Members of the Minnewaska Area football team run onto the field during player introductions during a home game for the Lakers this season.

Albany scored seven first-half touchdowns on the way to a 59-12 victory over Minnewaska Area during the opening round of the Section 6AAA Football Tournament last Tuesday night at Albany.

Albany came into the game as the second seed and the Lakers, who ended the season with a 0-9 record, were seeded seventh.

Albany moved on to beat third-seeded Morris Area in the semifinals,  31-20, Saturday, and will now face top-seeded NLS in the finals, set for 7 p.m, Friday, Nov. 4 at St. Cloud State University.

Albany ended the season third in the East Central-North District this year with a 4-2 record, finishing behind Milaca (6-0) and Princeton (5-1).

The Lakers, coached by Jared Lyle, were shut out twice this season and scored a total of 102 points this year while giving up 395 points.  Assisting first-year head coach Lyle this fall were Nathan Snider, Ryan Christianson, Trevor Solem, Jason Weber, Chris Lence, Brian Walker, Andrew Goracke, Dan Dahl and Matt Meagher.

Seniors lost to graduation from this year’s team are Paul Johnson, Jr., Conner Stein, Blake Andreas, Hunter Kloos, Cole Baker, Ethan Barron, Chase Boelke, Brady Blair and Jack Larson. 

Albany 59, Minnewaska 12

Albany scored seven touchdowns in the first half to go into halftime with a 46-0 lead.  Although the Lakers were only outscored 13-12 in the second half, the damage had been already done. The Lakers, who ended the season with a 0-9 record after going 1-8 last year, were shut out twice this year and scored from 12 to 18 points in the other seven games.

Albany used a 4-play, 35-yard touchdown drive to open up the scoring and added a 7-play, 57-yard drive later in the first quarter to go up 14-0 after one stanza.

Included in the five second-quarter touchdowns for Albany was an 82-yard touchdown run by Cole Panek, a 26-yard pick-six interception return by Ethan Borgerding and a 36-yard pass from Carter Voss to Borgerding.

Albany added an eighth score early in the third quarter on a 35-yard completion before the Lakers scored their first touchdown.

Minnewaska ended the third quarter with a 4-play, 55-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a 27-yard touchdown run by quarterback PJ Johnson.

The Huskies scored their final touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the Lakers countered with another touchdown of their own on a 4-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Austin Weber.

•  No other individual or team statistics were available to the Pope County Tribune by presstime.

at Albany 59, Lakers 12

Minnewaska (0-9) 0 0 6 6 — 12

Albany 14 32 7 6 — 59