Jack Larson, #50, snatches a fumble out of midair. He then ran 70 yards for the Lakers’ only touchdown of the game. #22, Cole Barrus, and #32, Hunter Kostelecky, made the tackle that caused the fumble.
October 8 @ Minnewaska
Morris 33 Minnewaska 8
For the third time this season Minnewaska took part in a Homecoming game. This time the Lakers were the host, with their nearby rivals to the west, from Morris, providing the competition.
The Lakers received the opening kickoff and gained a first down before facing a 3rd & 15. A pass attempt was intercepted and returned 15 yards, setting the Tigers up at the Minnewaska 43-yard line.
Morris scored in six plays and took a 6-0 lead with just under five minutes played.
The Tigers struck again before the end of the first quarter, scoring on a 1-yard run with 39 seconds remaining following a Minnewaska punt. The drive went 75 yards and took 12 plays.
A promising Minnewaska drive to begin the second quarter fizzled after a flurry of penalties pushed the Lakers back so far they could not possibly cover the distance. Their punt was returned 45 yards, giving Morris the ball at the Lakers’ 30 yard line.
In six plays the Tigers crashed into the end zone from three yards out. The two-point conversion was successful and Morris had a 20-0 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half.
The Lakers threatened to get on the scoreboard late in the first half. Minnewaska started at the 24-yard line following the kickoff from the Tigers. Four plays netted a pair of first downs. A big run by senior running back Dalton Friedrichs netted 38 yards, putting the Lakers on the Morris 5-yard line. But a penalty and plays losing ground forced the Lakers into a 4th & 15, followed by an incomplete pass, ending the threat.
Morris received the second half kickoff and moved swiftly down the field, covering 57 yards in just four plays, capped off with a 3-yard run. The score stood at 26-0 with just two minutes gone in the third quarter.
On their next drive the Lakers gained a first down before turning the ball over on downs to Morris at their 47-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage the Tigers popped a 50-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful extra point kick. Morris led, 33-0, halfway into the third quarter.
After a Minnewaska drive fizzled at the Tiger 34-yard line the third quarter came to an end.
Morris took possession and had started to substitute reserves into the game, including their quarterback. Nevertheless the Tigers were driving, converting two first downs to reach the Lakers’ 27 yard line. On a keeper by the Morris quarterback the ball was jarred loose, popping directly into the hands of Minnewaska junior linebacker Jack Larson. Larson set off for the far end zone, covering 70 yards, untouched all the way into the end zone. Easton McCrory carried the ball for the two-point conversion and the Lakers had avoided a shutout.
The Tigers were driving late in the game, looking to add one more touchdown, but a 4th & 6 pass from the near the 20-yard line was deflected into the air. Junior defensive back Noah Danielson was able to get under the ball before it hit the ground. The interception ended the threat and the game would end shortly after with the Tigers leading, 33-8.
Dalton Friedrichs had a good game for the Lakers, rushing the ball 16 times for 118 yards before suffering a knee injury with four minutes to play in the game.
“There is always a little extra something in the air when it is Homecoming, and when we are facing Morris,” said head coach Jeremy Christensen. “It was a great atmosphere for a high school football game on Friday night. The band was loud, the crowd was big and the weather was beautiful. We started out on offense and were able to pick up a first down and decent yardage into Tiger territory, but two consecutive tackles for loss set up a third and long and we were unable to convert. That seemed to be the theme of the night. We would take two steps forward before taking three steps back. It wasn’t penalties or turnovers like we have had in previous weeks. We simply had too many mental errors when it came to alignment and assignments. We put ourselves in situations where we were vulnerable pre-snap on defense, because of incorrect alignment and formation recognition. Offensively, we made some incorrect blocking calls pre-snap that didn’t give us the full advantage within our blocking scheme. The positive part about this is that the kids were communicating on the field. Now we just have to make it the correct communication. Dalton Friedrichs had a solid night running the football as he went over 100 yards. Jack Larson had his second defensive touchdown of the season on a long fumble recovery and return. Ike Koenig got back in the action on special teams after healing up from a foot and ankle issue. It wasn’t the outcome you want for a Homecoming/Rivalry Game, but we will get back to work on Monday as we prepare for the Lakers from Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead. We have not played HLWW in the past so the scouting report in minimal. They have a young team this year, and like us, they are searching for their first win. Thank you to all of the parents, students, and fans for coming out and supporting our Lakers on Friday. It was a great crowd!”