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Lakeville South tops Woodbury, draws city rival North in state semifinals

By By MIKE COOK | Special to the Pioneer Press, 11/10/18, 12:15AM CST

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Late in the regular season, few people were doubting that Lakeville would have one team among the final four playing in the Class 6A football state semifinals. 

Lakeville South was not expected by most to be that team, but the Cougars will be at U.S. Bank Stadium next Friday after beating Woodbury 28-14 on Friday night in a quarterfinal game at Osseo High School.

The Cougars’ opponent next week? Lakeville North (11-0), which has been near or atop the big-school rankings all season. 

“That’s going to be a big game,” said South’s Jared Stewart, who scored two touchdowns, including a clinching 18-yarder with 1:06 left. “There’s going to be a lot of people there. It’ll be a fun game.” 

The Cougars (6-5) have won five straight behind a power-T formation that features three running backs side-by-side in the backfield with an emphasis on blocking angles and fakes, rather than power football. 

“It’s all due to our offensive line. Our backs are running strong, all we’ve got to do is hit the holes,” said Johnny Shabaz, who had a 55-yard touchdown run in the first half. “Most teams run a spread offense. On offense, we run the ball every play … This is what we do.” 

Lakeville South did not attempt a pass. 

Lakeville North, which routed St. Michael-Albertville 35-8 Friday, beat the Cougars 28-3 on Sept. 21, a game that was 7-3 at the half. 

“Obviously our kids know those kids really well and we’ll need to play great, but it’s fun to have a chance,” said Lakeville South coach Tyler Krebs.

That first matchup featured the old Cougars, who lacked confidence. 

Believing more in themselves as the season has gone along, Lakeville South has developed into an offensive force, scoring 216 points in its past five contests. Lakeville South scored 63 total points in starting 1-5 and was held to single digits four times. 

“We got better week by week and then we got momentum and it’s like, ‘OK, we can run this thing,’” Krebs said. “The kids believe. That’s the biggest thing for us.”

That first matchup featured the old Cougars, who lacked confidence. 

Believing more in themselves as the season has gone along, Lakeville South has developed into an offensive force, scoring 216 points in its past five contests. Lakeville South scored 63 total points in starting 1-5 and was held to single digits four times. 

“We got better week by week and then we got momentum and it’s like, ‘OK, we can run this thing,’” Krebs said. “The kids believe. That’s the biggest thing for us.”

That first matchup featured the old Cougars, who lacked confidence. 

Believing more in themselves as the season has gone along, Lakeville South has developed into an offensive force, scoring 216 points in its past five contests. Lakeville South scored 63 total points in starting 1-5 and was held to single digits four times. 

“We got better week by week and then we got momentum and it’s like, ‘OK, we can run this thing,’” Krebs said. “The kids believe. That’s the biggest thing for us.”

That first matchup featured the old Cougars, who lacked confidence. 

Believing more in themselves as the season has gone along, Lakeville South has developed into an offensive force, scoring 216 points in its past five contests. Lakeville South scored 63 total points in starting 1-5 and was held to single digits four times. 

“We got better week by week and then we got momentum and it’s like, ‘OK, we can run this thing,’” Krebs said. “The kids believe. That’s the biggest thing for us.”