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East Ridge football: Bears run wild on Raptors in blowout

Junior tight end George Behr was East Ridge's top receiver in the loss to the Bears, catching four passes for 48 yards.

White Bear Lake did what almost nobody could do against East Ridge this season - run the football.

White Bear Lake punished East Ridge for 353 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns on the way to a 42-7 rout of the Raptors in the regular-season finale on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in White Bear Lake.

East Ridge came into the Suburban East Conference showdown with the Bears allowing a conference-best 104 yards rushing per game. Prior to the loss to White Bear Lake, the Raptors (4-4; 4-4 SEC) had only allowed six rushing touchdowns total through seven games. But, in the finale alone, White Bear Lake (6-2; 6-2 SEC) doubled that total.

In the game, White Bear Lake struck first as senior Alex Rost ran six yards for the first of his four touchdowns, making it a 7-0 game after the extra point.

East Ridge bounced right back, however. Junior running back Nick Leach tied the game 7-7, after the extra point by Alec Tostenrud, on a 14-yard run.

But, from that point on it was all Bears.

White Bear Lake senior Nick Truen made it a 14-7 game with a 26-yard run toward the end of the first quarter. Rost and Truen then scored back-to-back, on runs of 5 and 65 yards, respectively, in the second quarter to make it a 27-7 game. Rost added two more touchdowns, of 26 and 31 yards, in the third quarter to blow the game wide open.

Leach led the way for East Ridge with 88 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Leach finished the season first in the Suburban East Conference in rushing, with 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns on 193 carries. White Bear's Truen finished second with 886 yards and an SEC-leading 13 scores on 110 carries.

In addition to Leach, East Ridge freshman quarterback Seth Green was 8-for-18 for 92 yards and an interception. Junior tight end George Behr was Green's main recipient, catching four passes for 48 yards.

East Ridge now turns its focus on the Section 5AAAAA playoffs. The Raptors earned the No. 2 seed in the section and a first-round bye. St. Thomas Academy is the section's No. 1 seed.

East Ridge will face the winner of third-seeded Hastings or sixth-seeded Tartan on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. at East Ridge High School. One win puts the Raptors in the section championship game.