With Cole Stenstrom delivering several key plays down the stretch, Mounds View dominated the fourth quarter and defeated White Bear Lake 17-7 on Friday evening.
The third-year quarterback sparked two late touchdown drives by the Mustangs (2-0) after the visiting Bears (1-1) took a brief 7-3 lead. Meanwhile, Brian Tebbutt dashed for 108 yards in 20 carries, and the Mustang defense limited the Bears to 158 net yards.
“Things are not always going to go your way, and when your number is called you have to be ready to deliver,” Mustang coach Aaron Moberg said, referring to clutch plays in the second half after both teams slogged to a 0-0 tie in the first half. “Most football games are decided on four or five plays. In the second half, we pressed the re-set button. We played some sloppy football in the first 24 minutes (first half) but we responded.”
For the Bears, Cam Zaleski gained 108 yards on 22 carries, accounting for most of their offense. They netted 110 yards on 39 ground plays (including sacks) while Branden Berwald hit four of seven passes for 48 yards. Rico Kirk caught two for 31 yards.
White Bear Lake grabbed a 7-3 lead with their lone sustained drive of the game, all on the ground, capped by Jeff Odamtten’s six-yard touchdown and his extra-point kick, in the third quarter.
Stenstrom took the Mustangs down the field and they faced a fourth-and-five play at the Bears nine. He nailed a tightly-covered Mason Dean for the first down right at the four. On the next play, in shotgun formation, he dropped the center snap but quickly scooped the ball and slashed to the goal line.
Ahead 10-7, the Mustangs forced a three-and-out, with the key play being A.J. Hunt’s sack of Branden Berwald. The Bear defense held. On the Mustangs punt, Ben Kettelhut tackled Bear returner Brice Peters at the 12, and a penalty pinned the Bears on the seven.
After another Bear punt from inside the five, the Mustangs were perched at midfield, Moments later, Stenstrom hit Jeff Roeber in stride for a 33-yard touchdown with 3:07 left.
The Mustangs forced another punt and Stenstrom reeled off a 20-yard scramble to the Bears’ 12. At that point, they took a knee and ran out the clock.
“We knew White Bear Lake would be tough in all aspects of the game, and this is a rivalry game,” Moberg said. “We knew it would be a fight for 48 minutes.”
Stenstrom, after a slow start, completed 10 of 22 passes for 142 yards with one picked off, by Odemtten. Collin Hoyhtya caught four for 49 yards and Roeber two for 45. Ben Samuel opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal.
Next week, White Bear Lake will host Stillwater (1-1). Mounds View will play at Woodbury (0-2).
White Bear Lake ….. 0 0 7. 0 — 7
Mounds View ……… 0 0 3 14 — 17
MV — Ben Samuel 33 field goal
WBL — Jeff Odamtten 6 run (Odamtten kick)
MV — Cole Stenstrun 4 run (Samuel kick)
MV — Jeff Roeber 33 pass from Stenstrom (Samuel kick)