The Rocori Spartans topped the Delano Tigers 35-7 Friday night in a state tournament quarterfinal at St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium. The Spartans improve to 9-2 on the season with the win.

Delano opened the game with a 12-play, 6:35 drive that spanned 66 yards to get on the board first. The Tigers scored after quarterback Max Otto fell on a Delano fumble in the end zone.

The Spartans responded with a lengthy drive of their own, covering 72 yards in eleven plays over 4:40. Rocori quarterback Jack Steil plunged over the goal line on a fourth down play to tie the game at seven.

The score would remain tied until Luke Humbert juked a handful of defenders on a five-yard touchdown run with :46 left in the second quarter. Spartans kicker Christian Rodriguez missed a 30-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, so Rocori held a 14-7 lead at halftime.

The teams traded turnovers in the early part of the third quarter, with Jayden Phillipi intercepting a pass for Rocori followed by the Tigers recovering a Spartan fumble on their own one yard line on the ensuing drive.

After a Delano punt gave the Spartans the football at the Tigers 12, Tucker Haakonson caught a touchdown pass from Steil to give Rocori a 21-7 lead with 4:03 left in the third quarter.

After Rocori forced another Tiger punt and took over on the Delano 36, Jack Steil capped a short drive with a three-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 28-7 lead.

Luke Humbert picked off an Otto pass and brought it 60 yards up the field to set up another Steil   touchdown from three yards out to seal the win for the Spartans and send them to the state semifinal Friday at US Bank Stadium.

Unofficially, Steil finished 11-13 through the air for 140 yards and a touchdown while also rushing 16 times for 65 yards and three scores.

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