Even though Rosemount shut out Lakeville South three weeks ago, the Irish still had a chip on their shoulder entering the rematch Friday night, in the Class 6A, Section 3 opener.
Head coach Jeff Erdmann's team came out ahead once again, using a 20-point fourth quarter to post a 20-7 victory over the South Suburban rival Cougars.
"They felt that they should be a higher seed than us -- and we felt like we needed to prove ourselves again," Erdmann said. "This makes five out of the last six times that we played them, we beat them."
Both teams experienced a little déjà vu on Friday, as the scoreless first half was almost a replica of their regular-season matchup, won 12-0 by the Irish. Neither team could move the football.
Rosemount finally broke a scoreless tie early in the fourth quarter, when Dimitri Williams' 23-yard touchdown run put the Irish up 7-0 with 11 minutes to play.
With the Irish defense forcing another three-and-out, sophomore quarterback Jackson Erdmann found senior Sean Kalinowski for a 41-yard play-action touchdown pass to increase the lead.
With Lakeville South driving into the Irish red zone to stay in the game, senior defensive back Jeremy Macchitelli came up with a key interception at the 5-yard line. Running back Ali Al-Khatib put the game out of reach with a dramatic play, losing a fumble, recovering it and sprinting for a 58-yard touchdown that made it 20-0.
"We told them at half -- we talked about it all week -- we were just going to out-physical them," Erdmann said. "In the second half, it paid off."
Brenon Larson-Gulsvig threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Luke Iverson for the Cougars' score with 2:13 left.