Kip Knutson hauls in a Ryan Thompson pass over Komet defender Grant Smith
By David Richards
It was that close.
Byron quarterback Ryan Thompson threw four, second-half touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as Kasson-Mantorville edged the Bears in the second round of the Section 1, Class 4A tournament Oct. 26, 42-35.
Playing at No. 1-seed Kasson, Thompson used a 1-yard quarterback sneak to find the end zone in the first half, but the Komets (8-1) stopped a late-Byron drive in the second quarter by taking an interception into the end zone to lead 28-7.
In the second half, the two teams pretty much traded touchdowns.
The No. 4-seed Bears (3-7) scored four passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 60-yard strike from Thompson to Kip Knutson with 1:35 to play.
"We made it close at the end," said head coach John Austinson. "It was nice how we hung on and didn't quit."
Knutson also had a 24-yard touchdown catch to combine for four receptions and 158 yards.
Wyatt Nelson caught the other two touchdowns, an 18-yard catch and another for 11 yards.
Austinson said he was pleased with his team's effort, especially in a season where his team suffered a slew of injuries.
"Overall, very proud," Austinson said. "They left everything out on the field."
Thompson completed 10 of 25 passes for 239 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, in addition to running for another score.
Dan Fujan led the Bears in rushing with 16 carriers for 106 yards.
On defense, Knutson picked off a pair of passes, while Nelson recovered a fumble.