KoMets rout Bears to advance to section finals
Coming off a 48-2 beatdown of Red Wing, the Byron football team had momentum on their side as they entered last Saturday’s game against Kasson-Mantorville.
However, all their momentum soon went out the window as the KoMets scored on two big plays early in the ball game, held the Bears scoreless until late in the fourth quarter, and won 28-8 to advance to the section finals.
Kasson-Mantorville got off to a quick start as they scored the game’s first touchdown within the first minute of the game when Cade Spreiter scored on a 61-yard run. Aaron Winkle’s successful extra point attempt gave K-M a 7-0 lead.
Following a brief Byron possession, the KoMets pushed their lead to 14-0 just three minutes later when Easton Knoll scored on a 39-yard run.
Interim Head Coach Joel Swanson was happy to see his team get off to such a good start.
“Great getting ahead early. In some tense moments it was nice to have the lead,” he said.
He said K-M’s offense was able to get those two long touchdowns by taking advantage of Byron’s blitzes.
“Offensively, Byron was taking a lot of chances blitzing people. So even though we didn't have any 15-play drives we still had quite a few yards in offense because we were able to pop some big plays,” he said.
Kasson-Mantorville’s defense also made some big plays and held Bears’ star running back Austin Freerksen to just 43 yards on 20 carries.
“Defensively, the players all bought into the game plan and did their jobs. They threw a lot of different looks at the guys and the guys made the adjustments on the field,” he said.
Still holding onto that 14-0 lead at halftime, Swanson said his team talked about adjusting to any new looks by the Bears and not turning the ball over.
“Defensively, we just emphasized to keep doing what we are doing. If they bring out any new looks we trusted the guys to make the adjustments and communicate with each other,” he said. “Offensively, I believe we emphasized that we just needed to quit turning the ball over. Stick with our option and reads.”
Overall, he was pleased with how the KoMets’ offense executed its gameplan.
“Byron was taking a lot of chances. We limited the bad plays and took advantage of the opportunities,” he said.
He said a lot of the execution came from quarterback Peyton Wilke making the right decisions.
“When you are an option quarterback most people don't realize that a lot of those holes out there are because of his reads and/or him checking into the correct. He has a lot of split second decisions that he needs to make,” he said. “He has done a great job throughout the season. There is no way you are going to be right every time. As a coach, I'm certainly not right all of the time.”
Another player that was effective against the Bears was running back Cade Spreiter.
Swanson said he was effective because of the effort that he brings throughout the game.
“He always goes 100%. As a game wears on he just keeps driving. Then he breaks a tackle and he has deceptive speed,” he said.
On top of his first half touchdown, Spreiter added two more in the second half, one on a 10-yard run and the other on a 15-yard run, to increase K-M’s lead to 28-0.
He mentioned that the KoMets’ offensive line did a good job sticking with their assignments to open holes in the running game.
Byron finally got on the board with 2:24 left in the game when quarterback Drew Scheuer found Ben Stienessen in the end zone. Scheuer then completed a pass to Dylan Olive to convert the two-point conversion and trim K-M’s lead to 28-8.
The KoMets held on to win the game by that margin.
Overall, Swanson said he was happy with how your team played against the Bears.
“Great team effort. I thought the kick-off team had a huge night. Different guys made some big open field tackles,” he said. “That was a big game against our neighboring rivals. But even bigger it is the play-offs, so now we have an opportunity to play in the section championship.”
The second-seeded KoMets will face the number one seed Winona Winhawks in the section 4A championship.
To prepare for the Winhawks, he said the team will “keep trying to get better and play as a team.”
The KoMets will face the Winhawks at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 at Mayo High School in Rochester.