Trojans to face St. Louis Park Saturday in 6AAAA playoffs

After taking a 49-12 win over Red Wing in their regular season finale, the New Prague Trojan football team had a first round bye in the Section 6AAAA playoffs, and are preparing to defend their Section 6AAAA crown against St. Louis Park in the section semifinals Saturday afternoon at Trojan Field.

New Prague (6-2) got the No. 1 seed, while Waconia (7-1) was seeded No. 2. The Trojans received the top seed based on strength of schedule. They played mostly 4A schools during the season and two 5A schools, while Waconia plays in the rugged Wright County Conference, which consists mostly of 3A schools and a few 4A.

Game time is 2 p.m. against the Orioles. They play in the North Suburban Conference and are 3-6 after Tuesday's win over Shakopee. They started the season 2-1 with wins over St. Francis and Columbia Heights, but then lost five straight before their quarterfinal win.

The other semifinal game on Saturday features Orono at Waconia. Waconia won 26-13 when those teams met September 15. The winners will meet at the home of the higher-seeded team on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. If New Prague wins, it will host the Section championship game.

Trojans rout Wingers

New Prague showed quickly that they were ready to play following their heart-breaking loss five days earlier to Farmington. The Trojans scored on their first possession, going 80 yards in six plays. The score came on a 49-yard run by Daren Geyen with 8:52 remaining. Tony Kubes' extra point kick was good and New Prague led 7-0.

It was the sixth time in eight games that the Trojans scored on their first possession.

Red Wing moved the ball on its first possession, getting as far as the Trojan 33. But on a fourth-and-2 play, the Wingers were called for a procedure penalty, and their fourth down play came up short, giving the Trojans possession.

New Prague marched downfield, with Nick Zweber getting a 15-yard gain, Ross Skluzacek 16 and Geyen 17 on consecutive plays. A pair of penalties pushed the Trojans back, but New Prague got a pass completion to Kubes for 14 yards, to the Winger 12, and on fourth down, Skluzacek threw to Brad Weiers for a 12-yard score. The point after was blocked, but the Trojans led 13-0 with 1:40 left in the first quarter.

Red Wing would score on its next possession, early in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 13-6.

New Prague punted on its next possession, but Red Wing gave the ball back on a fumble. The Trojans went 33 yards on five plays, scoring on a 3-yard run by Geyen. Skluzacek threw to Marcus Pleiss for a two-point conversion, making it 21-6 with 7:08 left.

Turnovers stop Wingers

The Wingers moved the ball on their next possession, getting inside the Trojan 30. But an interception by Tony Kubes was returned 38 yards, setting up the Trojans' next score. That came on a 16-yard run by Kubes with 1:25 left. The two-point conversion was no good, and the Trojans led 27-6.

Red Wing responded with a big run, but fumbled at the end and the Trojans recovered. Four plays later, Skluzacek threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Kubes, and the two connected again for the conversion, making it 35-6 at halftime. The Trojans scored once in the third quarter on a 63-yard run by Kubes on their first play from scrimmage. They added one more score late in the game, on a 1-yard run by Darin Rezac. Tyler Bergstrom threw to Aaron Shetka for the conversion, making the final 49-12.

Red Wing scored once, midway throughout the third quarter on a 32-yard run.

Trojans' offense dominates

The Trojans had 466 yards of total offense. 384 of those were on the ground, and 70 in the air. Red Wing had 237 yards of offense, 175 on the ground and 62 in the air.

Geyen and Kubes both went over 100 yards rushing. Geyen had 141 yards on 12 carries, while Kubes had 111 yards on nine carries. David McCollister had 42 yards on seven carries, Bergstrom had four for 20 yards, David Skluzacek had two carries for 16 yards, Zweber one for 15 yards, Shetka two for 13, Ross Skluzacek two for 12, Martin DeValk one for 13 and Rezac two for 1.

Skluzacek was 5-of-9 passing for 790 yards and two touchdowns. Bergstrom completed his only attempt for three yards.

Kubes had four catches for 67 yards, Weiers had one for 12 and Dan Sletten one for three.

Defensively, Kubes had eight tackles, Kevin Olson seven and Jason Haugen five. Andy Simon had the Trojans' only sack, while Drew Feuk, Zweber and Dan Simon all had fumble recoveries and Kubes had an interception.

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