Maple River football falls to Eden Valley-Watkins in 2A Semi-Finals

Ethan Sindelir catches a 14 yard pass from Jeff Lewis in the 1st quarter.

Ethan Sindelir catches a 14 yard pass from Jeff Lewis in the 1st quarter.

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By Joe Steck – Mankato Times

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — The Maple River Eagles lost to the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles 46-13 in the Minnesota Class 2A semi-final game at the U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday. With the loss, Maple River finishes the season 10-3.  Eden Valley-Watkins (11-1) will play Caledonia on Friday, Nov. 25th for the Championship.

Eden Valley opened the scoring in the first quarter when quarterback Reese Jensen connected with Matt Schindler for a 73 yard touchdown. Maple River blocked the extra point and trailed 6-0 with 9:15 left in the 1st quarter.

John Sonnek scores from 19 yards out for Maple River.

John Sonnek scores from 19 yards out for Maple River.

Maple River came charging back on their next possession with Jeff Lewis connecting with Ethan Sindelir for a 14 yard score to cap off a 14 play, 70 yard drive. Nathan Moore kicked the extra point to put Maple River up 7-6 with 3:22 left in the quarter.

Eden Valley took a 14-7 lead after Jensen connected with Schindler for a 68 yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion run by Jacob Striet. Jensen was on target for most of the game, completing 14 of 17 passes for 382 yards and 5 touchdowns. Schindler finished the game catching 4 passes for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns and added 66 yards and a score rushing.

Logan Quiram and Connor Thorn wrap up Eden Valley-Watkins quarterback Reese Jensen.

Logan Quiram and Connor Thorn wrap up Eden Valley-Watkins quarterback Reese Jensen.

Eden Valley extended their lead to 27-7 by the half, with scores from Striet (12 yard reception) and a 1 yard touchdown plunge from Jamison Kuechle.

Eden Valley Watkins scored three times in the 3rd quarter with Jensen connecting with 6’4” Greg Lux for a 51 yard score and again from 38 yards out and Schindler running around the left corner for a 60 yard touchdown and a 46-7 lead with 3:02 left in the 3rd.

Maple River put the final points on the board with 4:21 left in the 4th when John Sonnek ran it in from 19 yards out. The extra point was no-good leaving the score 46-13.

Eden Valley-Watkins finished the game with 504 total yards (382 passing, 122 rushing) on 44 plays while Maple River had 193 yards (56 passing, 137 rushing) on 55 plays.

Maple River Fans watching the Green Machine at the State Tournament.

Maple River Fans watching the Green Machine at the State Tournament.

Lincoln Arndt led the Eagles on the ground with 94 yards on 21 carries and Sonnek added 34 yards on 5 carries and 1 Touchdown. Ethan Sindelir was the leading receiver pulling in 3 catches for 36 yards and 1 Touchdown and Zach Spande caught 3 passes for 14 yards.

Noah Decker led the Eagles on defense with 8.5 tackles while Logan Quiram had 6.5 tackles and 1 sack.

It looked like Maple River was going to be able to hang with Eden Valley-Watkins, but a leg injury suffered in last weeks game by Jeff Lewis, limited his ability to run the option, which put the Eagles at a great disadvantage. No excuses were made, and the Eagles left their hearts out on the field and did everything they could to win the game.

Congratulations Maple River on a great season.

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