The Central Lakes College Raiders opened their home season on Saturday with a stifling defensive performance and three touchdown passes from Carson Wessinger to post a 40-12 win over Northland.
CLC held Northland to just one touchdown for the game, and gave up 258 yards of total offense. The Raiders also had two interceptions and one fumble recovery along with a goal line stand from their defensive reserves at the end of the game.
Starting quarterback Carson Wessinger threw three touchdown passes and covered 193 yards on 17-30 passing. He was also intercepted twice.
Aaron White led the CLC ground attack with 21 rushes for 90 yards and one touchdown. As a team, the Raiders gained 152 yards on the ground.
The offensive unit totaled 367 yards for the game.
“I thing we came as a team and played for each other and just hustled for every yard,” White said. “If we keep doing that, we should keep seeing victories every time.”
The Raiders got off on the wrong foot early in the first quarter when the Pioneers Dawayne Whigham picked up a fumble and returned it 26 yards for an early 6-0 lead. CLC responded with two touchdowns of their own in the first quarter, and they outscored Northland 33-6 in the first half.
With a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter, head coach Greg Medeck was able to get a lot of players in the game for evaluation from their coaches.
“We are fortunate to have the numbers that we need here,” Medeck said. “We are basically three lines deep on each side of the ball and not all of those guys get the chance to compete in each game. Today was a chance to get the guys the opportunity and to evaluate them with meaningful reps. I saw a lot of great things out of guys who have not been a major component early in the season.”
Medeck was also proud of the way his team stepped up to the early challenge of being down 6-0 in the first quarter after a bad bounce on the football led to the fumble recovery for the first Pioneers score.
“We didn’t really know what to expect from Northland,” Medeck said. “They do have some talent over there. That is evident. They are a young team with a new coaching staff. I thought our guys played well through all four quarters. We obviously got off on the wrong foot. Those things happen, but we responded well. We have faced some adversity in the first two weeks. We keep getting challenged, but have done a good job responding to that.”
Wessinger came on in relief last week against Fond Du Lac when CLC’s top two quarterback were injured. He led the Raiders to their first score on their third series. He finished off the drive with a 15-yard strike to Averey Duncan to tie the game.
The drive was helped along by a fake punt with Jared Hoemberg throwing to Gabe Eppert for 22 yards.
On the next possession, the Raiders moved 50 yards and got in to the end zone again when Wessinger found Ryan Tri on a seven yard pass for a 12-6 lead.
CLC put three more scores on the board in the second quarter to take a 33-12 lead to the locker room. Wessinger threw to John Ulrich for one score, Matt Mogere ran back an interception 44 yards for a score and Logan Baker scored on a 5-yard run with 1:07 left in the half.
White finished off the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard plunge for the final score of 40-12.
Northland 6 6 0 0 — 12
Central Lakes College 12 21 0 7 — 40
Nld: Dawayne Whigham 26 fumble return (kick failed) 11:08
CLC: Averey Duncan 15 pass from Carson Wessinger (kick failed) 8:25
CLC: Ryan Tri 7 pass from Wessinger (kick failed) 2:36
CLC: John Ulrich 6 pass from Wessinger (conversion failed) 9:26
CLC: Matt Mogere 44 interception return (Aaron White run) 9:28
Nld: Khaaliq Burroughs 1 run (conversion failed) 2:23
CLC: Logan Baker 5 run (Greg Wright kick) 1:07
CLC: White 1 run (Wright kick) 9:32
Nld: 30-127, CLC: 42-152
Nld: 18-42-2-167, CLC: 18-32-3-215
Total offense: Nld: 258, CLC 367
Rushing: Nld: Johnell Wortham 10-20, Keon Doblej 6-42, CLC: Aaron White 21-90, Taz Seibert 6-27, Logan Baker 6-25, Carson Wessinger 3-14, Jordan Hayes 2-(12), Sean Nokken 1-6, Averey Duncan 1-(3), Dustin Deery 1-5, AJ Johnstone 1-0.
Passing: Nld: Justan Taliaferro 7-11-2-57, Khaaliq Burroughs 9-25-0-106, Doblej 2-6-0-4, CLC: Wessinger 17-30-2-193, Jared Hoemberg 1-1-0-22, Ryan Mills 0-1-1-0.
Receiving: Nld: Wortham 6-61, CLC: Duncan 3-31, Ryan Tri 3-13, Maurice Baldwin 2-74, White 2-27, Gabe Eppert 3-43, John Ulrich 1-6, Shaquille Petersen 1-13, Nokken 2-7, Taz Seibert 1-1.
Overall: 2-0. Next: CLC at Mesabi Range, 1:30 p.m. Saturday.