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Litch title bid halted

MINNEAPOLIS -- Litchfield sprinted out of the gates, but it was Glencoe-Silver Lake's patience that came out on top in the end Thursday at the Metrodome.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Litchfield sprinted out of the gates, but it was Glencoe-Silver Lake's patience that came out on top in the end Thursday at the Metrodome.

The Dragons scored twice in a span of two-and-a-half minutes in the first quarter before Glencoe-Silver Lake literally ran down Litchfield for a second time this season, this time posting a 27-20 in the semifinals of the Class AAA State Tournament.

The Panthers' powerful wishbone option offense was again the center of attention as GSL piled up 379 yards on the ground on 57 carries. Halfback Jonathan Hoese picked his spots and rushed for a game-high 171 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Matt Muenchow racked up another 91 yards on the ground to ignite the Panthers, who beat Litchfield 35-18 on Sept. 8 behind 325 rushing yards.

Litchfield (11-2) and its senior quarterback, Kent Johnson, were firing on all cylinders in the beginning. Johnson rushed for 30 yards on six carries and completed two passes to junior wide receiver Jordan Lecher for 19 yards in the game's first drive to set up the Dragons' first score.

On second down, senior running back David Malepsy found a seam on the left side and followed his blockers before scoring on a 16-yard scamper. The two-point conversion failed, though, in large part because the Dragons were whistled for a 15-yard penalty for having 12 players in the huddle.

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The Dragons' defense also came out strong, allowing GSL only four yards in its first series. Starting at its own 24, Litchfield scored on its second play when Malepsy sneaked out of the backfield and hauled in a lob pass from Johnson and sprinted 73 yards down the middle of the field to put Litchfield ahead 12-0.

"It was a new play we just put in (the playbook) this week," said Johnson, who rushed for a team-high 70 yards and threw for 172 more.

After that, the Panthers slowly put out the Dragons' fire.

A 30-yard scamper from Muenchow helped set up Hoese's 25-yard TD run midway through the second quarter. The Panthers came close to scoring again in the quarter, but Litchfield junior linebacker Jess Housman, who was in on 15 tackles, picked off a halfback option pass at the goal line with 11 seconds left.

But the Panthers pounced back again in the third quarter, scoring twice while limiting Litchfield to just 16 yards of offense. Hoese scampered 42 yards for a score and Muenchow extended the Panthers' lead to 21-12 with a 45-yard TD pass to Bud Sanken.

"They had a little momentum near halftime and they were conditioned well," said Litchfield coach Jon Johnson. "But we still battled back."

Litchfield put together a 14-play drive that was capped by Lecher, who caught seven passes for 57 yards, hauling in a six-yard scoring strike from Johnson to pull within one at 21-20 with 5:35 remaining. But again GSL answered back as a 31-yard run from Hoese helped set up Dustin Jurek's 11-yard TD run with 2:53 left. The Panthers sealed the win by picking off Johnson with 1:56 left.

"GSL stepped up in the second half and started to take care of our running game," said Kent Johnson. "But we never gave up."

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Glencoe-SL 27, Litchfield 20

Glencoe-SL (12-1) 0 7 14 6 -- 27

Litchfield (11-2) 12 0 0 8 -- 20

Lit - David Malepsy 16 run (pass failed)

Lit - Malepsy 72 pass from Kent Johnson (run failed)

GSL - Jon Hoese 25 run (Tony Kosek kick)

GSL - Hoese 42 run (Kosek kick)

GSL - Bud Sanken 45 pass from Matt Muenchow (Kosek kick)

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Lit - Jordan Lecher 7 pass from Kent Johnson (Nic Johnson run)

GSL - Dustin Jurek 10 run (kick fail)

Glencoe-Silver Lake

Team statistics

First downs: 21 ... Rushing: 57-379 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-12-69-1 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 2-12

Individual statistics

Rushing: Jonathan Hoese 21-171, Matt Muenchow 13-91, Dustin Jurek 15-81, Bud Sanken 6-36 ... Passing: Matt Muenchow 4-11-65-0, Dustin Jurek 0-1-0-1 ... Receiving: Bud Sanken 2-50, Chad Pierson 1-13, Jonathan Hoese 1-2... Punting: Jonathan Hoese 2-26.5 ... Interceptions: Chip Maresh 1, Steve Slater 1 ... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles (solo-assist): Chip Maresh 6-0, Joe Copas 6-0, James Carlson 5-0, Steve Slater 4-0 ... QB sacks: Steve Slater

Litchfield

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Team statistics

First downs: 11 ... Rushing: 28-104 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 12-26-172 ... Fumbles lost: none ... Penalties: 6-50

Individual statistics

Rushing: Kent Johnson 18-70, David Malepsy 4-21, Cody Hanson 1-6, Nick Johnson 4-4, Dustin Celander 1-3 ... Passing: Kent Johnson 12-26-172-2 ... Receiving: Jordan Lecher 7-57, David Malepsy 1-73, Alex Euerle 1-17, Michael Bruesewitz 1-16, Calvin Pehle 1-5, Jess Housman 1-4 ... Punting: Michael Bruesewitz 5-28.6 ... Interceptions: Jess Housman ... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles (solo-assist): Jess Housman 15-0, Calvin Pehle 8-0, David Malepsy 8-0, Kent Johnson 6-0, Marcus Buschette 6-0, Tim Wold 4-0, Jordan Lecher 3-0, Joe Valiant 2-0, Jared Flemming 2-0, Alex Berglund 2-0, Taylor Berry 1-0 ... QB sacks: Jared Flemming Β½, Jess Housman Β½

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