NRHEG falls to Maple River after 2-point conversion is stopped short

Published 5:49 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The NRHEG football team was inches away from advancing.

However, Maple River escaped with a 21-20 overtime win over the Panthers Tuesday in the Section 3AA quarterfinals.

In overtime, the Eagles scored on a 1-yard run by Jay Sohre, and the extra point was good. NRHEG reciprocated when senior duo Trevor Tracy and Spencer Tollefson connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass, and the Panthers went for the win.

However, Tollefson was stopped inches short of the goal line on the two-point conversion after catching a pass from Tracy, said NRHEG coach Dan Stork.

Tracy completed 7-of-11 passes for 114 yards, and Tollefson caught six passes for 95 yards. Both players also intercepted passes.

“Spencer Tollefson had a huge night on both sides of the ball, as did Trevor Tracy,” Stork said. “Overall our kids played well. The seniors on this team were tremendous leaders all season and led the way tonight.”

The No. 7-seed Panthers (3-6 overall) took No. 2-seed Maple River (8-1) down to the wire and racked up 46 more yards of total offense than the Eagles.

NRHEG scored the first points of the game on a two-yard touchdown run by Tracy. After Maple River took a 7-6 advantage, the Panthers recaptured the lead with a 23-yard scoring run by Nick Bartness in the third quarter. The two-point conversion was good on a run by Jason Jongbloedt, and NRHEG took a 14-7 lead.

However, with less than a minute left in the third quarter, Noah Greenfield, formerly from Lake Mills, found the end zone on an eight-yard touchdown run, and the Eagles tied the game at 14. After a scoreless fourth quarter, the game went into overtime.

With all five of its regular season losses by two possessions or fewer, the NRHEG football team was a sleeper pick in the bracket, despite being one of only two teams in the eight-team bracket with a sub-.500 record.