The Panthers’ Section 3AA semifinal football game at Pipestone on Saturday will start at 1 p.m. The change from 3 p.m. was announced after this week’s Headlight Herald went to press.
The Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers opened up a big lead and held on for a 22-18 Section 3AA playoff win over St. James on Tuesday night.
The Saints, who trailed by as many as 16 points, got the ball back with under 3 minutes left and trailing by four, but TMB turned them over on downs to secure the win.
Early on, the Panthers threatened to score first after a long run by sophomore quarterback Sawyer Otto on their second drive of the game, but the drive ended with an interception. However, TMB would later grab a 6-0 lead on a 64-yard pass from Otto to sophomore Lucas Gervais with :20 left in the quarter. The point after run failed.
The Saints countered with a rushing touchdown early in the second quarter. The PAT was no good, leaving the game tied at 6-6.
TMB committed its second turnover of the first half on its fourth drive of the game, but on the ensuing drive, the Saints had a long touchdown pass called back because of a penalty. On the first play after the infraction, Tyler Vandendreissche intercepted a pass to give TMB the ball back. After the Panthers turned the ball over on downs, it was Jake Byrne’s turn to pick off a pass, but the Panthers almost immediately turned the ball right back over to St. James with 1:00 to go in the half. Like the Panthers, the Saints couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, leaving the halftime score 6-6.
TMB struck quickly in the second half. Moses Dolan reeled off a 41-yard run, then scored on a three-yard burst into the end zone. Dolan also ran in the two-point conversion for a 14-6 TMB lead.
The Panthers got the ball right back on the ensuing squib kick-off and scored on an eight-yard pass from Otto to Matt Timmerman. Otto ran in the two-point conversion for a 22-6 lead.
The Saints cut the TMB lead to 22-12 on a third-quarter score and were working on cutting the deficit even more, but an interception by Dolan at the TMB 11-yard line with 5:50 to go squashed the Saints’ momentum. However, St. James got the ball right back and scored on a 26-yard pass but failed on the two-point try, leaving the score at 22-18.
The Panthers had 366 yards to St. James’ 245. Otto was 10-for-18 for 124 yards and two TDs passing. Dolan hit the 100-yard mark rushing on 16 carries, and Otto ran for 90 more. Radke had 57 yards on 12 carries.
TMB (5-4) will now face Pipestone Area at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Pipestone. The Arrows are 8-1 on the season and are the No. 2 seed in Section 3AA.
St. James Area 0 6 6 6 — 18
TMB 6 0 16 0 — 22