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Woodbury football: Royals fall 27-7 to Mustangs

Woodbury running back John McNiff recorded the Royals' lone touchdown Thursday in their 27-7 loss to Mounds View. Staff photo by Mike Longaecker

Before taking on Mounds View in Week 1, Woodbury coach Andy Hill asked for three things from his players: effort, energy and attitude.

Hill, the Royals’ third-year head coach, said his team delivered those elements Thursday night in spite of losing 27-7 at home to the Mustangs.

“Football is not about Week 1,” Hill told players after the game.

After relinquishing 21 first-half points, the team buckled down in the second half, where it played Mounds View to a tie.

Senior running back John McNiff accounted for Woodbury’s lone touchdown – a 35-yard third-quarter scamper.

Hill said the loss exposed several areas of improvement, with execution topping the list.

“We’ve got a whole ton of stuff to work on and we needed a night like tonight to see it,” he said.

Sophomore quarterback Brady Mundahl made his first varsity start and completed 8 of 20 passes for 83 yards. He threw neither a touchdown nor an interception.

Senior running backs Donnell Rodgers and McNiff split carries, gaining 56 and 54 rushing yards, respectively.

Ben Rizzardi led Woodbury’s receiving corps with four catches for 68 yards. Fellow senior Reid Peters hauled in four passes for 27 yards.

Woodbury gained 272 yards of total offense, while its defense held Mounds View to 208 total yards.

Senior linebacker Stefan Swenson turned in a notable game with three sacks and six tackles. Junior Ben Donnelly recorded five tackles on the night for Woodbury.

Up next for the Royals is White Bear Lake, a team that Woodbury fell to in the 2012 homecoming game.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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