South St. Paul's 1958 undefeated football team was honored as part of Friday's homecoming festivities.
Things in Packer Country must have looked familiar to them.
A throwback offense grinding out big yardage on the ground led South St. Paul to a 27-13 victory over previously undefeated Mahtomedi.
Quarterback Cade Sexauer and running back Angel Rodriguez each ran for two touchdowns for South St. Paul (4-1), ranked No. 9 in Class 4A.
Coach Chad Sexauer told players their victory over Mahtomedi (4-1), ranked No. 5 in Class 5A, will be immortalized on the wall of the tunnel leading to Ettinger Field.
"We do that any time we win over a ranked team or we win in a special game," Chad Sexauer said.
Friday met both standards. The teams met for the first time since 2014, reigniting a rivalry between successful eastern suburban programs.
South St. Paul jumped out to a 14-0 lead on first quarter scores just 1:16 apart from Sexauer and Rodriguez. The latter came on a two-play, 23-yard drive after a Mahtomedi fumble. "It was kind of a cheap, easy touchdown," Chad Sexauer said.
Nothing came easy in the first half for Mahtomedi, which had a fake punt attempt fail, lost a fumble and got stopped twice on fourth down.
In the second half, Mahtomedi backup quarterback Jake Arlandson replaced starter Brodi Larson, who was injured. Arlandson threw a 29-yard touchdown pass on fourth down that cut the Zephyrs' deficit to 14-7 in the third quarter. "We're confident with Jake in there," Mahtomedi coach Dave Muetzel said. "We just couldn't capitalize."
Larson returned in the fourth quarter. But Rodriguez put the game away for South St. Paul on a touchdown with 2:53 left.
"We're a good finishing team that can drive down the field," Cade Sexauer said. "So that touchdown was huge."