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ROCORI Upsets Little Falls In Section Quarterfinal

The sixth-seeded ROCORI Spartans football team upset three-seed Little Falls 24-21 Friday night. The Spartans improved to 3-6 with the win and have won back to back games for the first time this season.

ROCORI recovered their own opening kickoff at the 31 yard line of Little Falls after the ball bounced high into the air and the aggressive Spartan special teams pounced on the ball.

After a false start penalty, Spartans quarterback Skippy Virchow found Alex Budde for a 35 yard strike that put the ball just outside the one yard line. Virchow ran it up the middle for the score on the next play to give ROCORI a 6-0 lead. 

The Flyers answered with a Jalen Wuchko 38 yard touchdown scamper that tied the game at six. Little Falls failed to convert on the extra point when the snap went well over the holder’s head and to the ground. ROCORI defender Dathan Miller was blocked hard on the play and remained on the ground for some time before being taken away by an ambulance. He was reportedly moving all of his limbs when on the field.

Virchow and Budde again hooked up for a big play, this time a 63 yard touchdown pass to make the score 12-6. The Spartans failed to convert the two point try after the touchdown, and would finish 0-4 in two point conversions on the night.

Little Falls again responded with a touchdown, this time a pass from quarterback Austin Fenske to tight end Bryce Zawatzke. The extra point was good, making the score 13-12 at the half.

Victor Schleppenbach scored from nine yards out just two minutes into the third quarter to give ROCORI a lead they would not relinquish at 18-13.

The Spartans struck again on a Sam Schwagel touchdown run, his first of the season, to make the score 24-13.

With just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter the Flyers cut the Spartan lead to just three points. Fenske and Zawatzke again hooked up for a touchdown, and the two point conversion, to make the score 24-21.

Thickening the plot, ROCORI fumbled the football on the Flyers half of the field with 1:13 left in the game, but Fenske threw an interception to essentially end the game.

The Spartans will travel to Thief River Falls Saturday for a semifinal matchup.

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