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Lake City running back Elliot Cox pumps up the crowd after scoring on a 74-yard run on the first play from scrimmage during Friday’s Southern Football Alliance Red division game against Kasson-Mantorville in Lake City. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Football: Tigers can’t keep up with KoMets

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Football: Tigers can’t keep up with KoMets
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

LAKE CITY – Over the first 24 minutes of game time, Lake City and Kasson-Mantorville traded big play after big play, going into halftime tied at 21. 

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But behind the arm and legs of their 5-foot-8, 150-pound freshman quarterback Brady Berge, the KoMets were able to cruise in the second half, coming away with a 40-21 Southern Football Alliance Red division victory. 

Playing out of the shotgun for the majority of Friday’s game, Berge accounted for 270 of Kasson-Mantorville’s 400 total yards, throwing for 131 yards and rushing for another 139 with four total touchdowns. 

Coming back out after halftime, the KoMets capitalized on a Lake City fumble, getting the ball at midfield. The Tigers looked as though they would get the stop on defense, putting K-M in a 4th-and-1 situation. But Berge was able to break through the Lake City defense to score on a 28-yard run with 8 minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Berge went to the air for his next score, connecting with Wade Starkey despite taking a huge shot from the Tigers’ pass rush for a 34-yard touchdown. The score completed a 10-play, 79-yard drive for the KoMets.

The freshman’s second-half surge concluded with 1:48 remaining in the third when Berge broke free once again on the ground, crossing the goal line on a 63-yard score to make it 40-20. 

Early in the ball game, it looked like Lake City was going to give Class 4A’s third-ranked team a scare, courtesy of big-play running back Elliot Cox. After fighting off contact at the line of scrimmage, Cox broke through and raced down the right sideline, going 74 yards for a score on the first play from scrimmage. 

It wouldn’t take long for the KoMets to respond, tying the game at 7-7 when Jacob Buchl broke off a 40-yard touchdown run. Buchl finished with 64 yards on 11 carries.

After Andrew Schmidt started the game under center for the Tigers, senior quarterback Reid Lundell entered the game in the team’s second possession and immediately made an impact. Rolling right, Lundell hit receiver Eli Custer in stride. Eighty-nine yards later, Custer reached pay dirt, putting the Tigers back up, 14-7. 

With less than a minute left in the first quarter, Lake City’s special teams also got in on the action, blocking a 40-yard field goal attempt. On the ensuing possession, Cox crossed the goal line again on a sweep, scoring from 13 yards out to make it 21-7. 

The KoMets’ special teams made up for the field goal block on the ensuing kickoff as Nic Bauer went 91 yards for the kick return touchdown, making it a 21-14 game. 

Then with 2:39 remaining in the first half, Berge put up his first score of the night, finding Chad Aaker down the left sideline for an 11-yard touchdown reception to make it a tied ball game. 

Tanner Dufault had two catches for 44 yards, and Sam Rappe caught two balls for 40 yards as K-M amassed 400 yards of total offense in the victory.

Cox finished with 110 yards rushing on 13 carries, and Lundell was 7 of 15 passing for 124 yards. Will Balow led Lake City’s defense with 15 total tackles (10 solo). 

Next Friday, the Tigers (1-2, 0-2 SFA Red) head to Rochester Lourdes for a rematch of last year’s Section 1AAA championship game. The Eagles dropped their first game of the season on Friday in a 27-21 overtime loss to Stewartville.

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The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 
(651) 301-7878
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