-50! Hungerholt (43-312, 5 TDs rushing, 12 of 19, 178 yards, 2 TDs passing) again shouldered a big load with his sixth straight 200-yard rushing effort. Carter Sweeney (7-130, TD receiving) was his favorite target. Carson Roe added a first half TD run.
M-C was led by backs Tollefsrud (21-243, 3 TDs rushing, 22-yard reception) and Larson (20-118, 2 TDs rushing). Underbakke (3-3, 66 yards, TD passing) had the big return TD but also hit Kale Tollefsrud for a 34-yard TD pass. L-O was penalized 10 times for 70 yards, M-C once for 15. The teams combined for over 900 yards total offense and 45 first downs. Each ran for around 350 yards. Courtesy of #6 Kingsland (6-0, 7-0) beating #10 Spring Grove (4-2, 5-2), the #8 Cardinals (5-1, 6-1) sit in second place in the South-East. M-C (3-4, 3-4) has three losses by six (Kingsland 40-34), three (Southland 29-26), and now one (L-O 51-50). L-O’s last four wins have been by single digits.