Sleepy Eye football season comes to an end with a playoff loss to Springfield

Paige Haala
Special to the Herald-Dispatch

The number 7 seeded Sleepy Eye Indians traveled to the number 2 seeded Springfield Tigers, in a rematch from a few weeks ago, in Section 3A football playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The Indians had a better game this time, but the Tigers were again victorious, with a 37-12 win.

The Indians started strong on defense, stopping Springfield on 4th down and taking over on downs at the Springfield 30-yard line. The Indians offense was unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs. Springfield scored on a 40-yard pass play, with 5 minutes left in the first quarter; the point after kick was good, giving Springfield a 7-0 lead.

After another Sleepy Eye 3 and out, Springfield took over at their own 20-yard line. On their first play, Sleepy Eye forced a fumble giving the Indians great field possession. Unfortunately for the Indians, they turned the ball right back over on the second play—on an interception. Springfield’s first play resulted in a 55-yard touchdown pass but the point after kick was no good which gave Springfield a lead of 13-0. Sleepy Eye and Springfield exchanged a few possessions and as time ran out in the first half Springfield scored on a TD pass. The conversion was no good and the halftime score was Springfield 19 and Sleepy Eye 0.

Turnovers again plagued the Indians in the 3rd quarter, as they fumbled twice to stop drives. Springfield scored 1 TD in the 3rd quarter putting them up 25-0 heading into the last quarter.

Sophomore QB Caden Evers prepared to throw the ball, in the second half of the game against Springfield on Oct. 26.

The 4th quarter had some scoring excitement from both squads, with each team scoring twice. Sleepy Eye’s Jackson Huiras ran for a TD with 7 minutes left in the game. Sleepy Eye sustained another excellent drive with several runs from Arian Saenz. They finished their last touchdown drive of the season with a heavy dose of big runs from seniors Mason Sellner, Adrian Dena and Erizen Traconis. The drive was capped off with a TD run from Trey Heiderscheidt with 3 minutes left on the clock. Final score Springfield 37 Sleepy Eye 12.

Sleepy Eye played a much better game against Springfield in comparison to their regular season match up a few weeks earlier. Saenz had an excellent night running the ball finishing with 136 yards on the ground. Heiderscheidt and Huiras scored TDs. Sophomore quarterback Caden Evers played a good portion of the second half, coming if for Mason Myers who got injured and was out of the game. Evers completed 4 passes for 41 yards.

Defensively Dena had 7 tackles, Saenz had 6 tackles and 3 blocked PATs. Traconis finished with 6 tackles and 1 fumble recovery. Huiras had 4 tackles, 1 interception and a sack. Heiderscheidt contributed with a sack and a forced fumble.

Sleepy Eye finished their season 2-7. Unfortunately it was a season plagued by injuries to key seniors that kept the team from having a full squad all year. Seniors Dena, Heiderscheidt, Traconis and Huiras all missed playing time. Other seniors that made key contributions include Zach Ziegenhagen, Trenton Nachreiner, Brennen Meyer, Jon Baures, Jacob Schultz, Enrique Flores and Mason Sellner.