Hill-Murray football beats North St. Paul to win season opener

The Hill-Murray Pioneers football team defeated the North St. Paul Polars 38-6 Saturday afternoon on Higgins Memorial Field at Mary Queen of Victory Stadium on Hill-Murray’s campus.

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The Pioneers could not have started the game any better. Junior Joseph Koch returned the opening kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown to give Hill-Murray a 7-0 lead. Then, on their second possession, sophomore running back Sawyer Seidl marched Hill-Murray right down the field with some great runs. The drive was finished when junior wideout Rashad McKinley caught a touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

But, the game settled down after those two quick strikes by Hill-Murray. Both defenses stepped up and allowed no more scoring the rest of the first half.

North St. Paul opened the second half with two straight fumbles. But, Hill-Murray could only cash in those turnovers for one field goal, making it 17-0 with 8:28 left in the third.

Later in the third quarter, Hill-Murray was having a good drive, but then a bad snap led to a fumble recovered by the Polars. On the Polars ensuing drive, quarterback Ben Teigland hit wideout Joe Kujawa for a 34-yard reception. Junior running back Aimer Day finished off the drive for the Polars with a touchdown run, on the first play of the fourth quarter, to make it 17-6, following the missed extra point.

But, Hill-Murray then subbed in freshman Simon Seidl at quarterback. Simon, along with Sawyer, proceeded to gash the Polar defense. Simon eventually found McKinley for a long touchdown catch to make it 24-6 Pioneers with 10:35 left.

On the Pioneer next possession, Sawyer led the way on the ground, until Simon scored on a quarterback draw to make it 31-6 with 7:32 left.

Hill-Murray added one more touchdown for good measure to make it a 38-6 final.