Spring Grove (1-seed, 10-0) scored on the game’s third play and never allowed Lanesboro (2-seed, 9-1) to get closer than 19 yards to the Lion goal line. With the 35-0 decision on Nov. 4 at Dodge Center, the state-ranked No. 3 Lions return to state for the first time since their 2018 state championship. For the first time in four years, the regular-season champion was also able to add the section crown.
Elijah Solum completed 14 of 23 passes to six different receivers for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Solum, also the game’s leading rusher (11 carries-123 yards), kickstarted the attack by racing 67 yards to the end zone just 103 seconds into the action and later added a 1-yard TD plunge. Hunter Holland (16-84 yards rushing) scored on a 4-yard run.
Tysen Grinde caught seven passes for 98 yards, including a leaping 20-yard touchdown grab. Caleb Griffin (2-59 receiving) caught a 35-yard TD pass and scored all of the extra points with a two-point reception and a trio of point-after kicks. The longest completions were a 48-yard toss to Bryce Berns and a 42-yarder to Grinde.
State-ranked No. 7 Lanesboro, which had lost 28-6 at Spring Grove in week eight, was limited to no touchdowns, only eight first downs and only two big-yardage plays in this playoff rematch. Quarterback Mason Howard (18 carries-70 yards) got loose for 24 and 26-yard scampers, but one ended with a lost fumble near midfield. Howard, who was forced to scramble on some passing calls, completed 2 of only 6 passes for only 8 yards while losing 22 yards with three sacks. The Burros’ premier running back Orion Sass (1,520 yards, 20 TD) again found little room to run (13-49 rushing) against Spring Grove. Jacob Olerud had a game-high 12 tackles along with 11 stops each for Logan Brumm (sack) and Emmet Engeldinger (sack) plus 9 tackles for Noah Blackburn and 8 by Solum (sack).
Lanesboro, down 28-0 at halftime, started the second half with the ball. The first play lost two yards, and the second play was a sack and lost fumble, forced by Engeldinger and recovered by Olerud. The Lions could not take advantage, stopped on downs at the 4 yard-line, where the Burros were able to drive the ball out of danger but nowhere near the Lion goal line.
Against other opponents, both teams had gaudy scoring averages: SG 48 points per game, LHS 42 ppg. But it was defense that determined the regular-season championship and now the section title. The Burros, who averaged 413 yards of offense against other opposition, managed only 169 and 156 yards and only six points in two games against Spring Grove. In the section clash, the Lions had no turnovers and gained, 463 yards with its typical balanced attack – 216 rushing, 247 passing.
It is the fifth state tournament for Spring Grove with previous appearances in 2003 (semi-finalist), 2011, 2017 (state champion) and 2018 (state champion). The Nov. 10 quarterfinal opponent is section 2 champion Hancock.
Lanesboro finished the season at 9-2 with both losses against Spring Grove. The Burros were playing in their third straight section championship game. Before the last two disappointments, they won the title in 2020 but could not play in a state tournament, which was canceled due to COVID.
YARDAGE (rush + pass): SG 463 (216+247); LHS 156 (148+8)
RUSHING: att.-yards (avg.): SG 33-216 (6.5) 3 TD; LHS 39-148 (3.8)
PASSES: comp-att-int, yds. (TD): SG 14-23-0, 247 yds (2 TD); LHS 2-6-0, 8 yds.
Sacks allowed: SG 0, LHS 3
TD: SG 5 (rush 3, pass 2); LHS none
PAT: SG 4-5 (kick 3-4, pass 1-1); LHS none
TOTAL PLAYS: SG 56, LHS 45
AVG. yards per play: SG 8.3, LHS 3.5)
FUMBLES – LOST: SG 1-0, LHS 5-2
TURNOVERS: SG 0, LHS 2
PENALTIES: SG 2-25, LHS 8-57
3rd downs: SG 5-9, LHS 1-9
4th downs: SG 0-3, LHS 1-3
Red zone: SG 3-5, LHS 0-1
First downs: SG 17, LHS 8
Plays of 20+ yards: SG 9, LHS 2
RUSHING 33-216, 3 TD:; Elijah Solum 11-123, 2 TD; Hunter Holland 16-84, TD; Zach Brumm 2-6; Caleb Griffin 1-3; Tysen Grinde 1-2; team knees 2-(-2)
PASSING: Elijah Solum 14-23-0, 247 yds. 2TD +PAT
RECEIVING 14-247, 2 TD +PAT: Tysen Grinde 7-98, TD; Caleb Griffin 2-59, TD +PAT; Bryce Berns 1-48; Jaxon Strinmoen 2-27; Ethan Crouch 1-13; Hunter Holland 1-2
KICKOFF RETURNS: none
PUNT RETURNS: none
PAT KICKS: Caleb Griffin 3-4
SCORING 35: Elijah Solum 12, Caleb Griffin 11, Hunter Holland 6, Tysen Grinde 6
PUNTING: Tysen Grinde 1-23
PASS BREAKUPS: Caleb Griffin 1
FUMBLES FORCED: Emmet Engeldinger 1, Tysen Grinde 1
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Tysen Grinde 1, Jacob Olerud 1
SACKS 3: Logan Brumm 1, Emmet Engeldinger 1, Elijah Solum 1
TACKLES for LOSS (incl. sacks) 6: Logan Brumm 3.5; Emmet Engeldinger 1.0; Elijah Solum 1.0; Ethan Crouch 0.5
TACKLES (solo+assists): Jacob Olerud 12 (5+7), Logan Brumm 11 (5+6), Emmet Engeldinger 11 (4+7), Noah Blackburn 9 (2+7), Elijah Solum 8 (3+5), Tysen Grinde 4 (2+2), Ethan Crouch 2 (1+1), Zach Brumm 2 (0+2), Hunter Holland 1 (1+0), Caleb Griffin 1 (1+0), Jaxon Strinmoen 1 (0+1), Noah Heppner 1 (0+1), Bryce Berns 1 (0+1) , Troy Reinhardt 1 (0+1), Jacob Solum 1 (0+1)
RUSHING 39-148: Mason Howard 18-70, Orion Sass 13-49, Hayden Lawstuen 6-24, Will Harvey 1-5, team 1-0
PASSING: Masson Howard 2-6-0, 8 yds.
RECEIVING 2-8: Luke Ruen 1-6, Will Harvey 1-2
KICKOFF RETURNS: Orion Sass 4-57, Mason Howard 1-15, Cole Sass 1-3
PUNTING: Michael Rein 5-175 (35.0)