Minneota’s Sawyer DeSmet (35) hauls in one of his two touchdown passes from Ryan Dalager last Thursday against Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. The defending Class A state champions opened the season with a 55-5 victory in Tyler.Destin Fier (23) of the Vikings takes a handoff, and takes advantage of a big hole and scampers for a first down last Thursday.Minneota senior quarterback Ryan Dalager fires a pass to an open teammate last Thursday night in Tyler. Dalager completed 10-of-12 passes and three touchdowns in his first varsity start. Lincoln Jerzak (2) of Minneota goes high to bat down a pass intended for an RTR receiver in the Vikings’ 55-6 victory last Thursday in Tyler. Max Rost (4) scores Minneota’s first touchdown of the season on a 14-yard run in the opening quarter.

Vikings open title defense with rout

Meagher, Dalager lead Minneota’s eight-touchdown barrage against RTR

Defending Class A state champion Minneota looked in mid-season form racking up over 50 yards of total offense with no turnovers and just one penalty en route to a convincing 55-6 rout of Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Thursday night in Tyler.
The Vikings, who never punted in the game, scored four times in the opening quarter and added three more in the second stanza for a 49-0 halftime lead.
“It was a good game to get the feel of everything and see where we are as a team,” said senior co-captain Max Rost. “We knew if everyone did their job, we would be alright and would do what we wanted to do. I think the new faces stepping up really showed what they can do. It shows how big the offseason is for our team.”
Ryan Meagher, who averaged 9.2 yards per carry last year, ran for 128 yards in seven carries and scored three touchdowns, including a 95-yard scamper to open the second quarter.
Ryan Dalager, a strong-armed senior, in his first varsity start, completed 10 of 12 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
Sawyer DeSmet caught two of the three Dalager TD passes from 26 and 23 yards on consecutive Viking possessions in the opening quarter.
As solid as the offense was, the defense was equally impressive, limiting the Knights to just 83 yards in 45 plays.
In the Knight’s first series of the game, Eli Gruenes intercepted a Blake Christensen pass at the 38-yard line and bulldozed his way down to the 14. On the Vikings’ first play on offense, Rost took a handoff and raced around left end into the end zone for a touchdown. Freshman Ian Myhre, who converted all seven of his extra-point kicks, made it 7-0.
“The line is a huge part of our success and they do not receive enough recognition,” said Rost. “They put in a lot of work and don’t get the touchdowns that receivers, running backs and quarterbacks do. They played very well as you can see by our rushing yards and the amount of time Ryan had to throw.”
Following a short punt by the Knights on their next possession, Minneota took over its second series on its own 41. Dalager completed passes of four yards to Meagher, 22 to Lucas Rybinski, and 30 to Rost to move the ball to the three. Meagher then took it into the end zone for the first of his three touchdowns, giving the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
RTR went three-and-out on its next possession. Brody Larson returned a punt to the RTR 34 where Meagher gained eight yards on first down, and Dalager hit tight end Sawyer DeSmet for a 26-yard TD pass.
Again, RTR went three-and-out and a short eight-yard punt into a stiff breeze left the Vikings at the RTR 40. On second-and-two, Dalager and DeSmet connected again, this time from 23 yards out for a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Vikings continued to dominate, scoring three times in the second quarter on Meagher’s 95-yard run, a four-yard TD run by Meagher, and an eight-yard scoring strike from Dalager to Peyton Sheik.
Each team scored once in the second half. Minneota’s backup quarterback Brody Larson tossed a 21-yard TD pass to Lincoln Jerzak. RTR’s lone score came in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by Christensen.
The Vikings had nine runners gain yardage. Besides Meagher, Destin Fier had 55 yards rushing, including a 44-yard run in which he broke several tackles. Brock Fier gained 30 yards in three carries and Joey Lacek had 28 yards in three totes.
Rost led the receiving corps with four receptions for 73 yards.

Minneota 55, RTR 6
Minneota.........................................28 21 6 0 - 55
RTR................................................. 0 0 0 6 - 6

Scoring plays
Min - Max Rost 14 run (Ian Myhre kick)
Min - Ryan Meagher 3 run (Myhre kick)
Min - Sawyer DeSmet 26 pass from Ryan Dalager (pass failed)
Min - DeSmet 23 pass from Dalager (Myhre kick)
Min - Meagher 95 run (Myhre kick)
Min - Meagher 4 run (Myhre kick)
Min - Peyton Sheik 8 pass from Dalager (Myhre kick)
Min - Lincoln Jerzak 21 pass from Brody Larson (Myhre kick)
RTR - Blake Christensen 23 run (pass failed)

Team statistics
Passing yards: Passing yards: Minneota 223, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 46 ... Rushing yards: Minneota 292, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 37 ... Total yards: Minneota 514, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 83 ... First downs: Minneota 22, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 7.
Turnovers: Minneota 0, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 2 ... Penalties: Minneota 1-15, Russell-Tyler-R uthton 6-45

Minneota individual statistics
Passing (com-att-yds-int): Ryan Dalager 10-12-165-0, Brody Larson 3-3-34-0, Tristen Sussner 1-2-24-0
Rushing (attempts-yards): Ryan Meagher 7-128, Destin Fier 4-55, Brock Fier 3-30, Joey Lacek 3-28, Lucas Rybinski 5-27, Max Rost 2-16, Adam DeVlaeminck 1-8, Kellen Bradley 1-5, Andrew Lipinski 1-3, Tristen Sussner 1-0, Ben Schmidt 1-0
Receiving (receptions-yards): Max Rost 4-73, Sawyer DeSmet 2-49, Easton Johnston 1-24 Lucas Rybinski 1-23, Lincoln Jerzak 1-21, Peyton Sheik 2-16, Destin Fier 1-10, Ryan Meagher 1-4, Brock Fier 1-3
Tackles (solo-assist-total): Kellen Bradley 2-3-5, Brock Fier 3-1-4, Parker Bradley 3-1-4, Brody Larson 3-0-3, Adam DeVlaeminck 3-0-3, Eli Gruenes 2-1-3, Andrew Lipinski 2-0-2, Ryan Meagher 1-1-2, Joey Lacek 1-1-2, Lincoln Jerzak 1-1-2, Sawyer DeSmet 1-0-1, Kaden Neyens 1-0-1, Chase Johnson 1-0-1, Hunter Carstensen 1-0-1
Tackles for loss: Parker Bradley 2, Ryan Meagher 1
Fumble recoveries: Destin Fier
Interceptions: Eli Gruenes

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