Zumbrota-Mazeppa won back the traveling trophy jug from Kasson-Mantorville with a thrilling 13-10 victory Thursday on a late fourth quarter touchdown. Jacob Bennett plunged into the end zone from two yards out with 4:33 to play. He also opened the drive with a 50-yard pass reception and carried the ball on the middle three plays of the decisive possession as well.

The meeting was the first since 2012 between the Cougars and Komets and the first ZM victory since 2008. Players gathered to hoist the little brown jug minutes after their fans erupted when the team secured the win.

Zumbrota-Maeppa's Blake Stiller and Cole Peters intercepted passes to end the final two Kasson-Mantorville drives. ZM picked up a first down on the final drive and closed the game with a couple of downs taken in victory formation.

The Cougars defense stepped up all night. They stopped KM on consecutive possessions in the third quarter that started inside ZM territory. Trailing 10-6, Zumbrota-Mazeppa had a 12-play drive that ate up six minutes and bridged the third and fourth stanzas, but stalled around the 35 of KM. A punt left the Komets at their own 15. After one first down, KM punted the ball back to ZM. The Cougars began the winning drive with 6:33 to go.

ZM recovered a pair of KM fumbles in the first half. After the second one, the Cougars drove 39 yards in seven plays, capped by a Parker Voth 23-yard scoring pass to Zach Hutton for a 6-0 lead. The PAT attempt missed.

Kasson-Mantorville responded with a 65-yard, nine play touchdown drive. Dalton Andrist got into the end zone on the teams fourth try on a goal-to-goal situation. Aaron Winkle hit the PAT for a 7-6 lead with 5:16 left in the first half.

KM also sprinted down the field in the closing 49 seconds of the second quarter on a ten-play, 57-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard field goal from Winkle. The Komets led 10-6 at the half.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1-0) plays at Lewiston-Altura Friday, September 7. Kasson-Mantorville (0-1) opens their home season next week hosting LaCrescent.

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