Burnsville Football

The Burnsville football team opened the season with a 24-6 loss at Mounds View Aug. 29. The Blaze is back action Sept. 6 at Eastview at 7 p.m.

The Burnsville football team hopes to bounce back from its loss in the opener.

The Blaze is at No. 8-ranked Eastview Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The Lightning upset Minnetonka 21-17 on the road in their opener, getting a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with eight seconds left to play in the game.

The Blaze and the Lightning have met in the regular season the last nine years with Burnsville winning four of those contests. Eastview won last year 20-0.

Against Mounds View in the season opener Aug. 29, the Blaze failed to get revenge in a 24-6 loss. The Mustangs also beat Burnsville in the Class 6A playoffs last year, winning 17-14 at home.

The Blaze have lost their last three season openers by a combined margin of 114-12.

"We started the game with a nice drive on our second series," Blaze Coach Vince Varpness said. "We drove 50 yards in eight plays and fumbled the ball.
 
"It was a defensive battle all game until about seven minutes left in the game where we scored to make it 10-6," Varpness added. "At that point, Mounds View scored to go up 17-6 and then we had a blocked punt and a fumbled kick-off return, so things turned south the last six minutes of the game."

The Blaze were down only four points in the fourth quarter (10-6) after senior quarterback Jordan Tompkins scored on a 4-yard run. The extra point was missed.

The Mustangs were able to finish off Burnsville with scoring runs of 23 and 11 yards later in the quarter.

Mounds View led 7-0 at halftime and went up 10-0 in the third quarter on a 27-yard field goal.

Tompkins finished 5 of 6 passing for 43 yards. Senior Lucas Volk led the Blaze on the ground, rushing 10 times for 56 yards. Sophomore Colton Gregersen carried eight times for 41 yards.

Gregersen led the team in receptions with three for 27 yards. Junior Nathan Le had two catches for 16 yards.

On defense, senior Gabe Johnson led the team in tackles with 10. Seniors Joel Joubert and Brandon Stewart each had six tackles, while senior Noah Juliar had five.

"Overall, we played hard considering we had eight first-time varsity players on offense and seven on defense," Varpness said. "We have a lot to learn. We need to work on playing four quarters and finishing the game."

In week 3 (Sept. 13), Burnsville will face No. 5 Lakeville South in its home opener starting at 7 p.m.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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