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Mounders pull out win in final seconds over Buffaloes

MONDOVI — The Elk Mound football team may have inadvertently paid tribute to Yogi Berra, the famous baseball player for the Yankees who just passed away last week, when they came from behind late in the game to defeat the Mondovi Buffaloes 20-16 on the Mondovi field Sept. 25.

The Mounder players made sure Berra’s famous saying “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over” held true when quarterback Dane Lew led his team on a 68-yard drive with just 44 seconds left in the game, culminating in a touchdown pass to Cole Tyman to pull ahead 20-16 with eight seconds left. They then had to stop a last ditch effort by Mondovi to secure the win.

Mondovi held an 8-0 lead at the half on a first quarter touchdown run by Sawyer Hayes and his two point run. They held that lead until the 4:15 mark of the third quarter when the Mounders used their running game to eventually move the ball into the endzone on a 15 yard run by Noah Zurbuchen.The conversion failed but Elk Mound was down by just two points. Moving into the fourth quarter, Ben Mack ripped off a 22 yard run to hit paydirt and give the Mounders their first lead of the game at 12-8 with 6:35 left in the game. The action was fast and furious from there on out as Mondovi drove down the field and scored what looked like would be the winning score. Greg Poeshel found the endzone on a one yard run and Hayes added the two point conversion to put the Buffaloes back up 16-12.

After Zurbuchen took the kickoff back 26-yards to the Mounder 32-yard line,it was do or die time. Zurbuchen took a first down swing pass from Lew for six yards, then Lew found Jordan VanSchoonhovan open in the middle for a 20 yard gain.Lew spiked the ball to stop the clock, and on second down, Lew connected with Cole Tyman who was cutting across the middle.Tyman used two huge blocks by Colin Svee and Alex Hollister to break free and made an acrobatic leaping dive into the endzone for a 42-yard catch and run touchdown. Zurbuchen then added the two point run for the 20-16 lead with eight ticks left on the clock.

But those eight seconds turned out to be a long eight seconds for players, coaches and fans as the Buffaloes returned the kick to the 40. After an incomplete pass, the final play of the game was a long pass completion by Mondovi to the Elk Mound 5-yard line but a host of Mounders smothered the receiver to end the game.

“What a finish to a great high school football game,” Elk Mound coach Dave Lew said. “Our team plays until the clock is at 0:00. They never stopped believing and they found a way to win!” he added.

Although Zurbuchen was held to just one touchdown, he continued to tear up the field, rushing for 208-yards on 34 carries. Hunter Adleman added 27 yards on eight rushes and Mack ran for 32 yards on three carries. Lew completed 5 of 10 passes for 77 yards with Zurbuchen grabbing a pair and Adleman, Tyman and VanSchoonhoven all snaring one.

Elk Mound now has three conference wins with their 6-0 record and will finish the regular season with three conference games, starting when they host Boyceville this Friday night for the annual homecoming game.