Lukas Meier rushed for two touchdowns in the contest.
Crookston entered the Section 8AA Tournament as the sixth seed and trekked to Roseau for the opening postseason game. The matchup served as the second meeting between the Pirates and Rams in as many weeks. Last time out, the Rams defeated Crookston 35-12. This time around, the Pirates held Roseau to 23 points, but Crookston put up the same number as last week, 12, and fell short to conclude the season.
After playing Roseau less than a week ago, Head Coach Scott Butt came in with a different game plan.
"We went to more of an option game against them and we used more misdirection that caused them to have some trouble," Butt said.
The Pirates’ offense was led by Lukas Meier (Sr. RB) who scored both of Crookston’s touchdowns on rushes. Meier finished the season with three rushing touchdowns. Joe Doda (Jr. RB) also played a solid game in the backfield rushing for a season-high 134 yards.
Roseau opened the scoring with a rushing touchdown in the first quarter to lead 7-0.
With two minutes to play in the first quarter, Meier punched in his first score of the game, but an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt kept the Rams ahead 7-6.
Shortly after the beginning of the second quarter, Crookston took the lead on Meier’s second score and led 12-7 after another two-point attempt did not convert. The 12-7 lead was the first held by the Pirates since September 28 in a 14-6 win over Frazee.
The advantage did not last long as Roseau went ahead on a rushing touchdown two minutes later. The Rams ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and led 15-12, a score they carried into halftime.
Roseau tacked on insurance points with their third rushing touchdown of the game and increased their lead to 23-12 with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
"The biggest factor, I think, was towards the end of the third quarter," Butt said. "Their seniors wore down our young kids. We played really hard, we just got out-sized and out-experienced. Playing a lot of sophomores and freshmen is hard against seniors."
Neither team could muster any more offense and Roseau held on to eliminate the Pirates from the section tournament with a 23-12 win.
Crookston finishes the season with a record of 2-7 and says goodbye to seven seniors: Jaden Lubarski, Sam Sanchez, Blake Fee, Lukas Meier, Nick Garmen, Chris Kazmierczak and Damian Hodgson.
"I really appreciate this group of seniors," Butt said. "They are a wonderful group. They work hard and are really good people. They will be very successful in life. I will really miss them."
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