North puts damper on Hill-Murray’s Homecoming

Tartan falls to Simley

North 9 - Hill-Murray 0

Rain that didn't let up made for a soggy Homecoming for the Hill-Murray players, students and alumni Friday, Sept. 18.

And the outcome of the game — a 9-0 loss to rival North High — certainly didn't improve matters for the Pioneers as they plowed their way through the mud for four quarters.

When told that, from the Pioneers' perspective, the game was about as bad as the weather, Hill-Murray first-year coach Rick Fryklund said, "Yeah, it was tough slogging out there for both teams, definitely."

Then when asked about what else he had to say about the contest, Fryklund chuckled before stating, "I really admire at how hard our kids played out there. Prior to the game, we talked about playing hard the whole four quarters, and our kids did that right to the end.

"We just had to make a play here and there and maybe it turns out differently, but who knows."

Fryklund continued, "I commend North St. Paul. Their kids also played hard the whole game. I'm not going to take anything away from their victory. They earned it."

North coach Eric Longtin agreed, "It wasn't pretty, but we got it done. The kids played well, especially on defense.

"We could have got something going there on that one drive in the second half. We thought we could, but we couldn't do it. Give a lot of credit to [Hill-Murray] that it didn't work out. They came out and ran right at us. But we're happy overall with what happened."

The first quarter ended with the Polars scoring late in the period. A 7-yard run up the middle by Fisayo Oduyemi gave the Polars a six-point lead. On the kick for the extra point the Pioneers jumped offside. That moved the ball to the 1 1/2-half yard line.

North kicker Ywg Xeng Lor was called back to the bench, and the Polars lined up for a two-point conversion. The Hill-Murray defense would not have any of that, and the Polars were stopped well short of the line to keep the score 6-0 in favor of North.

It turned out the TD by Oduyemi would be the only one of the game.

Near the end of the fourth quarter, a North drive stalled at the Hill-Murray 3-yard line.

Back onto the field trotted Lor. This time his boot from 19 yards out sailed through the uprights, and the final score, 9-0, was posted.

In the game North ran the ball 43 times and gained 159 yards. The Pioneers gained 58 yards on 42 tries.

The Pioneers' Duncan Roman ran the ball six times for 10 yards.

Oduyemi was the Polars' main workhorse, gaining 84 yards on 19 carries, an average of 4.2 yards per carry. Right on his heels was Isaiah Koran, who carried the ball the ball 13 times and gained 55 yards for an average of 4.2 per carry.

The win pushed the Polars to a Division Metro Red record of 3-2, while the loss dropped the Pioneers to a mark of 0-5.

Coming up, Hill-Murray is on the road at Park of Cottage Grove on Friday, Sept. 25, while North will host Mahtomedi that night. Both games are at 7 p.m.

Simley 21 - Tartan 14

Despite holding lead through much of the first half, the Tartan Titans suffered a 21-14 Homecoming loss to the Simley Spartans Friday, Sept. 18.

In the opening 12 minutes of action, the Titans scored first when Chase Fleischauer pulled down a 47-yard pass/run from Marco Hernandez. On the ensuing point-after attemp, Hernandez hit Lucas Miske for a two-point conversion to push the count to 8-0 as the first quarter came to a close.

The Simley Spartans responded when Michael Busch finished a Simley drive with a 7-yard run into the Tartan end zone. Brad Rechtzigel booted the point after, and the Spartans had pulled within one at 8-7.

The Titans widened their lead when Hernandez threw a 22-yard aerial that was pulled down by Fleischauer for a TD. A try for a two-point conversion was stopped, and Tartan maintained a 14-7 margin.

Before the half ended the Spartans knotted the score when Busch eluded would-be tacklers and scooted 19 yards in for a score. Rechtzigel made good on the PAT and the score was 14-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter Simley put the winning points on the board when Busch scored his third TD on a 5-yard plunge up the middle. Again Rechtzigel made the PAT. The teams fought hard through the final 12-minutes, but were unable to change the points on the board.

The win pushed the Simley season record to 2-3 in the Metro East Division. The loss dropped the Titans to a mark of 1-4.

Up next, the Titans have an away game at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at South St. Paul.

The Spartans will travel to Hill-Murray for a 7 p.m. game Friday, Oct. 2.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at or at 651-748-7826.


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