ST. CLOUD -- Adam Essler scored touchdowns early in the second half and New London-Spicer turned a close game into a rout, blasting Dilworth-Glydon-Felton 56-30 Saturday in a Class AAA state tournament quarterfinals game at St. Cloud State's Husky Stadium.
The Wildcats, 9-2, play 10-1 Rochester Lourdes in the AAA semifinals at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Metrodome. Lourdes defeated Fairmont 28-14 on Friday.
In the other AAA semifinal, Proctor (9-2) will play St. Croix Lutheran (9-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday at the dome.
NLS led DGF 24-16 at halftime, but Essler scored on a 21-yard run on the Wildcats' first offensive play of the second half, then blew by the Rebel defense for an 88-yard TD run on NLS' next possession to make it 38-16.
Quarterback Ryan Vraa threw a touchdown pass to Shane Zylstra just seconds into the fourth quarter, Jarrett Hatlestad scored on a 12 yard run about three minutes later, and Ben Beuning closed out the Wildcats' scoring on a 4-yard rumble with about 5 minutes remaining.
Essler surpassed 280 rushing yards for a second straight game and he also has run for more than 2,000 yards this season. NLS has scored 50 points or more in six games and is averaging more than 45 points per game.
See this web site and Monday's Tribune print edition for more on the game.