Rosemount receiver Cedric Wall caught two receptions of over 65 yards to make for the biggest plays of the night in the south metro duel against Lakeville North on Friday night.
Those two game-changing receptions, and a stout defensive stand, led the Irish to a 17-0 victory over the Panthers at Rosemount’s Irish Stadium on Friday.
“I have so much trust in him making plays for us,” Rosemount senior quarterback Vincent Pyne said. “He’s electric. He can make a play out of nothing.”
After Rosemount (3-0) scored first, on its first drive with a 28-yard field goal from star kicker Leyton Simmering, it was the Wall show in the first half.
On the second play of the second drive, Rosemount was at its own 28-yard line when Pyne hit Wall with a pass along the Rosemount sidelines. The Lakeville North (1-2) defenders were right on Wall’s heels, but Wall crashed into the endzone for a 72-yard touchdown with 2:04 left in the first quarter, putting Rosemount ahead 10-0.
“It was nice to have a game like this. Last week I screwed up blocking-wise, and I feel like I did better blocking today,” Wall, who was more worried about blocking after the game than the big catches, said. “Just going out there and playing the game I know I can play.”
Simmering is one of the top kickers in the state and also a goalie for the soccer team as well. Erdmann said that he gives the Irish a huge advantage, knowing that they can pin teams back inside the 10-yard line on punts, and easily kick field goals that some teams wouldn’t attempt.
“When I go out there, I just do my thing. I do my job just like everybody else does their job,” Simmering said. “It makes me feel good, because the team just loves what I do.”
Simmering said he is on the radar to kick for some college football programs.
Early in the third quarter, Wall caught another pass from Pyne — this one a bubble on the right sideline — and Wall ran all of 66 yards to the Panthers’ 1-yard line where he just missed the orange pylon before getting tackled out of bounds in the corner of the green turf. Pyne ran the ball in on the next play for a 1-yard touchdown, putting the Irish ahead 17-0.
The second half was a scoreless defensive showing, and after Lakeville North junior quarterback threw an incomplete pass on fourth down with 3:09 left in the game, Rosemount got the ball, got one more first down, and Pyne took two knees to end the game 17-0.
“Disappointed we didn’t have some more (points) in the second half, but our defense played solid the whole game,” Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann said about his team’s first shutout of the season.
Wall led the Irish in receiving with 138 yards on those two receptions. Pyne led in rushing with 35 yards. Running back Jayden Washington had 26 for the next most rushing yards.
Lakeville North junior quarterback Seth Johnson threw 6-14 for 45 yards, and senior running back Gavyn Schraufnagel led the running game with 83 yards on 19 carries.
“We figured out that we couldn’t really throw the ball too much so we kind of stuck to running it up the gut, and eventually teams are just going to shut that down,” Schraufnagel said.
After the game, Lakeville North’s head coach Brian Vossen said that he knows his team needs to improve the passing game so they can open up the run game.
“Ultimately, we’re in a situation right now with a somewhat young offense in some spots, and we’re trying to work through some of the positions and I’m hoping it will click,” Vossen said.
It was also Tackle Cancer Night, so many fans were wearing pink for the event that benefited the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. The reported amount of money raised was $3,000 for the fund.