High school football: Adrian capitalizes on Fosston mistakes
MINNEAPOLIS -- Fosston's chances to stay undefeated and advance to the Minnesota state Class A football championship slipped through its fingers.
A fumble and an interception-turned-touchdown-reception in the last minute of the first half did in Fosston, which lost 14-7 to Adrian in the state semifinals Friday at the Metrodome.
Fosston finished the year 12-1, while Adrian improved to 11-2. Adrian plays the winner of today's semifinal between Blooming Prairie and Minneota for the state title.
A scoreless second half for both teams meant the momentum swing at the end of the first half was the game's most important minute.
Simply trying to run out the clock before the end of the first half, Fosston handed the ball to running back Mark Goss. But Goss, who finished with a game-high 89 rushing yards, fumbled at the Fosston 21 with 34 seconds left.
On fourth-and-7 from the 18 with six seconds left, Adrian quarterback Brett Nowotny lofted a pass into the end zone.
Fosston appeared to be in perfect position for the interception, but the ball bounced off the hands of the Greyhounds and into the hands of Adrian wide receiver Kyle Kilgore. It would be the game's last touchdown.
"That was a really big play," Adrian coach Randy Strand said. "Kyle stuck with the play. The only thing we told Brett was not to go down with the ball. We told him to put it up in the air and what happens, happens."
The Greyhounds could not respond. Fosston's best scoring chance came early in the third quarter when the Greyhounds went on a 16-play drive that ate up more than seven minutes.
But the promising drive stalled at the Adrian 18-yard line. The Greyhounds didn't get the ball back until there 11 minutes left in the game. On that drive's first play, fullback Andrew Juve also fumbled.
The Greyhounds would get the ball two more times. With about three minutes left, Fosston drove to near midfield. However, on fourth-and-3 with 2:20 to go, Fosston quarterback Jake Juve was stopped inches short of a first down.
"Our kids responded well at halftime," Fosston coach Les Viken said. "I thought our defense did a great job. Yards-wise we were pretty equal. It all comes back to a batted ball. Our kid looks like he's in position, but they made a play and we didn't. That's just the way it goes sometimes. But these kids had a great season, and I'm proud of that."
Fosston's offense was efficient, gaining 233 yards of total offense and getting 16 first downs. But Jake Juve's 20-yard touchdown run in the first half was the Greyhounds' longest offensive play. Fosston didn't have an offensive play of more than 10 yards in the second half.
"That has been key for us, not giving up the big play," Strand said. "If you don't give up any 50-yarders and play solid defense . . . it's tough for high school teams to go 70, 80 yards without any mistakes."