Wabasso Rabbits football team claims 3A title

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Scoring 21 unanswered points the Wabasso Rabbits held off top seed MCC 28-15 to claim the Section 3A title Nov. 20 in Slayton.

The Rabbits (7-1) were initially slated to host Springfield (6-2) in semifinal action, but due to the COVID closure announcement the games were re-slated, and the Rabbits found themselves facing top seed MCC (6-1) for the Section 3A title.

Earlier in the year the Rabbits fell to the Rebels 20-12 at Southwest State, but this time they would outplay the Rebels to cap off a strong campaign that saw them win by double digits in all seven of their victories.

The Rabbits  would fall behind 8-0 early in the second quarter but would cut into the lead on a five-yard run from Nick Marotzke and took a 9-8 lead into halftime on an 18-yard field goal by Matt Evink.

The Rabbits would add to the lead in the third, as Carter Benz hooked up with Colby Wall on a 14-yard strike that made it 15-8 heading into the final quarter.

Once again, Benz would find Wall on a 17-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the game winner.

MCC would make things interesting with 6:41 to play, as Blake Schmitz connected with Jackson Sturges on a five-yard touchdown pass.

The Rabbits would respond, however, as Hunter Taylor broke free for a 15-yard touchdown scamper with 1:13 to play that put the game to bed.

The Rabbits dominated statistically, racking up 449 yards of total offense (238 passing) compared to just 176 for the Rebels (120 rushing).

The Rabbits ran 14 more plays and forced three turnovers while committing just one.

Marotzke capped off a nice season with 26 carries for 151 yards and a score and Benz was 13-of-22 passing for 238 yards and two scores.

Taylor added eight carries for 54 yards and a score, and Wall had his best game of the season hauling in nine catches for 155 yards and two scores.

Will Carlson added three catches for 46 yards, and Sam Fenger had one catch for 37 yards.

Benz would pace the defense with 10 tackles (three solo), Taylor added eight tackles, a forced fumble, a sack and 1 1/2 tackles-for-loss, Jayden Goblish had eight tackles (three solo), Jaxon Fischer had seven tackles (one solo), a sack and 1 1/2 tackles-for-loss, Wall added four tackles, Brady Jenniges had five tackles and a sack and Carlson had two interceptions. The title was the first for the Rabbits since 2017 where they reached the state title game.

– Photo courtesy of Cris Knott