‘Kyle Football’ leads way to 14-13 upset of Rosemount

Photos by: Nick Lieser

Nick Kelly, Head Beat Reporter

For most high school football players, being asked to come off the bench to fill in at quarterback and lead the team, down 13, may be a daunting task.

But for the player affectionately called ‘Kyle Football,’ this adversity was no sweat.

When Lakeville North’s starting quarterback, Drew Stewart, suffered an injury in the second quarter, the Panthers turned to wide receiver and backup quarterback Kyle Rhodus. Despite the hostile situation Rhodus entered, he led the way to a 14-13 Panther upset of the Rosemount Irish with two-second half touchdowns.

“I just had to believe in myself and my teammates and I needed to trust them that we were going to get the job done,” Rhodus said.

While he threw an interception just before the half, Rhodus came out in the second half as a man on a mission. The Irish looked to slowly but surely be pulling away after they went up 13-0, but a roll out pass to tight end Carl Engwall for over 15 yards ultimately gave the Panther offense the spark it needed.

After multiple connections between Rhodus and junior receiver David Lindstrand, North decreased the deficit to 13-7 when the senior quarterback hit the wide-open receiver, Connor Flack, in the end zone with 11:15 remaining in regulation.

The Panther defense held up their end of the bargain, so, with just under four minutes remaining in the game, Rhodus had one more chance to lead his team to victory.

What happened on the ensuing drive couldn’t have been written any better for Lakeville North. After an Irish timeout, Rhodus pumped once and then hit Flack for a 32-yard score on a post-route with just over two minutes remaining. The touchdown pass gave the Panthers a 14-13 lead following the extra point from Stuart Hamann.

“I was just hoping (Flack) caught it,” Rhodus admitted. “I just tried to get the ball to him and let him make a play.”

Following his game saving performance, ‘Kyle Football’ will remember this night for a long time.

“I would have to say this is (the) number one (thrill) from here on out,” Rhodus said. “There’s not much better.”