Three weeks ago host Central Lakes College Raiders found themselves in a 27-7 first half hole against Minnesota West. They were able to extricate themselves from that to win 50-39.
The Raiders, seeded second in the Southern Dvision, made sure that much drama would not be needed in the rematch as they put 32 points on the scoreboard in the first half and came away with a 55-26 win Saturday in their state quarterfinal game against the Blue Jays, seeded third in the South.
With the win, the Raiders have earned a trip to Thief River Falls to play No. 1 Northern Dvision seeded Northland in the state semi-finals next Saturday. Northland defeated Mesabi Range 24-0 on Friday to advance.
“What a great game we played. We had a tremendous day offensively, particularly with our ability to run the ball,” said head coach Greg Medeck. “Anytime you can accumulate over 400 yards of offense and score 55 points, you are pleased. I thought our defense played very well, too, despite a couple of big plays.”
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Johnson ran for two scores and threw for three more to lead the Raiders offense. The Raiders defense forced six turnovers, including one interception from Josh Mantel for a 40 yard touchdown.
The game had a different beginning as Johnson threw an interception to Matt Shively of the Blue Jays on the opening drive. However, the Raiders defense was stout and forced a three and out.
Johnson then led the Raiders on a nine play, 80 yard drive that ended with a 11 yard scoring pass to Steve Wroblewski. CLC led 6-0 after a failed kick from Jack Corbett.
Later in the first quarter CLC’s Josh Johnson intercepted a Logan Massop pass giving the Raiders great field position at the Blue Jays 25 yard line. Johnson finished that offensive drive for CLC with a nine yard run and a 12-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Raiders rattled off 20 straight points before the Blue Jays got a touchdown to end the first half with a score of 32-6. Taz Seibert started things off with a five yard run. Brandon Kiel was on the receiving end of a 30 yard scoring pass from Johnson, and Mantel had his interception return.
Johnson scored from seven yards out in the third quarter to make the score 39-6 Raiders, The Blue Jays then got a score on a rushing touchdown from Mychal Sheridan from one yard out to make it 39-14.
The teams traded scores in the fourth quarter as the Raiders received scoring from Kiel on a 13 yard pass from Johnson, and on a 55 yard run from Blake Petrich.
The Blue Jays put up two touchdowns also, but were unable to get the conversion each time. On the second conversion attempt, the Raiders’ Devrin House intercepted a pass from Massop and returned it 100 yards for a two point safety for CLC.
With the win, CLC improved to 8-1 overall and moved to 4-1 against division opponents.
“We have another challenging opportunity next weekend on the road against the Northern Division champions, the Northland Pioneers,” said Medeck. “I am very thankful for another week to work with this group of young men.”
Medeck also wanted to thank the fans and parents who have supported the team this year. “I would like to thank the parents, families, and fans that have cheered our team on all season, and have supported our players and our program. There are so many great people involved in this program and I am very thankful for each of them.”
Minnesota West 0 6 8 12 — 26
Central Lakes 12 20 7 16 — 55
C-Steve Wroblewski 11 pass from Andrew Johnson (kick failed) 8:52
C-Johnson 9 run (kick failed) 1:27
C-Taz Seibert 5 run (conversion failed) 11:03
C-Brandon Kiel 30 pass from Johnson (Jack Corbett kick) 9:20
C-Josh Mantel 40 interception return (Corbett kick) 4:28
M-Elliott Oldham 11 pass from Logan Massop (kick failed) :11
C-Johnson 7 run (Corbett kick) 8:05
M-Mychal Sheridan 1 run (Zach Apel pass from Massop) 3:19
C-Kiel 13 pass from Johnson (Corbett kick) 14:55
M-Oldham 13 pass from Massop (conversion failed) 13:39
M-Morrow 5 pass from Massop (Raiders Devrin House returns pass for safety) 4:41
C-Blake Petrich 55 run (Corbett kick) 3:35
Rushes-yards: M-24-99, C-44-240
Pass comp-att-int-yds: M-22-3-4-249, C-17-32-1-188
Total offense: M-363, C-418
Rushing: C-Seibert 12-82, Petrich 6-82, Athen Ashton 8-21
Passing: C-Johnson 16-30-1-186, Patrick White 1-2-0-2
Receiving: C-Wroblewski 4-42, Sam Moriarty 4-41, Kiel 4-70