The LeRoy/Ostrander Cardinals football team, the No. 3 seed in the Section 1 9-Man tournament was looking to knock off another ranked opponent for the second straight week for the section title as they locked horns with top-seeded and No. 2 ranked Lanesboro at Triton High School in Dodge Center Friday night. The Cardinals upended No. 2 seed and seventh-ranked Grand Meadow last Saturday night due in large part to a herculan effort by senior quarterback/safety/punter Chase Johnson, and he and his teammates came up with another huge effort Friday night as Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 248 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cardinals defense held a Lanesboro offense, which had been averaging 49 points a game to only six in a 30-6 win.
Johnson added a 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Layne Bird to open the scoring, as the Cardinals broke out of a 6-6 tie in the second half with 24 unanswered points to pull away for the win. Senior running back Tanner Olson, who had been an offensive lineman until the latter half of the season capped the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes left in the game for the Cardinals, who avenged their only two regular-season losses with the wins versus Grand Meadow and Lanesboro to move to 9-2 on the season.
LeRoy/Ostrander returns to the State Class 9-Man football tournament for the first time since 2004 with the win, and the Cardinals will meet Section 4 champion Wheaton/Herman/Norcross in the state quarterfinals at Macalaster College in St. Paul Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m.