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Lakers hold off Patriots 18-7

The Detroit Lakes Lakers used an opening game 85-yard kickoff return and two big running plays in the second half to subdue the Pequot Lakes Patriots 18-7 in Heart ‘O Lakes Conference football action on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

“We were awfully close to upsetting the seventh-ranked team (in Class AAAA) as we led 7-6 in the third quarter,” said Pequot Lakes coach Chip Lohmiller, “but a couple of big breaks didn’t go our way or we might have had a bigger lead.”

It took just 14 seconds for the visiting Lakers to score as Casey Paskey took the kickoff and broke a couple tackles on way to an 85-yard score. The Patriots did block the extra-point kick.

Most of the action for the remainder of the first quarter was played around midfield. The Patriots were forced to punt, and Detroit Lakes started a drive at the PL 46. But on the second play, quarterback Michael Herzog fumbled and the Patriots recovered at midfield. Pequot Lakes moved to the Lakers’ 40, and then quarterback C.J. Borleis passed to Tyler Tappe for 12 yards and a first down. Tappe picked up another first down on a long run and it looked like Pequot Lakes was going to score.

The drive ended on a fumble that was recovered by the Lakers at the 24-yard line. The teams exchanged possessions before Pequot Lakes put together a scoring threat. The Patriots started the drive after taking a punt at their 43. Borleis later completed a pass to Travis Jacobson to the Lakers’ 35, and then he found Tappe open inside the 10-yard line for a first-and-goal play. Pequot Lakes eventually settled for a 29-yard field goal attempt that was just wide and Detroit Lakes maintained a 6-0 lead.

The Patriots came close to scoring in the final minutes of the opening half when Chris Westman scooped up a loose ball and started returning it for a potential touchdown. But the officials ruled that the Laker quarterback’s arm was going forward and it was an incomplete pass.

Detroit Lakes eventually punted, and the Patriots were moving the ball on a pair of long carries by Tappe. But that drive ended when Sam Champa intercepted a pass at the Lakers’ 30. Detroit Lakes then ran out the clock in the half.

“We knew we were in it at the break,” Lohmiller said. “We can play with them if things go our way.”

The Patriots took the lead on their first possession of the second half on a 70-yard scoring drive. A key play came when Borleis broke several tackles on a 61-yard run to the DL 5. On the next play Tappe went over left tackle to tie it 6-6. Borleis booted the conversion kick as the host team had the lead.

The teams traded punts on a field that was becoming muddy from the steady rain. The Lakers moved into Pequot Lakes’ territory when Christian Hedstrom passed to Paskey for a first down at the PL 35. On the next play, Jarett Nosal scored on a long run to give Detroit Lakes a 12-7 lead with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

The teams exchanged turnovers late in the third quarter, and the Lakers began a scoring drive early in the fourth period. Detroit Lakes started a drive at their 31, and moved out to midfield after a 14-yard run by Herzog. On the next play, Dorsal ran over tackle for a 55-yard touchdown with 9:46 remaining to make it 18-7.

The Patriots had one last scoring chance midway through the final quarter on a pair of first-down runs by Borleis and Tappe before the Lakers intercepted a pass and returned it to the DL 33. The Lakers then ran out the clock.

“I thought we did a decent job,” said assistant coach Nick Grunzke. “The guys sure don’t have to hang their heads after this one.”

Pequot Lakes, 2-4 in the conference and 3-5 overall, will play in the Section 8AAA quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Tappe led the Patriots rushing game with 18 carries for 80 yards. He was followed by C.J. Borleis who rushed eight times for 71 yards.

Defensive leaders for Pequot Lakes were Justin Mackenthun with 12.5 tackles, Westman with 10 and Henry Liedl with eight.

Detroit Lakes 6 0 6 6 — 18

Pequot Lakes 0 0 7 0 — 7

First quarter

DL-Casey Paskey 85 kickoff return (conversion failed), :14

Third quarter

PL-Tyler Tappe 1 run (C.J. Borleis kick), 2:19

DL-Jarett Nosal 35 run (conversion failed), 7:50

Fourth quarter

DL-Nosal 55 run (conversion failed), 2:14

Individual leaders:

Rushing: PL-Tappe 18-80, Borleis 8-71, Justin Mackenthun 8-10

Passing: PL-Borleis 7-14-2-101

Receiving: PL-Tappe 3-74, Travis Jacobson 2-14, Mackenthun 2-7