Midgets struggle on the road
DENISON – A great night for Jake Lange was tempered by a second week in which Estherville Lincoln Central had a poor second half.
Lange rushed for over 166 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown, but the Midgets committed a couple too many errors that stalled drives and gave the advantage to Denison-Schleswig in its 28-14 win.
“In the first half our offensive line did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel. “We needed more of that in the second half.”
ELC’s first drive of the night appeared a good one as the Midgets started at their 23. Consistent runs by Lange and quarterback Alex Arends took them across midfield and ELC had first and 10 on the Monarch 25.
But the Midgets had three incomplete passes in the next four plays as the drive stalled at the 21.
The Midgets next drive ended across midfield and Arends pinned the Monarchs at the 2-yard line with a solid punt. The Midgets came up with the stop and Nate Jensen returned to the Denison-Schleswig 36.
Unfortunately Dan Jones fumbled at the end of a 12-yard run.
The Monarchs completed a couple passes as they reversed field position, driving inside the Midget 20.
However on fourth-and-seven, ELC created enough pressure as the hosts turned the ball over on downs.
Already into the second quarter, ELC then ground out a clock-eating drive with Arends completing passes to Jones and Jacob Perkins to get to midfield.
After a 7-yard run by Lange, Arends went 21 yards on a quarterback sneak to the Monarch 23. Three straight runs by Lange took the MIdgets to the 2-yard line where Arends took the ball in with 5:04 left in the half. The Matt Brown kick gave ELC a 7-0 lead.
ELC stopped Denison-Schleswig on its next drive, but this time Jensen fumbled the punt. ELC avoided disaster as Perkins intercepted a pass from quarterback Ricky Torres.
ELC was forced to punt three plays later and the Monarchs went into a hurry-up offense with 1:31 left in the half.
After crossing midfield, Torres connected with Taylor Starman on a 28-yard strike with 43 seconds left to play and the kick tied the game at 7-7 for the first half.
Similar to ELC’s game against Sergeant Bluff-Luton a week ago, the Midgets watched their opponents put together a drive to take the lead.
This time ELC had an answer.
The Midgets put together a nine-play drive that lasted just 2:37 on a 5-yard run by Lange. The drive also included Arends’ second completion to Perkins for 13 yards.
Both teams defenses stiffened up, but another ELC turnover, this time a fumble, proved detrimental for the Midgets.
At one point, the Midgets appeared to have the stop, but Torres connected to Starman again to get inside the ELC 20.
Jesse Pruel then broke free on a 14-yard run around the left side for the go-ahead touchdown.
This time ELC couldn’t answer immediately and the Monarchs sniffed a victory.
Pruel again found some running room, this time from 22 yards out that put the hosts up 28-14 with 3:35 remaining.
ELC didn’t threaten the remainder of the way despite a late fumble by the Monarchs.
The Midgets had 228 yards on the ground. Arends had 48 yards on 10 carries and Jones had 14 yards on two carries, unofficially.
Arends was 6-of-19 passing for 76 yards.
Denison-Schleswig unofficially had 310 yards of offense with 218 on the ground. Pruel carried the ball 30 times for 165 yards.
Torres was 7-of-14 passing for 92 yards.
ELC (1-6, 0-5) travels to Storm Lake next Friday.