Winona football season ends with 48-24 loss in state semifinal

Winona football’s 4A state semifinal game against Rocori was the quintessential tale of two halves. The Winhawks led the Rocori Spartans 14-7 at halftime, but were then outscored 41-10 in the second half for a 48-24 defeat.

The Winhawks used an Aaron Witt fumble recovery touchdown and Jackson Nibbelink rushing touchdown to build a 14-7 lead at the half.

The second half belonged to Rocori quarterback Jack Steil, who ran the read option to great effect against Winona’s defense. Steil and the Spartans scored touchdowns on six of their seven second half drives. Winona’s offense, meanwhile, committed four of its five turnovers in the second half to help Rocori put the game away.

Steil finished with 168 rushing yards and five touchdowns for Rocori. Winona’s Nibbelink ran for 33 yards and two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions, all of them to Rocori’s Tucker Haakonson.

Winona finishes the season 11-1.

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