The Wolverines captured victories over GFW, Jordan, Belle Plain and LSH
Atop the Section 3AAA standings is the undefeated Sibley East Wolverines. Pending an inexplicable collapse, Sibley East has vastly improved from last year’s regular season performance. The Wolverines managed to win their first game of last year’s section tournament only to fall short the next round against Jackson County Central with a 42-14 loss.
The noticeable difference when looking at the box scores is the team’s ability to close out games with authority this year. The Wolverines have scored 41 points in the fourth quarter in this season more than in any other, according to MN Football Hub. In comparison, Sibley East’s opponents have only put up 15 points in the same situation which means the defense is pulling its weight as well for the Wolverines.
Head coach Alan Halverson’s game plan seems to apply well to almost any team through the team’s five games. Fans should feel at ease when gazing at the final scores as the calendar moves towards playoff time. The range of points allowed per-game by Sibley East is capped at 16 and gave up the team’s season-best eight points allowed against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial High School. The team also enjoys offensive consistency, in each of the five games played; the Wolverines have scored 29, 28, 29, 35 and then 29 points most recently.
Sibley East is only one of three teams in its conference currently with a record above a .500 winning percentage. The Wolverines have defeated four conference rivals to add to their undefeated 5-0 record. St. Peter opened up the season visiting Sibley East in the Wolverines’ only nonconference game yet. The final 29-13 score was locked in by the start of the fourth quarter; neither team scored after that point in the game.
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva was Sibley East’s next victim on the schedule. Unsurprisingly, the Wolverines nearly repeated the exact score as the game prior, walking away with their first conference win of the season, 28-14.
Maple River most closely follows Sibley East in the standings but the score of the game was just the same as those who had fallen to the Wolverines before Maple River challenged them. The Eagles ended up outscoring Sibley East in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines’ lead gained before the half would stick and Maple River loses 29-15.
LeSueur-Henderson almost had Sibley East in its sights down the stretch. The score at the end of three quarters was 14-9, with Sibley East leading. The Giants were poised to strike coming out of the gate but their defense fell through before they could get any points on the board. Sibley East capitalized on mistakes made by the Giants. Sibley East had already scored two touchdowns by the time LeSueur-Henderson had the chance to put the ball in the end zone. The Wolverine’s defense pitched in for the scoring effort, picking off the Giants’ quarterback to go for a 25-yard touchdown. The 21 points scored by Sibley East in the fourth quarter ended the game with a score of 35-16.
The next week was nothing different for the Wolverines against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.
Sibley East decidedly defeated the Knights on their home turf for the team’s fifth consecutive victory. The Wolverines aren’t out of the water yet, hypothetically the season finale at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown could yield postseason implications. Should the Wolverines lose the two games leading up to WEM, they could be playing to keep their elite status in Section 3AAA.
WEM only has two losses this season with a 3-1 conference record. Right now, the Wolverines show no signs of losing their cool and seem to be on their way to being tough competition come time for sections and possibly the state tournament in November.