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Football: Irish run away from Tigers

Rosemount’s Trent Woodcock tries to shake off two Farmington players during the first half of the Irish’s 49-0 shutout of Farmington in the Section 3, Class 6A playoffs Friday night at Irish Stadium.

Rosemount and Farmington entered the Section 3, Class 6A playoffs as two teams heading in opposite directions.

Rosemount had won seven games in a row in the South Suburban Conference, earning a No. 3 ranking in the state and the No. 1 seed in the section, while eighth-seeded Farmington was coming off four straight losses to end their final season in the Missota Conference.

Things continued to go the Irish’s way from the start when the teams squared off for the first time in seven years Friday night at Irish Stadium. Farmington was forced to punt on all six of its first-half possessions against a stifling Rosemount defense, while the Irish marched in for touchdowns the first six times they got the ball en route to a commanding 42-0 halftime lead. Rosemount’s backups played the entire second half, but still managed to preserve the team’s second shutout of the season in a 49-0 rout.

During the lopsided first half, Rosemount racked up 257 total yards while holding Farmington to negative-one.

The Irish (8-1) host Mounds View (7-2) of the Suburban East Conference tomorrow night in the Section 3-4 crossover game. They defeated the Mustangs 12-0 the last time the two teams met in the 2008 state quarterfinals.

The Rosemount defense set the tone on the first possession of the game Friday night. Farmington quarterback Tyler VanWinkle started the game with an incompletion, then completed a pass for minus-three yards before being sacked back to the 12-yard line. After the first of nine Farmington punts, the Irish drove 54 yards on nine running plays and found the end zone on a two-yard dive by Dimitri Williams.

The Irish defense struck again just over a minute later. After another Farmington three-and-out, Mason Gaylord’s second punt attempt of the game was blocked and returned by Nate Sackett 29 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, Rosemount put together another long drive that featured eight straight running plays and moved the ball inside the red zone. On the second play of the second quarter, Williams capped off the nine-play, 57-yard trip with a one-yard score that made it 21-0.

After dominating with their rushing attack on the first three drives, the Irish decided to take to the air for the rest of the half. The offense started at midfield thanks to another Farmington three-and-out, and two plays later quarterback Jackson Erdmann found Williams for a 50-yard pass down to the two-yard line. Trent Woodcock finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Erdmann capped off the next 60-yard drive with a four-yard swing pass to Gabe Ehlers for a touchdown, and then put the finishing touches on his performance with a 27-yard touchdown toss to a diving Tray Ashby-Phan in the corner of the end zone.

Erdmann finished 8 of 13 for 149 yards and two scores.

After a scoreless third quarter, Rosemount backup running back Lowell Green provided some more fireworks by breaking free for a 96-yard touchdown run that concluded the scoring with 11:45 to go. Green led the team with 115 yards, while Williams added 60 and Tyrek Cross 48.

In all, the Irish outgained the Tigers 427-77.

VanWinkle completed 12 of 21 passes for 45 yards in his final career game. Fellow senior Derek Klotter led the team in rushing with 38 yards on 13 carries. Senior Jordan DeCroock caught six passes for 34 yards.

Rosemount’s Conner Yepsen snagged a tipped ball for the game’s lone interception on the final play of the first half.