Football: Lake City ends 10-game skid, bowls over La Crescent
LAKE CITY – For a football coach, getting a 21-point win and knowing that there were enough mistakes that it could have been much more lopsided is kind of a perfect game. The victory is in hand, and there is enough to teach over the next week in preparation for the next game.
That's where Lake City's Trevor Narum is at after his Tigers handled Southeast Red District foe La Crescent, 35-14, on Friday night. But for Narum, his staff and the team, all the mistakes were secondary to the win, the program's first since Game 1 of the 2015 season, a 10-game stretch without the taste of victory.
“It feels good,” Narum said. “A win is better than a loss, that's for sure. Really, I'm just happy for the kids. They've worked their (butts) off for this. They should have been rewarded against Pine Island (in Week 1). But we're a good team, and we do things right.”
The Tigers did just about everything right in the first half, out-gaining the Lancers 257-40, and holding La Crescent to minus-1 yard of rushing over the first 24 minutes.
“The coaches were talking to us, telling us to believe in ourselves, that (the coaches) believing in us was not enough. We started to believe in ourselves, in each other. We're brothers,” said Lake City defensive lineman Will Lira.
With the defense holding Lancers quarterback Ty Mallicoat to an 0-for-3 performance in the first half, Marc Kjos led the Tigers to 21 points behind a rushing attack that scored three times. Nate Jasso got the first points of the game on a 6-yard run with 6 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Parker Schurhammer then scored on a 33-yard run with 8:00 to play in the second, and Kjos capped off the first half with a 4-yard score at 2:25.
“The big boys made some big holes,” Jasso said of his offensive line. “Marc read the defense well, and he checked into better plays more often than not.”
Mallicoat found some room in the second half, connecting with Ben Nelson for an 11-yard score that pulled La Crescent within 21-6 at 3:17 of the third. But Jasso answered at 1:35 with a 28-yard score, and the game was all but over from there.
Mallicoat, who finished 26-of-49 for 263 yards and an interception, hit Nelson again with 5:38 left in the game. Mitch Marien added a 4-yard touchdown run at 2:27 to put the game in the books.
Nelson ended up with 175 yards on 14 receptions, but most of the damage was done against a Lake City defense that was keeping the Lancers from going deep in the second half.
“We changed some things to get more defensive backs on the field,” Narum said. “Luckily, we have the kids to do that, to go from a 4-3 to a 4-2. They like to go trips or use size one-on-one. We weren't perfect, but we kept things in front of us and made them work the clock.”
The Tigers ran the clock all night, racking up 313 rushing yards led by Schurhammer's 127 on 16 carries. Marien had 104 yards on 23 rushes, with Kjos (6-44) and Jasso (4-36) also averaging big numbers.
Kjos hit just 50 percent of his passes (7-of-14) for 76 yards, with Trent Meyer doing most of the damage with 30 yards on three receptions.
Defensively, Schurhammer had an interception late in the first half that kept La Crescent off the board. Grant Gilman led the Tigers with 10 tackles, but Ben Schulz was right there with nine.
Lake City (1-2, 1-1 Red) will head out of town to face Byron (2-1, 1-1) next week.