Midway through the first quarter, Lakeville North defensive back Braden Walsh blitzed around the Lakeville South offensive line untouched and hit quarterback George Brekke as he threw to force fourth down.
It was the first of many big plays made by the Panthers defense as Lakeville North topped the Cougars 28-0 at North.
"We came out very aggressive," Lakeville North coach Brian Vossen said. "We tried to do a lot of stuff to put pressure on a young quarterback."
Minutes after his initial hit on Brekke, Walsh sacked the Cougars quarterback on the 1-yard line. Early in the second quarter, Panthers defensive back Brendan Rehborg recovered a fumbled kickoff. And just before halftime, Panthers defensive back Ben Woodbury returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown. In the third quarter, linebacker Thomas Jensen intercepted a screen pass.
Lakeville North's offense capitalized on the team's strong defensive showing, its third shutout of the season. Quarterback Brennan Kuebler threw a touchdown pass to RaJa Nelson and rushed for a 35-yard touchdown himself. Panthers running back Ryan Dalrymple also scored a rushing touchdown.
"It was a really big defensive game," Kuebler said. "They helped us score. If they hadn't played like that, we would have had bad field position."