Football: South St. Paul ousts Hill-Murray

Wally Wakefield
Review staff

South St. Paul 28 - Hill-Murray 10

At the jam-packed Packer Stadium Friday, Nov. 1, South St. Paul tickled its fans when it ended the season for the Hill-Murray Pioneers with an 18-point, Section 4AAAA victory. The win lifted the Packers into the state football tournament, which begins Thursday, Nov. 7.

The Packers scored the first points of the game in the second quarter. Marco Freeman broke through the line and put six points on the board with a 35-yard gallop into the Hill-Murray end zone. Nick Ricci added the point after and it was 7-0 South St. Paul.

As play headed into the third quarter, a Hill-Murray drive broke down at the Packers’ 17-yard line.

Brennan LaFeber booted a 34-yard field goal through the uprights, and Hill-Murray was on the board but still down 3-7.

The Packers widened their margin when a long drive ended and Bill Brandecker dove in from 1-yard out. Ricci was true with the PAT boot and South St. Paul moved to a 14-3 lead.

In the fourth quarter, South St. Paul tacked on more points when Freeman scored his second touchdown on a 15-yard jaunt into pay dirt. Again Ricci booted the PAT to push the South St. Paul advantage to 21-3.

The 18-point margin was short-lived. On the ensuing kickoff, Hill-Murray senior speedster Dusty Krueger took the ball at his 9-yard line, cut up field and soon broke into the open. Once he got up his head of steam, Krueger put any would-be tacklers in his smoke as he raced 91 yards for the score. LaFeber made the PAT boot, and the Pioneers had recorded their final points of the 2013 season.

But South St. Paul wasn’t finished. Brandecker completed the final drive with a 1-yard dive into the end zone. Ricci booted his fourth point after and the final 28-10 was put up on the scoreboard.

In the game, Freeman led the Packers with 163 yards on 20 carries for an average of 8.1 yards per carry and two touchdowns.

Also worth mentioning were the efforts of Brandecker who had a pair of touchdowns and had 14 carries for 54 yards and a 3.8 average per tote.

Hill-Murray packed their collective duffel bags and headed home to await the 2013-14 winter season.

South St. Paul, meanwhile, is headed to the Minnesota State Class 4A Football Tournament. The Packers open against Hutchinson at Chanhassen High School at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.

Wally Wakefield can be contacted at

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