Minneapolis Grounds and Pounds Republic County for first win

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It was Gannon Cleveland’s concert in Belleville on Friday night.

The senior full-back performed well on both sides of the ball in Minneapolis‘ 20-6 road win over Republic County.

Cleveland was a workaholic, recording 33 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a sack on defense.

Minneapolis got off to a hot start and made its first deep run into Buffalo Territory. The offensive stalled, however, and turned her down. Unfortunately for Republic County, Brody Boyer, the starting quarterback, suffered a defensive play injury minutes into the game. He quit the game and didn’t come back.

As a result, junior Trey Melton took the reins of the Buffalo offense. In Republic County’s first offensive play, Jonathan Dyke lost a fumble and Minneapolis immediately gained the upper hand in the red zone. A few plays later, Weston Schrader scored four rushing yards to give the Lions a 6-0 lead with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

The remainder of the first half consisted of missed chances for both offenses. Minneapolis continued to threaten in and around the red zone in the second quarter, but couldn’t come up with a big play. Republic County mustered about 75 yards late in the first half, but Colby Rice pulled in a Melton’s pass in the end zone to end that threat and maintain the Lion’s 6-0 lead.

Minneapolis came out of the halftime break with a successful surprise kick, which led to a possible one-yard dive in Cleveland. As soon as the Lions took the 14-0 lead, Buffalo’s offense kicked off.

Republic County responded with a touchdown, as Dyke posted a six-yard rushing score with 3:02 left in the third to make it a close 14-6 game.

Early in the fourth quarter, Minneapolis put on another solid practice and managed three tries to score from the one-yard line. The Lions fell short, however, and Republic County recovered the ball eight past the goal line.

The Buffaloes (1-1 overall; 1-1 North Central Activities Association) were unable to capitalize, however, and the Lions regained the upper hand. Minneapolis turned again to Cleveland, who almost single-handedly took the Lions onto the field. Practice then culminated in a five-yard rushing score for Cleveland.

In the 20-6 win, Minneapolis (1-2 overall; 1-1 NCAA) forced three turnovers and had no freebies. The Lions relied heavily on the rushing game, which accounted for 239 of their 245 offensive yards.

Cleveland’s big game gave it the green light for wireless gaming player Nex-Tek. It represented 76% of Minneapolis construction sites.

Junior offensive guard Isaiah Vignery had the H&R block (s) of the game. Vignery was instrumental in clearing the holes for Cleveland to run along the inside of the line.

Minneapolis will be back home next week to begin their district roster against Norton for Homecoming. The Lions won last year’s game 30-7. The game will air as always on 92.7 The New Zoo in the Salina area, and will stream online at ksal.com.


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