The Wabasso Rabbits held off a late Murray County Central (MCC) rally to defeat the Rebels 32-27 Oct. 16 in the regular season finale for both schools.
With the win, the Rabbits (6-2) moved into the number three seed in the upcoming Section 3A playoffs and will host MCC Oct. 22 in quarterfinal action.
Unbeaten Springfield (8-0) is the top seed and will receive a first-round bye, and Martin County West (5-3) is the number two seed and will face Sleepy Eye (0-8).
In the game against MCC, the Rebels got on the board first on a 14-yard run from Blake Schmitz.
Nick Marotzke would answer back for the Rabbits, scampering 35-yards for a touchdown to make it 8-8 after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Rabbits took the lead on a 33-yard touchdown strike from Carter Benz to Will Carlson that made it 16-8 at the half.
In the third, the Rabbits seemingly put the game away with two unanswered touchdowns. Benz hooked up with Carlson again on a 54-yard touchdown strike to make it 24-8, and Benz then connected with Colby Wall on a 53-yard pass to up the lead to 32-8.
MCC would score late in the third to make it 32-14 and added two more fourth quarter tallies to make things interesting, but the Rabbits would hold on for the win.
The two teams will face off again Oct. 22 in Wabasso.
The Rebels would finish with 449 yards of total offense (264 passing) compared to 362 for the Rabbits (198 passing).
Turnovers proved to be key, as the Rabbits forced three turnovers (two interceptions) while not committing a turnover themselves.
Benz finished 7-of-12 passing for 198 yards and three scores and had six carries for 19 yards.
Marotzke had 22 carries for 134 yards and a touchdown, and Lance Wagner added six carries for 11 yards.
Carlson hauled in two receptions for 87 yards and two scores, Wall had two catches for 78 yards and a score, Marotzke added two catches for 21 yards and Hunter Taylor had one catch for 12 yards.
Wagner paced the defense with 13 tackles (eight solo) and 1 1/2 tackles-for-loss. Wall added 13 tackles (seven solo) and two interceptions, and Marotzke had 10 tackles (three solo). Wyatt Soupir had four tackles and an interception, Zach Thooft added seven tackles and Benz six.
– Submitted photo