Top-ranked Spring Grove lacerates Lyle/Pacelli

Kyle Hagen (left) and Calvin Sylling pursue Lyle/Pacelli running back Giacomo Riva. Hagen had a team-high 11 tackles for Spring Grove. BELOW: Tristan Hammel sacks Lyle/Pacelli quarterback Jed Nelson as Lion teammate Calvin Sylling closes in. Photos by Cheryl Patterson

Despite the convincing 62-16 Spring Grove victory in the home opener at Blayne Onsgard Memorial Field, the Lions (2-0, 1-0 district) trailed Lyle/Pacelli for the first time in 11 years before storming back to look like the state's No.1-ranked 9-man football team. The first state poll was released after week one.

Dating back to 2015, it was the 21st straight setback for the Athletics (0-2, 0-1 district) who have also dropped their last 11 games against Spring Grove.


While the Lion offense posted 62 points, the defense also enjoyed success, including two interceptions by Alex Folz and Takoda Boyd. 

Kyle Hagen excelled with a team-high 11 tackles (6 solo). Sophomore Tristan Hammel had a team-best three tackles for loss, including the lone Lion quarterback sack in addition to blocking an L/P extra-point kick.  


In addition to intercepting a Lyle/Pacelli pass, Spring Grove quarterback Folz continued to be highly efficient in the air. With the highest quarterback rating in the sub-district, he completed 10 of 15 passes (67%) with no interceptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns. 

Folz rushed for 287 yards and five touchdowns on runs of 73, 1, 71, 25 and 11 yards while amassing 476 yards of total offense (rushing and passing). 

He was not called on to punt but booted through all seven extra-point attempts and ran in another two-point conversion.

Ethan Matzke caught two passes, including an 80-yard reception and run that made it 28-8 early in the second quarter.

Three Lions had touchdown catches, starting with a nine-yard reception by Noah Elton.

The point parade ended with Chandler Bergrud hitting eighth grader Ty Cleven with a 47-yard TD toss.

Tyler Kersten contributed a 14-yard touchdown scamper. 

After SG took a 7-0 lead on its first possession and holding L/P to negative yardage on its first two possessions, L/P sophomore quarterback Jed Nelson stunned the Lions with a 74-yard touchdown run. He passed to Tyson Anderson for the two-point conversion, and L/P led 8-7.

That sprint accounted for more than half of the Athletics' rushing total (135) and put them ahead of SG for the first time since the last L/P win in the series in 2007.

But SG scored three plays later and led 49-8 at halftime.

The lone Lion turnover came late with a lost fumble at the SG 24 yard-line. The Athletics ran out of downs at the Lion one yard-line, but did add a safety three plays later.

Nelson passed for 95 yards, including a 46-yard strike that set up the final L/P score - a four-yard TD run by Giacomo Riva in the fourth quarter.

The Lions had 581 yards of offense, outgaining L/P by 198 yards on the ground (333-135) and by 153 yards in the air (248-95).

Again, the downside for Spring Grove (and their opponents) was a second consecutive flood of penalty laundry. The Athletics were flagged 10 times while SG drew 13 penalties for 129 yards. Three Lion touchdown plays were negated by penalties.

The B-team game at Randolph was canceled by weather, but the SG/Mabel-Canton junior high team blanked Houston 39-0.

This week and next

The Lions go on the road to renew the neighborhood rivalry with Mabel-Canton on Friday, Sept. 14.


SG 62, L/P 16

SG--21--28--7--6 =  62

L/P---8---0---0--8  = 16


RUSHING: Alex Folz 17-287, long 73, 5TD; Tyler Kersten 6-58, long 14, TD ; Noah Elton  2-6, long 3; Chandler Bergrud 2-(-11), long (-5); Team knee 2-(-2)

PASSING: Alex Folz 10-15-0, 189 yds. 2TD; Chandler Bergrud 3-5-0, 59 yds. TD

RECEIVING: Ethan Matzke 2-84, TD; Ty Cleven 1-47, TD; Kai Bjerke 4-40; Noah Elton 3-63, TD; Isaac Griffin 1-9; Carson Gavin 1-3; Tyler Kersten 1-2


INTERCEPTIONS: Folz 1-24 yds.; Boyd 1- 2 yds.

PASS BREAKUPS: Bjerke 1, Bergrud 1, Folz 1, Kersten 1

BLOCKED KICKS: Tristan Hammel 1 extra point 

FUMBLES FORCED: Calvin Sylling 1

SACKS: Tristan Hammel 1

TACKLES (solo + assists): Kyle Hagen 11 (6+5), Noah Elton 6 (2+4), Tristan Hammel 5 (3+2), Caden Grinde 4 (4+0), Ethan Matzke 4 (3+1), Alex Folz 4 (3+1), Chandler Bergrud 4 (3+1), Takoda Boyd 4 (1+3), Isaac Griffin 3 (3+0), Kai Bjerke 3 (2+1), Calvin Sylling 3 (2+1), Ethan Murphy 2 (2+0), Tyler Kersten 1 (1+0), Carson Gavin 1 (0+1), Brandon Anderson 1 (0+1), Tyler Cleven 1 (0+1)


PUNT RETURNS: Elton 3-25, Grinde 1-7


YARDAGE (rush + pass): SG 581 (333+248); L/P 230 (`135+95) 

RUSHING: att.-yards (avg.): SG 29-333 (11.5) 6 TD; L/P 29-135 (4.7) 2 TD 

PASSES: comp-att-int, yds. (TD): SG 13-20-0, 248 yds. (3TD); L/P 10-26-2, 95 yds. (0 TD 

Sacks allowed: SG 1, L/P 1 

TD: SG 6 rush, 3 pass; L/P 2 rush 

PAT: SG 7-9 (6-7 kick, 1-1 run, 0-1 pass); L/P 1-2 (0-1 kick, 1-1 pass)


YARDS/PLAY: SG 11.9, L/P 4.2

FUMBLES - LOST: SG 3-1, L/P 4-0 


PENALTIES: SG 13-129, L/P 10-71

3rd downs: SG 6-7, L/P 1-13

4th downs: SG  0-1, L/P 3-5

Red zone: SG 4-4, L/P 1-2

First downs: SG 17, L/P 9

Plays of 20+ yards: SG 8, L/P 2


VARSITY FOOTBALL*East Sub-district games

2-0 (1-0 sub-district) 

W at Cleveland/Immanuel Lutheran 56-12

W vs. *Lyle/Pacelli 62-16

Fri. 9/14…….*at Mabel-Canton

Fri. 9/21………...*Randolph

Fri. 9/28…….*at Lanesboro

Fri. 10/05………*Houston (Homecoming)

Fri. 10/12……*at Grand Meadow

Wed. 10/17…….*LeRoy-Ostrander