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Minnetonka establishes first half supremacy to hoist Bay Bell trophy

09/08/2017, 10:30am CDT
By Ricky Campbell, SportsEngine

The Skippers scored all 21 of their points in the second quarter en route to a win over the Trojans.

Quarterback Aaron Syverson (6) and Minnetonka stretch the lead in the first half against Wayzata on Friday. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

Quarterback Aaron Syverson (6) and Minnetonka stretch the lead in the first half against Wayzata on Friday. The Skippers defeated the Trojans 21-6. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

Junior JJ Schechtman (82) bats down a pass intended for Wayzata Senior Tyrese Seyon (1) as the Skippers win 21-6. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

Junior JJ Schechtman (82) bats down a pass intended for Wayzata Senior Tyrese Seyon (1) as the Skippers win 21-6. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

Minnetonka’s junior quarterback Aaron Syverson was an essential part of the Skippers’ game-winning offense Friday night, not just because he’s the guy who hands off the ball or throws a pass. Syverson is a six-foot, 180-pound dual-threat.

Minnetonka, ranked No. 8 in the Class 6A Associated Press poll, topped rival and No. 10-6A Wayzata (1-1) 21-6 in the Battle for the Bay Bell by leaning heavily on Syverson, who finished the night with 190 yards on 15 carries, including a 96-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Syverson was 9 for 12 in passing with 130 yards, connecting with junior Mitch Klass for a 17-yard pass that put the Skippers up 21-6 before the close of the half -- and the last score of the entire game.

“He can thrown, he can run, he’s a great leader,” Minnetonka coach Dave Nelson said. “He’s everything you want in a quarterback.”

As Nelson was singing his praises about Syverson, senior tight end William Clough walked by, Bay Bell in hand, dinging-and-donging his way to the bus. It’s the second straight Bay Bell win for the Skippers, whose rivalry over the trophy dates back to 1952.

Wayzata (1-1, 0-1) scored first on a 1-yard carry from running back Christian Vasser. He finished the night with 56 yards on 13 carries and the lone Trojan touchdown.

But it was the Skippers’ ground-and-pound offense that wore down the Trojan defense in the second quarter. After starting with the ball on its own 5-yard line, Minnetonka (2-0, 2-0) scored early in the second quarter on the long Syverson run

Senior running back Adam Livingston contributed to the run game with 23 carries for 97 yards.

“I’m just trying to do the best I can with my teammates,” Syverson said. “We’ve got the O-line up there creating big holes, and we gotta capitalize when they do.”

A trick play put Minnetonka on the board again when Syverson handed a third-and-10 reverse to Klass, who threw a 15-yard pass into the end zone, connecting with senior receiver Eric Douville. The two-point conversion that followed also included some trickery with a similar play -- backup quarterback Daniel Viger threw it to Syverson in the endzone, putting the Skippers up by eight.

Wayzata was without starting quarterback Keaton Heide after an injury last week against Rosemount. But first-year coach Lambert Brown put in Marco LoPesio, a 6-foot junior who stood his ground, connecting with receivers eight times on 13 attempts for 56 yards. He converted with senior receiver Nathan Roth three times for 25 yards -- all in the first half.

After leaving the field with some help, running back Deshawn Cockrell came back into the game and finished the night with 36 yards on eight carries.

“They’re a really good football program, so when you beat Wayzata, you know you’ve accomplished something,” Nelson said.

And Minnetonka did. The Skippers get to hold onto that ringing bell for another year.

The Trojans form a huddle on the sideline before taking the field hoping to stop the upcoming 2-point conversion attempt by Minnetonka. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

The Trojans form a huddle on the sideline before taking the field hoping to stop the upcoming two-point conversion attempt by Minnetonka. Photo by Travis Ellison, SportsEngine

First Report

Minnetonka topped rival Wayzata Friday night 21-6 in the Battle for the Bay Bell at Wayzata High School by leaning heavily on the run game and quarterback Aaron Syverson.

Syverson, a junior, finished the night with 190 yards on 15 carries, including a 96-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He was 9 for 12 in passing with 130 yards, connecting with junior Mitch Klass for a 17-yard pass to put the Skippers up 21-6 before the close of the half.

Minnetonka, ranked No. 8 in Class 6A in the Associated Press poll, scored a 15-yard touchdown on a reverse-turned-flea flicker with Klass connecting to senior receiver Eric Douville. The two-point conversion that followed also included some trickery with a similar play -- backup quarterback Daniel Viger threw it to Syverson in the endzone.

Minnetonka  (2-0, 2-0) running back Adam Livingston carried the ball 23 times for 97 yards.

For No. 10-6A Wayzata, sophomore running back Christian Vasser carried the ball 13 times for 56 yards and scored the Trojans’ (1-1, 0-1) lone touchdown from the 1-yard line.

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