Titans, Polars ousted in football playoffs

The first round of the Section 4AAAA football playoffs turned out to be the end of the 2016 road for North and Tartan. Both teams were on the road in the quarterfinals on Oct. 25 and couldn’t get past a pair of big city foes.

 

Tartan

The fifth-seeded Titans held an early lead over fourth-seeded Minneapolis Washburn but the Millers responded with 21-straight points en route to a 35-21 victory. Tartan was able to pull within one score a couple of times later in the game but was never able to complete the comeback. 

Tartan got on the board first when Marco Hernandez hit Ben Bruhn for a five-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. A failed two-point conversion left the Titans with a 6-0 lead.

That lead didn’t last long, however, as Washburn returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good and the Millers were in front to stay.

Washburn added to its lead with touchdown runs of three and 21 yards in the second quarter.

Following the Millers’ second touchdown of the second quarter, Tartan unleashed its own kick return specialist. Kingston Myles returned the kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown and Hernandez threw to Cyrus Kalkwarf for the two-point conversion. That sent Tartan to the locker room down by only seven points.

Washburn restored its two-possession lead on a 17-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

Tartan’s last gasp came later in the third when Hernandez scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Tristan Weaver added the PAT to make it a seven-point lead once again.

Washburn salted the game away with a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

With the loss, Tartan finished the season with a record of 3-6. The Titans won three of their first five games but lost their final four.

 

North

A decisive third quarter sunk the Polars’ hopes in their playoff opener. North trailed by six points at halftime but St. Paul Central scored 14 points in the third en route to a 27-14 victory.

After giving up a first-quarter touchdown, North answered in the second quarter when Josh Steckler threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Shad Stibbins in the second quarter to tie it at 7-7.

Central regained the lead later in the second quarter but North prevented any further damage and trailed 13-7 at halftime.

The Minutemen then took control in the third on a 16-yard touchdown pass and a 60-yard touchdown run.

North closed out the scoring with a fourth-quarter touchdown on a seven-yard run by Fisayo Oduyemi.

North finished the season with a record of 1-8. The lone victory came in week five against Hill-Murray. 

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