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Football: Pine Island spoils Lake City's homecoming

Lake City running back Parker Schurhammer looks to stiffarm a Pine Island defender during the Tigers' 19-18 loss to the Panthers on Friday. Schurhammer rushed for 100 yards in the game. Kyle Stevens / RiverTowns Multimedia1 / 2
Pine Island running back Josh Navratil runs through a tackling attempt by Lake City's Levi Herbst during the Panthers' 19-18 victory on Friday. Navratil had 187 yards on the ground in the game. Kyle Stevens / RiverTowns Multimedia2 / 2

LAKE CITY — Homecoming for Lake City got off to a fast start on Friday, and the Tigers ended up controlling much of their game against Pine Island. Lake City had the advantage in passing and total yards, turnovers, first downs and time of possession.

But the Panthers got the edge, ever so slightly, in the most important category: points. Pine Island stopped the Tigers on a 4th-and-5 with 1 minute, 31 seconds left in the game and ran out the clock for a 19-18 victory.

"We need to be a little more stout against the run. We did some things to try and take that away, and it worked," said Panthers head coach John Stapleton. "But we need to clean up some mental mistakes, like they had some long pass plays and we had some pre-snap penalties. Lake City played a heck of a game, and we came out with a win. That says a lot about our kids."

The first of those long plays came a minute into the game when Lake City quarterback Riley Borgschatz hit Ethan Bany in stride for a 63-yard touchdown. The Tigers would also land the second blow on Parker Schurhammer's 1-yard dive with 6:12 left in the first half.

But Pine Island would cut the Lake City lead to 12-7 when Josh Navratil ripped off a 70-yard touchdown run with 4:19 left before halftime.

"Josh is that kind of big hitter. He's only a junior and I'm not sure we knew what we had," Stapleton said. "But we have an experienced line and a third-year quarterback. And our fullback, Alec Jarosinski, he had some big blocks."

The Panthers took their first lead on a Keegan Majerus pass to Navratil at 1:28 of the third quarter. The 14-yard score put the visitors up 13-12. But the home team would call up another big play early in the fourth when Borgschatz and Bany connected again, this time for 37 yards and an 18-13 lead.

But Lake City's next two drives ended poorly. First, the Tigers were backed up at their own 10 after a holding call on a Panther punt that ended in a touchback.

Lake City would punt as well, and the Panthers began a seven-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in another Navratil touchdown, a 12-yarder that would hold as the game-winner.

The Tigers' final drive began at their own 45-yard line, but stalled out on the Pine Island 46 when Lake City turned it over on downs.

"If I could have a couple of calls back, I would. They did some interesting things defensively, and took some things away," Tigers head coach Trevor Narum said. "This game is on me. I take full responsibility for this loss. When you pound a team and control the line of scrimmage, I thought we controlled the game. Then we got inside the 10 and, like I said, I wish I did a better job."

Schurhammer finished with 100 yards on 20 carries, while Borgschatz completed 7 of 15 passes for 133 yards and two scores. Bany's two receptions totaled 100 yards.

"We're a team where the run has to set up the pass, not vice-versa, anyone that watches us knows that," Narum said. "But those crucial downs, 4th-and-5, and they stopped us three times inside the 10, it would be a different game if we score there. We have to execute better and I have to make sure we're in the best position possible."

Navratil had a game-high 187 yards on just 13 carries, and also threw an interception on a halfback pass. Majerus totaled 60 yards in the air on 6-for-14 night. Navratil also had five receptions for 50 yards.

While Pine Island (1-2) picked up its first win of the season over the winless Tigers (0-3), there is still a long way to go before the Panthers get to where they want to be.

"We've got a long ways to go," Stapleton said. "We have the potential to be a pretty good team if we fix what we need to fix."

Pine Island hosts Stewartville in Week 4, while Lake City will head to Rochester Lourdes.

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
(651) 301-7879
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