Football: Ponies, Mustangs trying to keep SEC hopes alive

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Defending Suburban East Conference co-champions Stillwater and Mounds View are each hoping to remain in the hunt for this year’s title while squaring off on Friday night at Mounds View. Both teams are coming off rare losses in conference play, with the Mustangs (3-1 SEC, 3-1) falling to Cretin-Derham Hall 20-7 and Stillwater (3-1, 3-1) suffering a stunning 35-34 overtime loss against Hastings. A loss would almost certainly eliminate either team’s SEC title aspirations. Even before last week’s loss to the unheralded Raiders, Stillwater knew this would be a rugged stretch of the season with the Mustangs, Roseville (3-1, 3-1) and league-leader East Ridge (4-0, 4-0) in consecutive weeks.

With a 23-13 advantage in this series dating back to 1956, Mounds View remains the only SEC team with a winning all-time record against the Ponies, but Stillwater handed the Mustangs their only loss 17-14 in conference play a year ago. Mounds View had won the five previous games in this series and had ended Stillwater’s season in the section playoffs four of the last five years.

“Both teams are in a little bit of a tilt game here,” Ponies coach Beau LaBore said. “Mounds View is holding out hope that if they can win out they can keep alive their hopes of a conference title and, if not that, the second seed in the section. Stillwater is thinking very similarly and if we win out we’re conference champs and the No. 1 seed, but a second loss can change a lot of that so there’s a lot on the line.”

This appears to be a typical Mounds View team in many ways, disciplined and hard-nosed on both sides of the ball. The Mustangs have used two quarterbacks and each have produced similar results. Senior Chance Camahan has completed 11 of 23 passes (47.8 percent) for 291 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. Junior Joe Fredrickson has connected on 14 of 28 (50 percent) throws for 153 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Kaczynski leads the Mustangs with 131 receiving yards on just five catches (26.2 avg.). Fullback Matt Hunt with 54 rushes for 296 yards and four touchdowns on 54 attempts (5.5 avg.) and SoLa Oiteju with 41 carries for 297 yards (7.2 avg.) and two touchdowns lead the wing-T attack on the ground. The Mustangs ranked seventh in the conference while gaining an average of 312.5 yards per game, but rank third while limiting opponents to 276 yards per contest. Only Woodbury has been flagged for more penalty yards than the Mustangs, who are plus-4 in the turnover department.

“It’s a typical Mounds View team, which for them is a good thing,” LaBore said. “Our defense needs to play disciplined, assignment-oriented football where each guy does his job and doesn’t worry about doing someone else’s job. Afterward, they fly to the ball and play shoulder-pad tackling football. Offensively we need to continue to do what we’ve done all year, establishing the run and playing disciplined football.

The Ponies, who are eager to put last week behind them, are led by running back Zach Knox with 118 rushes for a league-high 667 yards (5.7 avg.) and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Trevor Tillett has completed 37 of 69 passes (53.6 percent) for 516 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Matt Anderson leads the Ponies with 18 catches for 207 yards and four touchdowns. Stillwater, which has committed a league-low two turnovers this season, ranks second in offense at 363 yards per game and sixth in defense with a 325.3 average.

“I think both teams are pretty familiar with themselves and know what to expect,” LaBore said. “It comes down to who is willing and able to execute better every single play. These weeks are fun because, as a head coach, you don’t have to worry about what your players’ minds are on or what they’re focused on because they care a great deal about this game. It’s always a big game between Stillwater and Mounds View and these are things you look forward to. We know that since Mounds View and Stillwater have been in the SEC this is a pretty heated rivalry.”


Adapted flag football set

The Stillwater football program is sponsoring its Eighth Annual Adapted Flag Football Game on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Stillwater Junior High School. The event will be held from 1:30-3 p.m., with refreshments served following the conclusion of play.


SEC standings




  W L Scored Allowed

East Ridge 4 0 194 66

Mounds View 3 1 131 57

Roseville 3 1 109 61

Stillwater 3 1 116 49

Cretin-Derham Hall 2 2 95 49

Hastings 2 2 61 126

White Bear Lake 1 3 121 112

Park-Cottage Grove 1 3 77 156

Woodbury 1 3 57 153

Forest Lake 0 4 22 154


Week 4 results

Hastings 35, Stillwater 34 (OT)

East Ridge 55, Park 20

White Bear Lake 50, Forest Lake 0

Roseville 48, Woodbury 7

Cretin-Derham Hall 20, Mounds View 7

Friday’s games

Stillwater at Mounds View

Hastings at White Bear Lake

Cretin-Derham Hall at East Ridge

Park at Roseville

Forest Lake at Woodbury

By the numbers




  Stillwater Offense Mounds View

898 Rushing 806

554 Passing 444

1,452 Total offense 1,250

363.0 Average 312.5


432 Rushing 707

869 Passing 397

1,301 Total defense 1,104

325.3 Average 276.0


71 First Downs 64

22-186 Penalties 21-178

+1 Turnover rating +4


Ponies vs. Mustangs




  Stillwater (3-1) Results Mounds View (3-1)

Park W 26-7 Week 1 Woodbury W 27-7

Forest Lake W 35-0 Week 2 Park W 48-7

C-D Hall W 21-7 Week 3 Forest Lake W 49-13

Hastings L 35-34 (OT) Week 4 C-D Hall L 20-7

at Mounds View Week 5 Stillwater

Roseville Week 6 at Hastings

at East Ridge Week 7 at White Bear Lake

                  White Bear Lake                  Week 8                  Roseville