Patriots top Mustangs in state quarterfinals - Pequot Lakes to play Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium
The Pequot Lakes Patriots football team is preparing for a trip to U.S. Bank Stadium after defeating Mora 34-0 in the State Class 3A quarterfinals in Alexandria Saturday, Nov. 11.
"In the first half, we would drive down to their red zone but couldn't score - we'd have turnovers or penalties or things like that - but we finally got things going and the guys settled down a little bit and played our football," Coach Chip Lohmiller said.
The Patriots received the opening kickoff and moved for three first downs, only to have running back Nathan Traut have the ball ripped from his grasp with the Mustangs falling on it inside the 10-yard line.
The Mustangs went three-and-out and the Patriots had the ball at the 20 after a 15-yard Mora penalty.
After quarterback Blake Lane passed the Traut for a first down, he ran a keeper for a first-and-goal at the two-yard line, but a 10-yard penalty on the Patriots set them back to the 12-yard line. The Patriots managed to get the ball back to the one-yard line but turned the ball over on downs.
After a single first down, the Mustangs were forced to punt to Bode Magnusson, who returned the kick all the way to the Mora 28-yard line. On third down from the 23, Traut managed to run it in for the first score of the game. A successful point after by Chase Larson made the score 7-0 in favor of the Patriots.
A few plays later, Tyler Manley intercepted a Mora pass at the Patriot's 29-yard line. After a holding penalty, Traut marched to the Mora 36-yard line for a 28-yard rush.
The Patriots then converted on fourth-and-four when Lane found Maxx Schindel for 22 yards. Two rushes by fullback Calvin Maske brought the Patriots to the 4-yard line, where Lane ran it in with 4:47 left in the first half, giving Pequot Lakes a 14-0 lead.
The Mustangs went for it on fourth down with four yards to go on the ensuing drive, but Tim Ryan stopped the runner short, forcing a turnover on downs and maintaining the Patriots 14-0 lead at halftime.
Three plays into the second half, Dylin Ackerman intercepted a Mora pass, giving the Patriots possession at the 49-yard line.
From there, the Patriots started a nine-play drive that culminated with Traut picking up his second touchdown of the day, this time from three yards out for a 21-0 Patriot lead.
The Patriot defense held the Mustangs and forced a punt on the next drive - a punt Magnusson returned to the Pequot Lakes 45-yard line.
Thanks to a rushing attack led by Traut, the Patriots made it down to the 6-yard line but were forced to turn the ball over on downs with the third quarter ending shortly after.
Early in the fourth, the Patriots had the ball at the Mora 41-yard line, where Lane passed to Austin Young for a first down at the 28. Traut carried the ball four straight times after that, reaching the 5-yard line. On the next play, Maske rumbled into the end zone, hurdling a defender at the goalline for the 28-0 lead.
The Patriots forced another turnover a few plays later, with Ackerman picking up his second interception of the game.
Lane pitched out to Young, who took the ball to the Mora 26-yard line. A few plays later, Devan Psyck marched into the endzone from 11 yards out. An unsuccessful extra point kept the Patriot lead at 34-0.
With roughly 90 seconds left in the game, Ackerman recorded his third interception of the game to seal the shutout.
"We played really good defensively," Maske said. "We got our offense rolling eventually, but overall I think we were pretty good."
Traut led the offense with 240 yards on 28 carries. Lane completed seven passes for 102 yards and rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries. Zach Sjoblad led the receivers with three catches for 55 yards.
The Patriots will now play in the state semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at U.S. Bank Stadium against St. Croix Lutheran Academy.
"It's a very good feeling," senior Maxx Schindel said. "This was our goal all along, and we're heading right toward it."
"It's just exciting for the kids," Lohmiller said. "They have worked so hard for so long - for so many years. This was their goal, and I'm just so proud of them. They deserve it."
Mora 0 0 0 0 - 0
Pequot Lakes 7 7 7 13 - 34
Nathan Traut 23-yard run 0:52 (Larson kick good)
Blake Lane 4-yard run 4:47 (Larson kick good)
Traut 3-yard run 8:03 (Larson kick good)
Calvin Maske 5-yard run 9:25 (Larson kick good)
Devan Psyck 1-yard run 3:41 (Kick no good)
Overall: PL 9-2. Next: Pequot Lakes vs.St. Croix Lutheran in Class 3A state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, 4:30 p.m. Saturday.