On the Bench with Byron Higgin
Tanner Sterzinger is one of those athletes who paid his dues — and his time had finally come. The 5-10, 160-pound wide running and defense back scored Minneota's first touchdown of the game during the 23-8 season-opening win over Sleepy Eye on a five-yard run.
He ran for 40 yards in his first starting effort and had four tackles on defense. Two were solo tackles — plus a pass interception. But when an injured foot was stepped on during the Sleepy Eye game, Sterzinger went down with an injury that will see him on the sideline for at least two games.
Sterzinger had been having some pain in his foot prior to the game and then had it stepped on in the game Thursday night and re-aggravated it. It was learned later that he has a small fracture and will be in a walking boot for two weeks.
No doubt the injuries to quarterback Jacob Hennen with a broken wrist and Sterzinger out will put Minneota in a precarious position for Friday's game at Dawson-Boyd.
The always tough Blackjacks beat Adrian 58-18 in Thursday's opener and are 1-0, the same as the Vikings.
They came into the season having to re-construct their entire line — but with plenty of offensive weapons with quarterback Jake Lee, backs Bentley Boike and Colton Husby and end Zach Durfee.
Against Adrian, Lee tossed two touchdown passes to Durfee, Boike ran for 180 yards and Husby added another 96 yards.
Boike, a 6-3 and 218-pound tailback, was the area’s top rusher last year with 1,789 yards and 18 touchdowns. Husby at 6-0, 210 pounds, had 979 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago. Husby also led the team in tackles with 76 from his linebacker position.
The most likely answer is Jacob’s senior brother Thomas Hennen. On Monday, the team was running with Thomas Hennen at the quarterback position.
Coach Johnston said, they would continue to use the “Wildcat” formation with Sanow lining up behind center in the next game, as well as having Thomas Hennen taking snaps under center.”
“We can’t rely on the ‘Wildcat’ all the time,” Johnston said.
“We have to throw the ball, too.” With the starting quarterback and wingback injured, as well as having to possibly take Thomas Hennen out of his receiver spot at times to play quarterback, Minneota will have to replace three of its 11 offensive starters.
“We will have to limit our playbook and not be as wide open until we get a chance to work things out,” said Johnston. “That’s the things about a small school. We don’t have 80 kids on the sidelines.”
“We have a freshman, Kade Lozinski, who has had an opportunity to take a few reps at practice. But since we play Dawson-Boyd in the next game, we’re not going to throw him into the fire right away.”
WARS Last week was pretty good, with eight of 11 correct guess.
I missed on Lakeview beating New Ulm Cathedral and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton beating Yellow Medicine East.
And, of-course, many of the scores were way off, including the Minneota Viking score.
Here’s this week’s WARS: Minneota 21, Dawson-Boyd 20
Sleepy Eye 21, New Ulm Cathedral 7
Murray County Central 25, Springfield 14
Wabasso 45, Yellow Medicine East 7
Ortonville 36, Canby 28
Lac qui Parle Valley 28, Lakeview 27
BOLD 36, Osakis 21
Marshall 48, Belle Plaine 14
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 28, Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 7
Willmar 36, Hutchinson 27
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 36, Adrian 14