Burros challenge early, fall to top-ranked Spring Grove

Connor Ruen grabs the kick return to gain a few yards for the Burros as he is pursued by the Spring Grove defense. KRISTI RUEN/NEWS LEADER
By : 

The Lanesboro football team fell a game under the .500 mark after dropping a home field game against the state 9-man champions from Spring Grove. The Burros lost 49-16, falling to 2-3 overall (1-3 sub-district). However, if you look closer, you’ll see the Burros went right at the No. 1 state-ranked 9-man team.

The Lions hadn’t been tested so far through the first four games of the season. LHS caused top-ranked Spring Grove more problems than most teams thus far, but like all the other teams, could not control All-State triple threat, Alex Folz.

For the first time this season, the undefeated Lions (5-0, 4-0 sub-district)) did not score the first time they touched ball. The Burro defense forced a punt on two of the Lions' first three possessions.

For the first time this year, the SG starters went into punt formation for a fourth time. However, Folz did not punt on one occasion when he saw an opening and ran 28 yards to set up the Lions' fifth touchdown.

The Burros held SG off the scoreboard until the final 40 seconds of the first quarter.

The Lanesboro offense started with two first downs before being halted by an interception. After that, LHS went quiet offensively. The Burros then went three-and-out on their next four possessions while falling behind 21-0.

While some teams may have let down after falling behind by three scores, the Burros didn’t let up. LHS seized some momentum when Nate Betz bolted 50 yards down to the Lion five yard-line. Connor Ruen barged in for the touchdown and caught the two-point conversion pass from Carson Schwichtenberg. It was suddenly a 21-8 game just 1:12 before halftime.

But 68 seconds later, the Lions had gone 70 yards in seven plays to reverse momentum and lead 28-8 at halftime

Betz got loose again for a 37-yard TD run late in the game. Schwichtenberg ran in the two points to create the final score with 2:39 to play.

While the Lions had several big plays in the game, LHS managed only three plays going for 20 yards or more - the two Betz runs and a 23-yard pass from Schwichtenberg to Ruen.

The most sustained LHS possession was a late 11-play march that died on downs after reaching the Lion 9. 

The Burros failed to take advantage of the lone Lion turnover after Joe Gathje recovered a fumble at the SG 13. LHS fumbled it back to the Lions two plays later, and SG drove 88 yards to go up 49-8.

 Betz had a good night, finishing with 107 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries (9.7 ypc). Schwichtenberg completed eight of 19 passes for 80 yards without being sacked, but he was intercepted twice.

Overall, SG outgained the Burros 483 yards to 246. The Lions had a short field only once - after punting LHS back to the three yard-line, SG returned the ensuing LHS punt to the 27. That set up the first score of the game. Otherwise, the Lions put together six long scoring drives of 67, 60, 70, 65, 60 and 88 yards

Folz, the SG quarterback, accounted for 425 yards of offense and either ran or passed for five of the seven Lion TDs. Even subtracting 24 sack yards, the sub-district's leading rusher, punter, and scorer ran for 257 yards and three touchdowns (2, 10, 32 yards).

Folz completed 17 of 27 passes with no interceptions for 168 yards. The Burros did sack Folz twice — once each for Betz and Ruen — but Folz had a pair of touchdown tosses of 28 yards to Kai Bjerke and 23 yards to Honorable Mention All-State receiver Noah Elton.

Elton had 11 receptions for 102 yards, plus a one-yard TD run. The final Lion score came with reserve signal caller, Chandler Bergrud throwing an 11-yard TD pass to All-State Ethan Matzke.

Both teams were without a couple of injured starters, including Andrew Luck and Jake Gathje for Lanesboro. JT Rein was injured during the game.

Lanesboro led the series until SG's current nine-game winning streak, but it’s still close. The Lions now lead the series 26 wins to 21 for the Burros with 3 ties (since 1942).


The Burros hit the road on Friday night, Oct. 5, for a matchup at Lyle/Pacelli (0-5, 0-4 sub-district). Kickoff in Lyle is at 7:00.


East Sub-District Football

Houston…………4-0 (5-0 all)

Spring Grove……4-0 (5-0 all

Grand Meadow…3-1 (4-1 all)

Mabel-Canton…..2-2 (3-2 all)

Randolph………..2-2 (3-2 all)

Lanesboro……….1-3 (2-3 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander 0-4 (1-4 all)

Lyle/Pacelli………0-4 (0-5 all)


SG 49, LHS 16

LHS---0---8---8---0 = 16

SG----7---21--14--7 = 29


YARDAGE (rush+pass)

>>LHS 246 (166+80)

>>SG 483 (300+183)

RUSHING: att.-yards (avg.)

LHS 32-166 (5.2) 2TD

SG 39-300 (7.7) 4TD

PASSES: comp-att-int, yds.

LHS 8-19-2, 80 yds.

SG 18-28-0, 183 yds. 3TD

Sacks allowed: LHS 0, SG 2

TD: LHS 2 rush

     SG 4 rush, 3 pass  

PAT:  SG 7-7 (7-7 kick)

LHS 2-2 (1-1 rush, 1-1 pass)


YARDS/play: LHS 4.8, SG 7.2


LHS 3-1, SG 2-1,



LHS 6-41, SG 4-30

3rd downs: LHS 3-10, SG 6-11

4th downs: LHS 1-3, SG 2-2

Red zone: LHS 1-3, SG 4-4

First downs: LHS 11, SG 26

Plays/20+ yards: SG 9, LHS 3



RUSHING: Nate Betz 11-107, TD, long 50; Carson Schwichtenberg 6-24 +PAT, long 9; Connor Ruen 7-24, TD, long 9; JT Rein 8-11, long 5

PASSING: Schwichtenberg 8-19-2, 80 yds. +PAT

RECEIVING: Connor Ruen 2-37, TD, +PAT, long 23; Caden Anderson 3-32, long 15; Carter Clarke 2-8, long 7; Nate Betz 1-3

PUNTING: Schwichtenberg 5-163 (32.6)


Connor Ruen 4-84; JT Rein 1-14; Clay Schwichtenberg 1-7


Nate Betz 1-10; JT Rein 2-(-5)

SACKS: Nate Betz 1, Connor Ruen 1


Joe Gathje 1