Two undefeated teams clashed at Tri-City United last Friday, but only one could win. Mayer Lutheran’s three-game win streak ended Sept. 21, as the Crusaders fell 16-13 to Tri-City United in overtime.
According to Mayer Lutheran head coach Dean Aurich, Tri-City United boasts a strong, well-coached team that made the Crusaders feel like the underdogs.
“TCU is a big school,” Aurich said. “It felt like David versus Goliath.”
Tri-City United was the only team to score in the first quarter, before Mayer Lutheran junior Chad Anenson kicked at 36-yard field goal in the second to put the Crusaders on the scoreboard. The Titans would score once more to lead 13-3 at halftime.
The third quarter was scoreless, before Mayer Lutheran had a big fourth quarter rally. Anenson made good on a 34-yard field goal to bring the Crusaders within one touchdown of the tie. Later, senior Jeremiah Grimsley teamed up with senior Tanner Luebke for a 36-yard touchdown pass. Anenson’s extra kick was good to tie the game at 13-13 at the end of regulation.
Both defenses dominated the overtime period, and in the end, it came down to field goals. While the Crusaders missed theirs, Tri-City United was successful to pull off the 16-13 win.
“Wow, this was a great football game,” Aurich said.
Grimsley was 14-30 at quarterback for 140 yards and one touchdown. He also threw one interception. Luebke had three receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown. Other reception leaders included junior Anthony Gruenhagen (53 yards), junior Joel Burfeind (25 yards), junior Cole Buttenhoff (9 yards), and senior Philip Burfeind (8 yards). Joel Burfeind led the Crusader rushing game with 15 carries for 64 yards. Also rushing was Philip Burfeind (11 carries, 26 yards), and Grimsley (7 carries, 12 yards). The Crusaders had 63 plays for 242 offensive yards (102 rushing, 140 passing).
Sophomore Taylor Otterstatter, who had seven tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries, led the Mayer Lutheran defense. Grimsley picked off an interception to compliment his six tackles, while Joel Burfeind also had seven tackles.
The Crusaders are now 3-1 this season, 2-1 in the Minnesota River Conference, and are third in the MRC behind Watertown-Mayer are Tri-City United, both of whom are 4-0 overall (3-0 MRC).
Mayer Lutheran will host Norwood Young America this Friday at 7 p.m. It is the Crusaders’ homecoming game.