The Lakeville South offense was held to single-digit points six times during the regular season.
The way the Cougar defense played Friday in their Class 6A playoff opener, the offense didn’t need to do much. The Cougars forced five Woodbury turnovers while advancing with a 13-0 victory.
The score sat at 5-0 for most of the game at Lakeville before Brady Torborg sealed the outcome with a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:19 to go.
Torborg had two of Lakeville South’s four interceptions. He also served as the Cougars’ punter and made his first start of the season at quarterback, filling in for injured teammate George Brekke.
“It’s a big role. I knew the guys around me would help me out. [Brekke] and the coaches helped me prepare and that helped me a ton,” Torborg said.
South’s Ty Willman intercepted a pass to end Woodbury’s first drive of the game. His long return brought the ball to the Woodbury 30, setting up John Olson’s 31-yard field goal.
Three plays later, the Royals’ long-snapper sailed the ball over the punter’s head and out of the end zone to put the Cougars in front 5-0.
Playing in a steady snowfall, Woodbury (4-5) struggled to move the ball consistently all game. Royals quarterback Ryan Christensen completed 11 of 26 passes for 151 yards. Lead back Andrew Kraemer was held to 23 yards.
Lakeville South won despite completing just one pass. The Cougars instead opted to feed the ball to senior running back Jeremiah Jacobson, who gained 66 yards on 29 carries.
“When we’re plus in the turnovers, we’ve done well,” Lakeville South coach Tyler Krebs said. “Our defense was playing well, and throwing into the wind was difficult, so we just wanted to make sure we were smart.”
The Cougars (4-5) face St. Michael Albertville (8-1) next Friday. They will need another sterling defensive effort to hang with a Knights team that has scored 35 or more points seven times this season.
“We’ve played really well defensively at times,'' Krebs said. "We’ve talked about putting together two halves and this was our best first half we’ve played all season long. We’re going to have to do that moving forward to stay in games.''