Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Roth’


Mitchell Underhill hit the Irish with four big strikes on the ground, and the Trojans rolled to the 5A crown.

By DAVID La VAQUE, Star Tribune

Surrounded by reporters wanting to know everything about the young running back who enjoyed a championship performance for the ages, Wayzata’s Mitch Underhill got interrupted by teammate Scott Siegel.

“I just need the trophy,” Siegel said as he grabbed the Class 5A state tournament championship hardware. “You can keep talking.”

There was much to discuss. Underhill, a 15-year-old sophomore running back, led the top-ranked Trojans (11-0) to a 31-14 victory over No. 4 Rosemount (12-1) and their third state championship in the past six seasons. He carried 12 times for 247 yards and four touchdowns, on runs of 45, 66, 58 and 58 yards — the last three coming in the third quarter of Friday night’s game at the Metrodome. Underhill came into Friday’s game with a modest 747 yards and nine touchdowns

“When I see an open field, I’m going to run as fast as I can and go as hard as I can,” Underhill said. “I’m not going to let anyone touch me.”

Underhill’s first touchdown, a 45-yard sprint, gave Wayzata a 7-0 lead on its second play from scrimmage 51 seconds into the game. He struck again later at a key moment of the third quarter.

Rosemount tied the score on a short drive created when the Trojans’ Aaron Roth fumbled a punt return at the Wayzata 17-yard line. Irish quarterback Kevin Larson won a sprint to the goal line on a game-tying 3-yard touchdown run.

A 24-yard Ruan Albuquerque field goal, set up by a Rosemount fumble, gave Wayzata a 10-7 edge at halftime.

Downing a punt inside the Wayzata 1 and forcing a punt put Rosemount 39 yards away from taking a third-quarter lead. But the Trojans defense dug deep.

“We wanted to show we are as dominant of a defense that’s ever gone through Wayzata,” said Siegel, a starting defensive end. “We really wanted to make a point that no matter what, we were going to stop them.”

After allowing a first down, the defense forced the Irish to turn the ball over on downs. Cornerback Alex Carlson knocked away a potential touchdown pass in the end zone.

The turning point was at hand. Wayzata’s offensive line and Underhill took control by turning a third-and-1 run into a 66-yard touchdown and a 17-7 lead.

In the process, Underhill turned teammates into fans.

“His first touchdown was phenomenal,” Siegel said. “His second one gave me goose bumps. And after the next two, I was literally in awe and could not speak for a minute. I don’t know if I should say it because he’s only a sophomore, but he’s as good of a back as I’ve seen at Wayzata.”



Surging Mounds View was a TD away from the lead when the Trojans’ backup QB tucked the ball away on a deflating 62-yard scramble, setting up an insurance TD.

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune

It probably figures that the longest offensive gain in a game controlled by defense was forced rather than called.

Part-time Wayzata quarterback Nick Martin was instructed to look for a receiver running a drag route against Mounds View and given the option to run if the play did not come open.

With Mustangs blanketing his receiver, Martin ran 62 yards to Mounds View’s 11. It was the big play the Trojans needed to set up a touchdown and go ahead by 12 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 21-16 Trojans victory in a Class 5A state semifinal at the Metrodome.

Fighters to the end, Mounds View (11-2) answered with a touchdown and was not out of the game until a pass fell short on fourth-and-6 from Wayzata’s 39.

With the victory, Wayzata (10-0) advances to play Rosemount (12-0) on Friday in the Prep Bowl championship game. Wayzata previously won Class 5A titles in 2005 and 2008. Rosemount won in 1981.

“We knew we’d have to earn this one,” Wayzata coach Brad Anderson said.

Two touchdowns six minutes into the game, one each from the defense and offense, gave No. 1 Wayzata a 14-0 lead over No. 6 Mounds View that the Trojans held into the fourth quarter.

Then Mounds View found the end zone, first on a ball tipped by Jimmy Duffy into the waiting arms of Blake Anderson. The play capped a 17-play, 85-yard drive and cut Wayzata’s lead to 14-7.

Wayzata entered Saturday’s semifinal game having outscored its previous three opponents 111-0. The Trojans had not allowed a point since overtime of their victory over Eden Prairie on Oct. 20.

Wayzata had to punt away its next possession from its own 23, and the attempt was blocked by Maze Thompson. The ball rolled into the end zone for a safety and gave the Mustangs the ball.

Then Martin, who plays the third drive of each half in relief of starting quarterback Sasha Doran, came into the game. Though not a running quarterback, Martin is an ex-soccer player in his second year of football. So he is familiar with the concept of making runs.

“His run tonight might have been the difference,” Anderson said. “He’s really an unflappable athlete.”

Aaron Roth’s touchdown run made it 21-9 with 5:34 remaining, enough time for Duffy to haul in a one-handed touchdown catch and for the Mustangs defense to force a punt.

“We fed off our defense’s emotion,” Mounds View coach Jim Galvin said. “We just asked them to give us chances. In the end we just needed one more first down.”


