The Indians lost to Springfield in the first round of Section 3A playoffs. The Indians wave goodbye to eight seniors this season.
The Sleepy Eye Indians looked to avenge an earlier defeat to the Springfield Tigers in the first round of Section 3A playoffs Tuesday evening. The last time these two teams met, it was a track meet of a game in a 45-42 Tigers victory. The sixth-seeded Indians looked to upset the third-seeded Tigers in the first round.
The Indians wasted no time to find momentum. The Tigers fumbled the opening kickoff and the Indians recovered, giving them a first crack at scoring in good field position. The Indians used the powerful running style of Jacob Berg to pound it into the end zone just two minutes in and Sleepy Eye had the 6-0 lead.
Springfield answered back with a strong drive of their own, but the Indians denied them the opportunity and would march down the field as Jacob Berg took a short carry into the end zone and the Indians converted the two-point conversion to take a 14-0 lead with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
The Indians would then force a turnover inside the end zone as Kegan Heiderscheidt leaped at the goal line and intercepted the pass, giving the Indians some confidence defensively.
Berg would follow up Heiderscheidt’s interception with a 25-yard run on first down, although that is all the Indians could muster on the drive.
The Indians then punted the ball away back to the Tigers and Springfield finally took advantage. With 3:48 remaining in the first half, Kadin Johnson ran through a mass of defenders for the touchdown and Decker Scheffler found Jordan Kieper for the two-point conversion to get the Tigers to a 14-8 deficit.
The Indians failed to get anything going offensively before the half and Springfield would take the lead on a Mason Rummel touchdown run with :49 seconds remaining in the half. Springfield carried a 15-14 lead into halftime.
Sleepy Eye began with the ball in the second half, looking to get something going as the offense had grown quiet late in the first half. The Indians attempted to convert a fourth and one in their own territory and fumbled the snap and the Tigers took over.
With 8:24 left in the opening frame of the second half, Isaac Fink barreled through a few defenders as the Indians failed to wrap him up and took it in for six to give Springfield a 21-14 lead. Fink would again add another scored to extend the Springfield lead to 28-14 as time in the third quarter had expired.
With the Indians moving the ball behind a strong run game from Jacob Berg and Landon Strong, a pass to the corner of the end zone was just out of reach of the outstretched arms of the wide receiver Nathan Walter and Springfield would take over, following a penalty on the Indians. That would be the final golden opportunity the Indians would have to muster a comeback and the Indians season came to an end with a 35-14 loss to the Springfield Tigers.
The Indians were led offensively by Jacob Berg with 24 carries and 160 yards with two touchdowns. Fellow senior Landon Strong had 21 carries for 71 yards. The Indians say goodbye to eight seniors.
The seniors demonstrated hard work and dedication all season long and look to carry that into their futures. Look for more information on the Indians in the season in review in next week’s paper.
Springfield will play the winner of New Ulm Cathedral and Wabasso Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at a site TBD.