A tale of two halves
ROCK RAPIDS – Football is often a tale of two halves. In the first half, everything can go right for you team, and in the next half; nothing goes right-or vice versa.
For Estherville Lincoln Central on Friday, the first scenario played out as the Midgets built a 14-7 lead over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock. However, the second half went the way of the Lions, as they outscored the Midgets 35-7 for a 42-21 victory.
“We came out fast and that’s what I had challenged our guys to do,” said ELC coach Mark Atwater. “We had things that they couldn’t handle.”
But in the second half, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock made the adjustments and got some bounced to go their way.
“Turnovers and the kicking game were the deciding factor,” said Atwater. “We were down in the turnover game again and those are things that you can’t do. Credit to those guys (the Lions), they made the adjustments. We’ll have to think about what we want to do offensively. I’m going to shoulder this one.”
ELC got on the scoreboard first as Evan Olesen, returning to the lineup from an injury two weeks ago, connected with Jacob Bosch on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:10 left in the first quarter.
The ELC duo connected again in the second quarter, this time on a 15-yard strike with 11:15 left in the half. With Isaac Johnson converting both extra points, ELC led 14-0.
However CL/GLR answered that second touchdown with a 12-yard pass from Lucas Nagel to Colten Van Beek to cut the deficit in half, 14-7.
That started the momentum shift into the second half. The Lions took advantage of a short field after interception an Olesen pass. Nagel took the ball in from 4-yards out at the 8:24 mark of the third, as they game was tied at 14-14.
ELC’s next drive stalled and this time, the Lions blocked the Midgets’ punt. Parker Netten picked up the ball at the 1-yard line and scored to give the hosts a 21-14 advantage after the extra point.
ELC kept fighting though as with 3:40 left in the third, Christian Sheridan ran the ball in from 19-yards out. Johnson’s kick made the score 21-21.
When CL/GLR got the ball back, they faced a third-and-one from their 25-yard line. Van Beek busted through the line and out-raced the pursuit for a 75-yard touchdown run with 2:18 still left in the third.
While ELC kept battling, Nagel added touchdown runs of 31 and 1 yard in the fourth quarter, the last coming with 4:48 left in the game to put the game out of reach for the Midgets.
“I’m proud of how we competed,” said Atwater. “We’ll come back.”
For ELC, Sheridan finished with 70 yards on 12 carries while Olesen had 28 yards on nine carries and Johnson had 22 yards on eight carries. Bennett Loock had one carry for 6 yards and Octavious Piercy-Maze had one carry for 4 yards.
Olesen finished 12-of-32 passing for 134 yards. Bennett Loock had six catches for 89 yards, Bosch had three catches for 29 yards, Sheridan had two catches for 10 yards and Ryan McDonald had one catch for 6 yards.
Defensively, Kylan Fitzgerald and Seth Loock each recovered a fumble. Bosch had a team-high nine tckles while Sheridan had 4.5 and Morgan Dostal, Joe Hecht and Seth Loock each had four.
ELC (1-3 overall, 0-2 in district play) hosts fourth-ranked Sioux Center (4-0, 2-0) for homecoming this Friday.