Highlight video of the Mounds View vs Wayzata playoff game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube


A much-anticipated showdown between the top two teams quickly became one-sided.

By DAVID La VAQUE, Star Tribune

Late in a first half that saw Wayzata’s defense flush, flummox and flatten him, Blaine quarterback Eric Kline once again found himself on the run.

Forced to his left with Trojans’ defenders in hot pursuit and clawing at the football in his right hand, Kline switched the ball to his left hand while trying to get out of bounds — one more case of him acting out of desperation rather than design.

Blitzing Wayzata defenders shut down the state’s best dual threat quarterback and turned a meeting of the state’s two best teams into a rout. Defensive pressure and four Aaron Roth touchdowns pushed No. 1 Wayzata (9-0) to a 34-0 victory in Friday’s Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal at Osseo.

“Eric had guys in his face all night,” Blaine coach Shannon Gerrety said. “I felt bad for him. That was a different level of football tonight.”

Heading into Friday, No. 2 Blaine’s (10-1) spread offense averaged 38.1 points per game. One possession against Wayzata indicated the Bengals’ attack would come up short of the mark. Kline got sacked twice, forcing him into his duties as Blaine’s punter. New role, same result. Wayzata’s special teams put a rush on and tackled Kline at the Bengals’ 18-yard line. Kline, who accounted for 3,002 total yards and 34 touchdowns this season, was held to 27 yards rushing on 22 carries and completed 9 of 14 passes for 59 yards and two interceptions.

“Tonight was our night,” Wayzata coach Brad Anderson said. “We jumped on them early. Our defense isn’t big but they fly around and get after it.”

Blaine moved the ball on its next possession as Kline completed a 15-yard pass, then broke off a 13-yard run to Wayzata’s 39-yard line. The Trojans called timeout then held serve for three plays to force another Bengals’ punt. Wayzata’s offense drove 80 yards for a second touchdown and 13-0 lead.

Two more sacks from the Trojans’ defense stifled Blaine’s next drive. Using a three-man front with one or two blitzing players off the edge, Wayzata kept the Bengals going backward en route to the Trojans’ third consecutive shutout.

“Our defensive coordinator Matt Lombardi is a mad scientist,” Anderson said. “He dreams schemes up at night.”

Members of the Wayzata crowd felt their wildest dreams come true when the public address announcer notified them of losses by six-time state champion Eden Prairie and defending state champion Cretin-Derham Hall.

“We’ll celebrate this one tonight and we’ll worry about what’s ahead tomorrow,” said a smiling Anderson.


Highlight video of the Blaine vs Wayzata playoff game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube

This season we’ll have a weekly segment called “The Big One” where we feature a game with post-game articles and/or analysis including video from our friends at Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube.  Our next “Big One” of the 2010 season will be the Blaine vs Wayzata on Friday, November 12th (7:00pm) @ Osseo High School.

The Wayzata Trojans enter this game undefeated (8-0) and the top ranked team in the state of Minnesota (Class 5a).  They have played a very competitive schedule beating two other teams that have qualified for the State (5A) Tournament (Lakeville South & Eden Prairie).  Offensively the Trojans are a run-heavy team led by running back Aaron Roth (Sr).  Roth is a threat both on the ground (586 yards, 5 touchdowns) and in the air (17 receptions, 236 yards, 2 touchdowns).  However, defense is their calling card.  They are a stifling group of “no names” that only gives up an average of 12 points per game.  Their thrilling overtime win over the Eden Prairie Eagles on October 20th (28-27) was the last time an opposing team has scored on them.

Here are highlights of that Eden Prairie @ Wayzata game courtesy of WayzataTV on YouTube

The Blaine Bengals are also undefeated (10-0) and enter this game as the second ranked team in the state of Minnesota (Class 5a).  You can’t fault Blaine for the level of competition in the Northwest Suburban Conference being down this year, but they did what good teams are supposed to do against weaker opponents – they dominated them.  The Bengals are led by arguably the best dual-threat quarterback in the state in Eric Kline (Sr).  Kline leads the team in rushing with 1059 yards and 24 touchdowns, and has thrown for another 1943 yards and 10 touchdowns.  As Kline goes so goes the Blaine offense.  Defensively Blaine might be just as tough as Wayzata allowing just over 12 points per game albeit against much weaker competition.  Linebacker Chris Thomas (Sr) leads an opportunistic group with 110 total tackles, 5 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries.  He’s also scored 4 touchdowns (2 interception returns, 2 fumble returns).

As is usually the case this time of year the winner of Section 7AAAAA must prove they are for real.  Two seasons ago Blaine won their section and knocked off Eden Prairie and Cretin-Derham Hall in consecutive weeks to reach the State Championship game, where they lost to Wayzata.  Based on strength of schedule Wayzata is the obvious favorite in this matchup.  Are the Trojans too tough for the Bengals?  Is Blaine is as good as their record indicates?  We’ll find out Friday!