Brian Wierima / Forum Communications Co., Published September 28 2012
Detroit Lakes scores win over Green Wave
McLeod shifted the tide of momentum and created a comfortable 21-0 halftime gap with two long plays for touchdowns, which came exactly within one minute of each other.
Those pair of explosive plays helped key the Class 4A No. 6 ranked Lakers’ 28-7 victory against the Green Wave (2-2) at Mollberg Field.
A 45-yard touchdown toss from junior quarterback Michael “Buzzy” Herzog to McLeod with 1:31 left in the second quarter, was followed up by a 69-yard interception return for six points off a deflection with 31 ticks left to halftime.
“I was a little tired after those two plays, but I was pumped up pretty good going into halftime,” McLeod said.
So were McLeod’s teammates, as the Lakers slowed the pace in the second half and rode their offensive line with time and turf-eating drives to secure the victory – including a back-breaking 13-play, 65-yard touchdown drive capped by Herzog on a fourth-and-goal plunge from the 1 in the third quarter.
The Lakers defense was once again stout, as they headed into the game having allowed just two touchdowns in four games.
The Green Wave didn’t have much better luck, scoring their only touchdown on a well-executed 38-yard hook-and-ladder play down the sideline by quarterback Nick Erickson to Kyle Cummings, who pitched it to Ryan Boushee, who ran it the final 19 yards for the score.
But other than that, the Green Wave were stymied to 169 yards rushing, while Erickson was limited to 29 yards passing.
“We were able to move the ball well on the ground and controlled possession,” said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. “The offensive line had one of their better games of the season.”
EGF missed a couple of grand opportunities to seize control of momentum on DL’s first scoring drive in the second quarter, which ended up being a 12-play, 96-yard series.
The Lakers kept their drive alive by recovering two of their own fumbles, which could have put EGF in good field position.
Instead, Herzog and the offensive line went to work, picking up big chunks of yards on a Stephen Erb end-around for 23 yards and a Jarret Nosal 30-yard ramble up the gut.
On the tail end of Nosal’s run, the East Grand Forks cornerback was able to punch the ball out of the DL running back’s grip. But a trailing McLeod alertly pounced on it on the EGF 34 to keep the drive alive.
The Lakers dodged another bullet after recovering another one of their own fumbles, as Herzog finished it off with a left-end rush on second and goal for the 7-0 advantage at the 4:53 mark in the second quarter.
Then it was a quick 14 points, as Herzog nailed McLeod on DL’s next drive on 45-yard catch-and-run by McLeod, who slipped the safety and went untouched to the end zone.
“It was a perfect pass, Mike put it right on my hands,” McLeod said.
EGF 0 0 0 7– 7
DL 0 21 7 0–28
DL–Herzog 4 run (Tigges kick)
DL–McLeod 45 pass from Herzog (Tigges kick)
DL–McLeod 69 interception return (Tigges kick)
DL–Herzog 1 run (Tigges kick)
EGF–Boushee 19 run (Erickson kick)
RUSHING: DL, Herzog 33-145, Nosal 7-60, Erb 7-57, Paskey 1-12. EGF, Erickson 21-100, Boushee 5-37, Ausmus 5-28, Scheving 2-(minus-3).
PASSING: DL, Herzog 3-5-0 55 yards. EGF, Erickson 4-12-1 29.
RECEIVING: DL, McLeod 1-45, Erb 1-8, Paskey 1-2. EGF, Cumming 1-18, Scheving 1-6, Kallock 1-3, Seim 1-2.
Wierima writes for the Detroit Lakes Tribune