It was Lanesboro run versus Spring Grove pass as it began with a 67-point first half scoring duel. After only 15 plays, Lanesboro led 16-7 before the teams added 44 points in the explosive second period. However, the second half belonged to state-ranked No. 2 Lanesboro in a 72-27 home win over visiting Spring Grove in the October 15 regular season finale.
With 99 total points, there were several noteworthy offensive achievements. Lion sophomore Elijah Solum passed for career-highs with 276 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Jaxon Strinmoen had four receptions for a career-best 129 yards and matched a career-high with two receiving touchdowns before his season ended with an injury. But Lanesboro’s JT Rein rushed for a career-high 363 yards and seven touchdowns. Throwing in a 26-yard interception return and 12 yards of punt returns, the all-district standout had 401 yards of all-purpose running. Scoring 44 points, Rein ripped off TD runs of 3, 57, 50, 1, 47, 46 and 54 yards and also galloped across the goal line with a two-point conversion as the Burros eventually left the Lions far behind.
There may be some surprise with those 72 points, the most ever scored by the winning team in a competitive series that Spring Grove still leads 27 wins to 23 with 3 ties. Averaging 46 points per game, Lanesboro had 40 by halftime. But the Lions’ 27 points were unexpected as well. With Spring Grove averaging 13.2 points a game and Lanesboro giving up an average of 13. 5 points per game, it could have been expected the Lions would score 13 or 14 points. But they had about twice that much, 27 – by halftime!
Solum scorched the Burro secondary with 35 and 60-yard touchdown passes to Strinmoen. A 29-yard Caleb Griffin-to-Tysen Grinde completion and a 27-yarder from Solum to Strinmoen set up Solum’s 2-yard TD pass to Griffin. In that one possession, Griffin completed a pass, caught a TD pass and kicked an extra point. And then there was a short pass that Carson Gerard (3-91 yards) turned into a 68-yard touchdown play with the aid of a Grinde block.
But the Lions never led. The Burros only needed the first five plays from scrimmage to take an 8-0 lead. The Lions needed only four plays to make it 8-7. Six plays later, it was 16-7. And then the Lions blinked (punted), scored again in only two plays (22-14) and blinked (punted) again. The Grove guys could not afford to blink, because the Burros did not pause while scoring on their first six possessions to lead, 40-20.
Then the Lions used only four plays to make it 40-27 before finally forcing a Lanesboro punt. Grove used a 22-yard pass to Grinde and a 10-yard Lanesboro penalty to progress to the Burro 9 yard-line with the halftime clock running down. With a touchdown and then receiving the second-half kickoff, the Lions could possibly catch up. But the half ended with Seth Semmen intercepting a pass in the end zone. The score remained 40-27 at the break.
And after Lanesboro coaches made halftime adjustments, the Spring Grove aerial express was shut out in the second half with interceptions terminating the Lions’ next three possessions (Rein, Hayden Lawstuen, Reece Benson). Meanwhile the Burro rushing rampage continued unabated, even when the reserves from both sidelines took the field in the running-clock fourth quarter. In addition to Rein reaping repeated long-distance touchdowns, Lawstuen scored on a one-yard plunge while Seth Semmen, Mason Howard and Boston Wright added 5, 10 and 51-yard scoring carries, respectively.
Lanesboro attempted only two passes with no completions but averaged 12.2 yards per carry while amassing 584 rushing yards – the most in the 19 years for which single-game Spring Grove records survive.
There were 15 plays (SG 6, LHS 9) that covered 20 yards or more. The 99 total points entertained the Parents’ Night assemblage, but they did not eclipse the series-record 106 points scored in the Burros’ 63-43 victory in 2008.
While Spring Grove slipped to 3-4, the Burros extended their winning streak to 15 games while wrapping up an undefeated 8-0 regular season, securing the top section seed and claiming their first regular-season championship in eight years, since sharing the 2013 Southeast Conference title with Spring Grove and Grand Meadow. The Burros won last year’s section crown before the pandemic canceled the 2020 state tournament.
