The Mankato West High School Scarlets didn’t squander the opportunity to start the 2013 season on the right foot. After winning their final two games of 2012, they opened the season with an explosive 64-14 victory over Alberta Lea on Thursday night.
The Scarlets scored 42 first half points, including 3 touchdown passes from quarterback Ryan Schlichts. The junior added 2 more TDs in the second half, one a rushing score from a yard out. In all, the team rushed for 276 total yards. After a penalty plagued first quarter when their defensive backs looked like they were struggling to press the opposition, they really settled down, only allowing once score after Alberta Lea’s opening drive.
On the other side of town, Mankato East High lost their season opener on Friday evening 42-19 against Rochester Central. The Cougars’ multi-tool QB Nic Seiler had two second half rushing TDs and 133 yards, but couldn’t bring the team back from a 21-0 halftime deficit. The offense looks like an improved unit this season, but the team still allowed over 40 points, something that happened 5 times last season.
Both Mankato schools were disappointing in 2012, with the Scarlets going 2-6 while the Cougars were win less. Mankato West couldn’t have started 2013 any better, and have a favorable schedule in the early going of the season. Outside of playing reigning division champions Owatonna (8-0 in 2012) week three, they play against Austin (2-6), John Marshall (6-2), and Mankato East to start the year, giving them a legitimate chance at starting the season 4-1.