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Mavericks trample Knights in Section 3A football opener

RUNNING ROOM — Martin County West’s Joseph Forsberg (left) finds running room as Maverick fullback Carver Rohman (7) blocks Russell-Tyler-Ruthton safety Camden Hansen (15) during Section 3A quarterfinal football action Tuesday night in Sherburn. The Mavericks went on to post a 36-0 victory over the visiting Knights. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SHERBURN — The Martin County West Mavericks literally trampled the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights during their Section 3A football quarterfinal Tuesday night in Sherburn.

The No. 4-seeded Mavericks’ backfield trio of Joseph Forsberg, Rylan Cutler and Carver Rohman combined to amass 337 rushing yards and all five touchdowns to flatten the No. 5-seeded Knights, 36-0, in opening postseason play.

Martin County West (6-3) advances to face No. 1-seeded and undefeated Murray County Central (9-0) in a sectional semifinal at 3 p.m. Saturday in Slayton. MCC coasted to a 35-7 quarterfinal victory over No. 8-seeded Wabasso (1-8).

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton ended its season with a 5-4 record.

“While watching (game) film on RTR, we (coaching staff) noticed a couple of defensive areas that we could exploit,” said Martin County West head coach Tom Elliott, “and our running game made that come to fruition tonight.

“We busted out early with a couple of big runs to set the tone, and then our passing game got the job done when we needed it.”

Forsberg, who topped all ground gainers with 141 yards on 18 carries, delivered the first long-yardage breakaway play on the playoff game’s very first snap. The 5-foot-7, 160-pounder accelerated through a hole created by guard Max Olson, slashed left and picked up 32 yards to reach RTR territory at the 48.

Quarterback Christian Bachenberg later fired a 16-yard strike to Tanner Sinn to reach the Knights’ 14 before a rare holding infraction backed the Mavericks 10 yards.

No worries as Forsberg hammered through the left side of the line, weaved left and gained the 3. Rohman, who netted 70 yards on just nine totes, pounded his way across the goal line for the first of his game-leading three TDs. Rohman then alertly picked up an errant PAT snap and found the end zone for two more points via a run at the 8:29 juncture.

“Carver did a nice job of making something positive out of a broken play there,” said Elliott.

Olson then made his impact defensively by scooping up a mishandled snap from center to quarterback at the Mavericks’ 7-yard line during the early stages of the second quarter.

Bachenberg, who completed 4 of 6 passes for 99 yards, went to the airwaves on first down and found Zach Anderson for a 41-yard completion along the left hash mark near midfield.

Cutler, who generated 126 yards on a dozen carries, then followed his blockers around left end, broke a tackle, cut right and sprinted 43 yards to paydirt to extend MCW’s lead to 14-0 with 7:41 remaining before intermission.

Olson and the Maverick defense forced a three-and-out series and quickly regained possession via a short punt.

Bachenberg switched targets for his spirals and hooked up with Sinn on a 35-yard strike to the Knights’ 21. Rohman then broke three tackles to cover the distance for six more points with 4:56 showing on the second-quarter scoreboard.

MCW kicker Brandon Bagwell’s PAT attempt was blocked, but Sinn alertly snatched it out of mid-air and was awarded a 2-point conversion for a 22-0 lead.

Cutler’s 11-yard run up the middle and Forsberg’s ensuing 32-yard blast with time winding down set up Rohman’s 2-yard TD with only 32 seconds left before halftime. Bagwell nailed the PAT kick for a 29-0 lead.

Rohman’s 19-yard rumble later set up Forsberg’s 9-yard TD sprint through the middle to open the third quarter’s second offensive series. Bagwell kicked the PAT for a 36-0 lead with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

Running time created by a 35 or more point lead made the fourth quarter evaporate without any more TDs.

RTR 0 0 0 0 — 0

MCW 8 21 7 0 — 36

Scoring Plays

1st Quarter

MCW–Carver Rohman 3 run (Rohman run), 8:29.

2nd Quarter

MCW–Rylan Cutler 43 run (low snap on kick), 7:41.

MCW–Rohman 21 run (Tanner Sinn catch off blocked kick), 4:56.

MCW–Rohman 2 run (Brandon Bagwell kick), 0:32.

3rd Quarter

MCW–Joseph Forsberg 9 run (Bagwell kick), 7:40.

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs: MCW 14; RTR 4. Rushing: MCW 46-374; RTR 20-83. Passing: MCW 4-6-0-99; RTR 7-19-0-53. Fumbles-lost: MCW 2-1; RTR 1-1. Penalties: MCW 2-15; RTR 4-28.

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Offense: Rushing: Forsberg (MCW) 18-141, Cutler (MCW) 12-126, Rohman (MCW) 9-70; Jonah Christensen (RTR) 14-58. Passing: Bachenberg (MCW) 4-6-0-99; Christensen (RTR) 7-19-0-53. Receiving: Sinn (MCW) 2-51, Z. Anderson 1-41; Tucker Haroldson (RTR) 4-44.

Defense: Fumble recoveries: Max Olson (MCW), Camden Hansen (RTR).

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