Spring Grove 27, @ Lanesboro 72
SG—-7—20—0—-0 = 27
LHS-16—24–20–12 = 7
SG 3-4 (3-4 sub-district), LHS 8-0 (7-0 sub-district)
YARDAGE (rush + pass): SG 374 (64+310), LHS 584 (584+0)
RUSHING: att.-yards (avg.): SG 19-654 (3.4); LHS 48-584 (12.2) 11 TD
PASSES: comp-att.-int, yds. (TD): SG 17-33-4, 310 yds. 4 TD; LHS 0-1-0, 0 yds +PAT
Sacks allowed: SG 0, LHS 0
TD: SG – pass 4, LHS – rush 11
PAT: SG 3-4 (3-4 kick); LHS (1 not attempted) 3-10 (0-1 kick, 2-3 run, 1-6 pass)
TOTAL PLAYS: SG 52, LHS 49
AVG. yards per play: LHS 11.9, SG 7.2
FUMBLES – LOST: SG 2-0, LHS 2-0
TURNOVERS: SG 4, LHS 0
PENALTIES: LHS 9-60, SG 6-35
3rd downs: SG 4-9, LHS 4-6
4th downs: SG 0-1, LHS 1-1
Red zone: SG 1-2, LHS 5-5
First downs: SG 14, LHS 20,
Plays of 20+ yards: SG 6, LHS 9
RUSHING 19-64: Hunter Holland 9-32, Elijah Solum 4-15, Zach Brumm 5-15, Caleb Eiken 1-2
PASSING 17-33-4, 310, 4TD: Elijah Solum 15-29-4, 276, 4TD; Caleb Griffin 1-1-0, 29; Caleb Eiken 1-3-0, 5
RECEIVING 17-310, 4TD: Jaxon Strinmoen 4-129, 2TD; Carson Gerard 3-91, TD; Tysen Grinde 4-71; Hunter Holland 3-9; Ethan Crouch 1-5; Caleb Griffin 2-5, TD
XP KICKING: Caleb Griffin 3-4
KICKOFF RETURNS: Caleb Griffin 6-106, Tysen Grinde 4-55
PUNT RETURNS: none
SCORING 27: Jaxon Strinmoen 12, Caleb Griffin 9, Carson Gerard 6
PUNTING: Gavin Ostern 3-84 (28.0)
PASS BREAKUPS: Caleb Griffin 3 PAT, Jaxon Strinmoen 1 PAT
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: none. FUMBLES FORCED: none. SACKS: none. TACKLES for LOSS (incl. sacks): none
TACKLES (solo + assists): Tysen Grinde 10 (7+3), Elijah Solum 7 (3+4), Logan Brumm 7 (2+5), Carson Gerard 6 (3+3), Ethan Crouch 5 (2_3), Jaxon Strinmoen 4 (3+1), Jacob Olerud 3 (2+1), Caleb Griffin 3 (2+1), Ty Cleven 3 (1+2), Noah Blackburn 2 (1+1), Hunter Holland 2 (0+2), Gavin Ostern 1 (1+0), Emmett Engeldinger 1 (1+0), Josh Newgaard 1 (0+1), Troy Reinhardt 1 (0+1)
Spring Grove football 2021 (3-3 (3-3 sub-district)
W at Houston 14-0 (Lions lead series 43-30-2)
Sat. Sept. 11 Lyle/Pacelli, CANCELED – Lions have won last 14, lead series 17-2)
W 28-26 at Mabel-Canton (Lions have won last 17; Cougars lead series 36-26)
L vs. Grand Meadow 17-20 (GM has won the last four; GM leads series 35-10)
L vs. Southland 14-46 (Rebels lead series 11-3)
L at LeRoy-Ostrander 6-46 (Cardinals have won the last three, lead series 15-13)
W vs. Kingsland 21-20 (Lions lead series 3-0)
L at Lanesboro 27-72 (Lions lead series 27-23-3)
Tues. Oct. 26 SECTION: #4 SG at #5 Southland
>>B-team football (2 wins, 1 loss)
at Mabel-Canton, canceled
at Kingsland, canceled
W at Houston 20-12
W at Grand Meadow 32-6
L vs. Lanesboro 6-30
>>Junior high football (2 wins, 3 losses)
W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 40-33
at Kingsland, canceled
L vs. Mabel-Canton 25-32 (storm ended game in second half)
W at Houston 39-6
L vs. Lanesboro 13-20
L at Southland 13-27