WORTHINGTON - The Minnesota West Bluejays handed the ninth-ranked Central Lakes College Raiders their first loss by a 13-12 score in Minnesota College Athletic Conference South Division football Saturday.
"It was a very competitive football game, the best competition we've seen all year," Raiders coach Greg Medeck said. "It was a setback for us. Now we have to regroup and focus on winning our final two games.
"Defensively we played very sound and inspired and offensively we never quit. It was a hard-fought game in which we just came up short."
Minnesota West scored in the first quarter and took a 7-0 lead to the locker room at halftime.
CLC scored in the third quarter when quarterback Mike Beehler hit wide receiver Tyler Kitzman with a 40-yard TD pass but the Raiders missed the extra-point kick.
Tyler Kitzman caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter.
The Bluejays put together another scoring drive in the fourth and extended their lead to 13-7 as CLC blocked the extra point.
CLC then scored on a 27-yard pass from Beehler to Justin Novak late in the fourth.
"After missing the try after earlier we decided to go for two and the win and Mike missed Kitzman in the corner of the end zone," Medeck said. "We had two more shots at scoring but turned the ball over on downs with about two minutes left and missed a Hail Mary in the end zone as time expired."
Kitzman finished with six catches for 112 yards. Beehler was 17 of 36 passing for 247 yards.
"We were plagued by injuries leading up to and during the game," Medeck said. "Minnesota West came with an aggressive defense which really didn't allow our offense to get into a rhythm.
"Alex Steinemann carried the load for us at running back with injuries earlier to Brandon Julius and Alex Leach who didn't dress. Dennis Taute was knocked out early with a concussion and Charlie Jacobsen injured his foot prior to the start of the game."
Josh Ledin had a quarterback sack and interception for CLC, which limited the Bluejays to 237 total yards.
"Defensively, we played very well, containing one of the biggest threats in the league in quarterback Lon Garfield," Medeck said. "Josh Ledin had a nice day, along with the rest of our defensive line, getting constant pressure on the quarterback."
Josh Ledin had a sack and an interception for CLC.
Central Lakes 0 0 6 6 - 12
Minnesota West 7 0 6 0 - 13
Tyler Kitzman 40 pass from Mike Beehler (kick fails)
Justin Novak 27 pass from Mike Beehler (2-point conversion fails)
Rushing yards: CLC 42, MW 121
Passing yards: CLC 247, MW 116
Total offense: CLC 289, MW 237
Rushing: Alex Steinemann 14-54, Dennis Taute 5-11, Tim Phonvidone 1-4, Mike Beehler 13-(-27)
Passing: Mike Beehler 17-36-1-247
Receiving: Justin Novak 5-50, Tyler Kitzman 6-112, Steinemann 1-43, Phonvidone 2-12, Dustin Kramer 3-30
South Division: CLC 2-1. Overall: CLC 6-1. Next: Vermilion at CLC 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.