Indians avoid homecoming shutout
SPIRIT LAKE – While it appeared Spirit Lake might be shut out at its homecoming, the Indians came up with a late score in a 31-7 loss to Sheldon on Friday.
Nik Erickson, who rushed for 120 yards on the night, did the bulk of the work in a late drive and scored on a 2-yard run with 5:30 remaining in the game.
While Spirit Lake has led after the first quarter in each of its first five games, the Indians had to be satisfied with a tie after the first 12 minutes against Sheldon.
Although the Indians led in the turnover department, 2-0, including recovering a fumble on the Orab 20-yard line, the hosts couldn’t take advantage of the good field position.
Spirit Lake’s first drive ended after three plays and after the punt, Sheldon appeared to have little trouble running the ball. The Orabs drove to the Spirit Lake 25-yard line when they tried to throw.
The pass was perfect-to the Indians’ Derek Halquist. He returned the ball to the Sheldon 47.
The Indians completed their only pass of the first half when Tyler Solsma connected with David Dinklage on a 16-yard pass that took the ball inside the 25-yard line. However, the drive stalled there. Sheldon took over on downs after Solsma missed a 35-yard field goal, just to the left of the posts.
The Orabs then fumbled on the next play as Spirit Lake jumped on the ball.
However, the Indians again couldn’t move the ball and Sheldon took over on downs.
The two teams traded possessions with the Orabs finally scoring on a 48-yard screen pass from Nic Meendering to Michael DeBates.
The kick made it 7-0 and the was the score at halftime.
The third quarter was all Sheldon as the Orabs had two big plays to set up easy scores.
The first was a 50-yard pass from Meendering to Tony Rodgers that set up a 1-yard run by Meendering.
Evan Ascherl had a 50-yard run to the 9-yard line and then took the ball in on the next play.
The Orabs added one more score in the fourth quarter.
Derek Halquist had 59 yards on 11 carries for Spirit Lake.
Tyler Solsma was 3-of-23 passing. Dinklage caught two passes for 11 yards and Erickson had one catch for 12 yards.
Spirit Lake (1-5, 1-3) returns to action at home next week against Sioux Center