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Hastings beats Woodbury, 37-27; team falls to East Ridge and now prepares for sections

Mike Junker eludes a Woodbury tackler at Friday’s game.

Friday night’s football game between Hastings and Woodbury went back and forth, to say the least.

Hastings took the lead. Woodbury took it back. Hastings went up. Woodbury came back. Then Hastings took the lead. Then Woodbury came back.

Finally, down the stretch when it mattered most, it was Hastings that made the plays and the Raiders came out on top, 37-27.

“That was a fun game,” coach Dana Strain said. “It was a lot like the White Bear game in that it was back and forth. It felt that if you could ever get a two-score lead, you’d have a good chance of winning. Neither team could get that. We finally got it late in the game.”

Woodbury had the ball and trailed 34-27 late in the fourth quarter. HHS senior captain Ross Dylla stopped the Woodbury drive, though, with a big interception.

Hastings then went on a seven-play 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 24-yard field goal by Jonah Harrington with just 2:48 to play. That put Hastings up by 10 points and sealed the deal.

“That was a big interception, and a big kick,” Strain said. “It was kind of a tough kick. The angle was tough on it and the wind was strong. It toyed with our emotions as it was going through. It hung up there a little bit for us to enjoy.”

Strain praised the snap by Jake Cooper and the hold by Zach Wiese on the play, too.

The interception by Dylla was one of several big plays on defense for the Raiders. Dylla forced another interception earlier in the game with a big hit on a Woodbury receiver. Jordan Wiesenburger caught the ball and made the interception.

“We had great effort defensively,” Strain said. “”They were aggressive in the secondary and the linebacker group in closing in on some throws. That led to those interceptions.”

In addition to the two interceptions, the defense had a fumble recovery, which was recorded by Mark Vaith.

Meanwhile, the Hastings offense didn’t turn the ball over at all.

“The biggest thing I liked about what we did was that the offense attacked, they put points on the board and they protected the football,” Strain said. “That was the difference in the game.”

Strain said the win was the classic team effort.

“It was probably our most complete game of the season,” he said. “I told the kids that I could go through just about every young man on the field and I can remember them making a play at some point in time.

“It was a very complete team effort. From the snapper to the kicker to the kids who were on defense and made a play – it was a complete team effort. Those are really fun.

“It wasn’t one kid who carried the day. Everyone had a hand in it.”

That said, Dylla certainly had a memorable game. He caught two touchdown passes from Brandon McCarthy. He had one interception, he forced another, he had a 41-yard punt return and he punted, too, including a 68-yard punt.

“He had a heck of a night,” Strain said. “No doubt about it.”


McCarthy finished with 24 carries for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

Daryale Harris had seven carries for 22 yards.

Shane Anderson, Zach Wiese and Dylla also had carries.

Through the air, McCarthy completed eight of 16 attempts for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

Dylla had four catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Wiese had two catches for 32 yards. Harris had one catch for 10 yards and Jacob Cooper had one catch for eight yards.

Dylla had a 41-yard punt return and he picked up 49 yards worth of kickoff returns.

Mike Junker had a 24-yard return on a kickoff, too.

Harrington converted on four of five extra points and he had the 24 yard field goal.

The Hastings defense surrendered 221 yards of rushing to the Royals. In the passing game, Woodbury totaled 231 yards.

This week

Hastings played host to East Ridge on Wednesday night in the regular season finale. The Raptors won, 35-6.

Hastings finished the year with a 3-5 record.

The section tournament begins Tuesday across the state.

Hastings is competing in Section 5AAAAA. There are six teams in the section. They are Hastings, Henry Sibley, Simley, St. Thomas Academy, Tartan and St. Paul Central.

Hastings is the No. 4 seed and will play host to Henry Sibley at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

If the Raiders win, they'll play against No. 1 seeded St. Paul Central at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Central. They are 8-0 on the season.

The section finals are on Friday, Nov. 1.