The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 3, 2013

In SCC football, it's 8th-ranked Waseca that TAKES CONTROL

Jays beat defending state champ BEA last week

It’s been a tough three weeks for the Waseca football team, but the Bluejays have taken control of the South Central Conference with two league games remaining.

“Four of the five teams we’ve played so far were ranked when we played them,” Waseca coach Brad Wendland said. “The schedule has been unforgiving, but last week was a great week for our school.”

The Bluejays (5-0), the No. 8-rated team in Class AAAA, knocked off defending Class AAA champion Blue Earth Area 30-18 on Friday. That victory came after wins over St. Peter (48-24) and Fairmont (43-27) that has produced a one-game lead in the SCC.

Against BEA, senior quarterback Thomas O’Neil rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns of 40 or more yards.

He also threw a 64-yard touchdown pass. In just five games, O’Neil has rushed for 1,018 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he’s passed for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Both the single-season school records for rushing and passing are well within his reach at his current pace.

“He just has a knack for making the right play,” Wendland said. “If we need to run, he’ll run. If we need to pass, he’ll pass. He’s making very good decisions with the ball.”

Waseca’s opponents so far have a combined record of 15-10, with five of those losses coming to the Bluejays.

Waseca plays at winless New Ulm on Friday. The Bluejays then play at St. James Area (2-3) on Oct. 11 before finishing the regular season with a nonconference game at Fridley.

Nicollet QB record

It was inevitable that Nicollet junior Dalton Elliott would own some career quarterback records, but he’s already racking up big numbers just five games into his junior season.

Last week, in Nicollet’s 78-58 victory over Randolph, Elliott broke the school’s career record for passing touchdowns with 59 and total offense with 6,293 yards.

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