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Tigers win again

Lake City junior running back Mitch Kuchinka finds a cutback lane against Kenyon-Wanamingo Friday in Lake City. He finished with 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Photo by Chris Harrell1 / 3
A Kenyon-Wanamingo defender bears down on Lake City running back Mitch Kuchinka Friday in Lake City. Photo by Chris Harrell.2 / 3
Lake City wide receiver Coleman Sweeney provides an opening for junior tailback Mitch Kuchinka Friday in Lake City. The Tigers won the game 34-25. Photo by Chris Harrell.3 / 3

LAKE CITY- Lake City continued feeding its running backs Friday and rode them to a 34-25 homecoming victory against Kenyon-Wanamingo.

The Tigers (3-1, 3-0 HVL Gold) amassed 377 yards of total offense, 266 on the ground. After Friday's performance, Lake City is averaging 247 rushing yards per game.

But it was the Knights who struck first Friday night.

Capitalizing on a roughing-the-kicker penalty by the Tigers on the first drive of the game, K-W took a 7-0 lead on a 22-yard pass from Peder Sviggum to Tyler Paquin. It would be their last lead of the game.

On the ensuing possession, Lake City junior Mitch Kuchinka gained 60 yards rushing and finished off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 7-7 after the extra point.

"Mitch had a great night," Lake City coach Trevor Narum said. "He's all heart. We pounded the ball between the tackles with him."

Kuchinka finished the game with 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

The Tigers scored next on a 27-yard touchdown run by senior Rusty Grisim at the start of the second quarter, giving them a 14-7 lead. The Knights responded with a rushing touchdown by Sviggum on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line but the extra point was missed. Sviggum accounted for all four of K-W's touchdowns, two passing and two rushing.

Lake City took a 21-19 lead into halftime.

Coming out of the break, the Tigers scored on a 6-yard scramble by quarterback Ben Schramski but the extra point was wide-left.

After another successful 4th-and-goal quarterback sneak by the Knights with 3:48 left in regulation pulled K-W within two points at 27-25, Kuchinka responded with a 64-yard touchdown run to put the game away for Lake City.

"Probably the play of the game," Narum said. "Big run by Mitch, big night by Mitch."

While the Tigers came away with the victory, Narum was frustrated with the lack of focus he saw from his defensive unit.

"We played really undisciplined in our secondary tonight, our safeties got burned a number of times," Narum said. "(K-W) didn't do anything we hadn't seen already.

"Our minds weren't where they needed to be tonight."

Looking to build on its third straight win, Lake City is the road next week against Stewartville.

Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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