Milaca’s 2012 football season ended with a 28-14 loss to St. Cloud Cathedral in the first round of the Section 5AAA Playoff Tuesday night, Oct. 23, at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium.
However, the Wolves can take some solace that they played one of their better games in a winless, 0-9 season against the Crusaders, who had topped Milaca 42-18 earlier in the season.
“We played a little slow in the first half but we had a strong second half,” said Milaca Coach Randy Johnson. “We did a good job of slowing down Cathedral’s running attack for most of the game.
“Once again, we had some breaks go against us – it’s been a season of things like that. Overall, we did several things well and we were in the game right to the end.”
Milaca was without starting linebackers junior Jorgen Erickson and sophomore Josh Otten, who were injured.
“We missed them but it gave some young players an opportunity to get some varsity experience,” said Johnson.
The Wolves, seeded No. 6, led 8-0 after the first quarter, scoring on a one-yard run by junior quarterback Brian Kiel and a two-point conversion pass from Kiel to junior Ian Carpenter.
The Crusaders, seeded No. 3, scored twice in the second quarter to take a 15-8 halftime lead.
Cathedral went ahead 22-8 in the third quarter but Milaca scored on a 19-yard pass from Kiel to sophomore end Michael Garber to make the score 22-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Cathedral added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter after recovering a muffed punt deep in Milaca territory.
Kiel completed eight of 16 passes for 127 yards and rushed 13 times for 75 yards. Senior Mitch Hanenburg had three receptions for 70 yards.
“Brian and Mitch were able to put together some nice plays through the air,” said Johnson.
Johnson cited the blocking of senior tackles Dylan Quaintance and Cory Windhauser, senior center Levi Hoskins and junior tight end Matt VanSomeren.
Cathedral junior quarterback Jeff Fasching completed 12 of 21 passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore back Blake Addison led the Crusader running game with 141 yards on 24 carries.
In the other 5AAA first-round game Oct. 23, No. 4-seeded Mora handled No. 5-seeded Pine City 35-0 at Mora.
On Saturday, No. 1-seeded Annandale topped Mora 47-29 at Annandale while No. 2-seeded Foley defeated Cathedral 35-6 at Foley.
Annandale and Foley meet for the section title and a state berth Saturday at 4 p.m. at Husky Stadium.