Jackson Paradise’s first field-goal attempts of the season were eventful.
Paradise missed a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter after a missed extra point earlier in the game.
Lakeville South’s kicker found redemption when he hit the game-winning, 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, giving coach Tyler Krebs a 9-6 victory over his former team, Burnsville, on Friday night at Lakeville South High School.
“We got it done on the third one,” Paradise said. “That’s all that matters.”
Before Paradise’s make, the only scores came in the first half.
The Blaze recovered their own fumble on the 2-yard line, narrowly avoiding a turnover in the red zone in the first quarter.
Quarterback Marcus Shepley capitalized on retaining possession with a 2-yard, go-ahead QB sneak to make it 6-0.
Cougars quarterback George Brekke then rolled out on a play-action bootleg, finding his fullback, Jared Stewart. Stewart turned up field and fumbled the ball into the end zone. Lakeville South’s Riley Mahlman recovered the ball to tie the game at 6-6.
Brekke finished with 92 yards passing.
“We didn’t play our best,” Krebs said. “It’s OK to win ugly, but we need to play a lot better.”
Lakeville South running back Jeremiah Jacobson was out of the game with an ankle injury. Logan Gudmundson, another running back, was also injured.
Third-string running back T.J. Nelson filled in for his teammates and rushed for 57 yards. Nelson said his fellow running backs have taught him everything.
“Every single time I go off the sidelines they’re helping me,” Nelson said. “I’m not giving up for them, and they’re not giving up for me.”
The Blaze’s Tre Thomas ran for a game-high 83 yards, but he also had a critical fumble. Burnsville (1-2) also gave up a blocked punt and committed seven penalties.
“We’ve got to be a more mentally-shaped team,” Thomas said. “We’ve got to stay focused in practice.”
Burnsville coach Vince Varpness said he didn’t want his team to focus on playing its former coach.
“We didn’t talk about him at all this week,” Varpness said. “They’re going to focus on it, because they had a close relationship with him. But it’s not about him.”
Lakeville South (2-1) travels across town to play Lakeville North next week, while the Blaze play Maple Grove at home.