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Strong finish, playoffs next

10/22/2016, 8:30am CDT
By By Tom Schardin, tschardin@swpub.com

No. 9 Blaze rolls Eastview to finish regular season 6-2

Jackson Martens did the heavy lifting for the Burnsville football team in its final regular season game Oct. 19.

The senior rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns in leading the No. 9-ranked Blaze to a 27-7 home win over Eastview in East Metro District White Division play.

It was a good rebound win for Burnsville after losing 21-0 at No. 5 Rosemount Oct. 14, getting just 56 yards rushing and 65 passing the loss.

The Blaze also beat Eastview with three starters out, including senior standout Steph Olson, who was sidelined with a concussion. He's one of the team's top defenders and is part of the one-two running punch with Martens.

Burnsville (6-2) will be home to start the Class 6A playoffs. The 32-team bracket was released Oct. 20.

The Blaze got the No. 3 seed in Section 3 behind Rosemount (7-1) and No. 2 Lakeville North (7-1), respectively. The Irish beat the Panthers 24-21 in three overtimes in Week 8 to get the No. 1 spot.

Burnsville will play host to Stillwater (5-3), the No. 6 seed from Section 4, to open the playoffs Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

The other three top-seeds are: No. 1 Totino Grace (8-0) from Section 4, No. 3 Eden Prairie (7-1) from Section 6 and No. 8 Blaine (6-2) from Section 5. Burnsville is on Blaine's side of the bracket.

For a complete look at the 6A field click herehttp://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/top32bracket.asp?tournid=2850&bracket=7476.

Meanwhile, in the win over Eastview, the Blaze used its defense to build a lead. Senior Jared Shearer continues to play strong at linebacker. He picked off a pass in the second quarter and took it 37 yards for a touchdown to put the Blaze up 10-0.

Eastview got a touchdown before the break. The second half belonged to Martens. He had a 12-yard scoring run in the third quarter and went 78 yards just 14 seconds into the final frame to put his team up 24-7.

Junior Jake Boatman had a perfect night kicking, hitting a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 28-yarder late in the fourth quarter, plus going 3 for 3 on extra points.

Senior Isiaah Harston went 5 of 8 passing for 93 yards. Senior Jake Shepley had three grabs for 97 yards.

On defense, seniors Tre Thomas and Jack Hajduch led the Blaze with seven tackles apiece, while Martens had four. Sophomore Marcus Shepley recovered a fumble.

Last year, the Blaze was the No. 2 seed in Section 3 and won its first two games to earn the program's first state berth since 1995.

More information

Class 6A State Poll

1. Totino Grace, 2. Lakeville North, 3. Eden Prairie, 4. East Ridge, 5. Burnsville, 6. Cretin-Derham Hall, 7. Rosemount, 8. Maple Grove, 9. Blaine, 10. Champlin Park

Blaze 2016 Schedule

Sept. 1: at Roseville, W, 20-14

Sept. 9: vs. Lakeville South, W, 14-7 (OT)

Sept. 16: at Lakeville North, L, 28-7

Sept. 23: vs. Apple Valley, W 31-21

Sept. 30: at Farmington, W, 31-23

Oct. 7: vs. Eagan, W, 35-0

Oct. 14: at Rosemount, L, 21-0.

Oct. 19: vs. Eastview, W, 27-7

Oct. 28: vs Stillwater (playoffs), 7 p.m.

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