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Woodbury football: No answers for Roseville in section playoffs

Woodbury receiver Reid Peters was among the 32 seniors who played their final football game for the Royals on Friday in a season-ending loss to Roseville.1 / 3
Linebacker Joe Puglisi returns a kickoff Friday against Roseville.2 / 3
Woodbury quarterback Brady Mundahl clutches an injured arm Friday in the first quarter during the Royals' playoff road loss to Roseville. The injury sent Mundahl to the hospital, where early reports indicated a broken arm.3 / 3

Roseville used a superior, quick-strike offense to take control early over an injury-riddled Woodbury team and never looked back in Friday’s first round of Section 4-6A playoffs.

The Raiders topped the Royals 49-6 at home and advanced to the state qualifier in 6A crossover play, while the Royals took the long drive back to Woodbury for the final time in 2013.

Despite the lopsided score and the unwelcome way to end the season, head coach Andy Hill urged his players to keep their heads held high.

“I think we’re starting to turn the corner,” he told players after the game, where he singled out the example the 2013-14 seniors set through discipline and hard work. “Younger guys, make these older guys proud next fall.”

Senior running back John McNiff was among the Royals players who left the field with a heavy heart.

“It’s too bad that the wins and losses weren’t how we wanted them,” he said after the game. “But we put in the work.”

Hill knew what he was up against with Roseville: Woodbury (2-6, 2-6 Suburban East Conference) fell earlier in the season to the Raiders 48-7 and the coach studied up on the 6-2 Raiders all week.

His conclusion?

“They’ve gotten better,” Hill said after the game. “I think you’ll see Roseville playing in the Dome.”

Roseville got on the board just under two minutes into the ballgame with a Jacques Perra touchdown run.

About two minutes later, disaster struck for the Royals when sophomore quarterback Brady Mundahl left the game with what Hill said was later revealed as a broken arm. The injury sidelined him the rest of the game and left senior Andrew Monnette in charge of the Woodbury offense.

“Andrew came in and did a nice job,” Hill said.

The effort wouldn’t be enough; Perra and the Raiders turned in a torrid first quarter that left Woodbury in a 28-0 hole.

By halftime, the deficit swelled to 34-0. Perra punished the Royals in the air and on the ground; he completed 11 of 14 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 65 yards and another touchdown in the first half alone.

McNiff shouldered the heavy load for Woodbury on the ground, gaining 86 yards on 24 carries in the first half. His season-long tandem at running back, junior Donnell Rodgers, was sidelined with a concussion.

The Royals’ lone score came with 57 seconds remaining in regulation when Monnette connected with senior receiver Reid Peters for a 20-yard touchdown.

Woodbury bids farewell to 32 seniors on the roster.

“I’m proud of the seniors,” Hill said. “They did a lot of things right that people didn’t get to see. I think they set a good example.”

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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