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January 20, 2018

9/14/2017 2:33:00 PM
19 unanswered points from Bluejackets doom Wildcats as they move to 0-2

Shootouts aren’t what the Chisago Lakes football team are accustomed to, but after two games this year, it looks like they’ll have to get used to them.

A week after dropping their season opener to Becker 56-44, they fell in another high scoring affair, 33-24 to Cambridge-Isanti. The key in the game was the Bluejackets 19 unanswered points in the last 14 minutes of the game, turning a 10 point Chisago Lakes lead into the final deficit.

“I was very proud of how our guys played against a very good Cambridge team,” Head Coach Bill Weiss said after the loss. “We improved as a team from week one and we willl continue to improve throughout the season.”

The Wildcats got on the board first, as Ryan Mower kicked his second field goal in as many weeks, splitting the uprights with a 28-yard chip shot.
The Jackets, who were 1-0 on the year coming into the game, answered right back with a grinding four minute drive that was punctuated by Kaden Slepica’s 22 yard touchdown run. The extra point went wide and the ‘Cats were down 6-3.

Henry Trost, who had a monster game last week, was back at it again for the Wildcats in this game. His speed, coupled with Cole Glenna’s battering ram style was a nice mix that kept the Bluejackets off balance on their next frive. It ended after just three minutes when Trost dashed in from 20 yards out. Mower’s extra was good and CL was back on top 10-6.

For Cambridge-Isanti’s ensuing drive, they went out fo their comfort zone and surprised the Wildcats with some passing mixed in with their runs. The Jackets hadn’t attempted a single pass in their season opening 28-2 win over Sartell.

It worked, as quarterback Alex Ledahl connected with Luke Malamisuro for a 31 yard touchdown pass and a 14-10 lead for Cambridge-Isanti.

That’s when the ‘Cats went on their run, though, as Trost put another touchdown on the board very late in the first half. He hit paydirt from five yards out with just 28 seconds left in the half. Mower hit another extra point, giving the lead back to Chisago Lakes at 17-14.

The beginning of the second half turned out to be a stalemate as both defenses took turns getting crucial stops. The Chisago Lakes offense was the first to break through, though, scoring on a long Trost run with just over two mintues left in the quarter. Trost scored on the 36 yard play after drawing the defense in to Glenna going up the middle.

With a 10 point lead, and just over 14 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats seemed to be in a good position. But, the Bluejackets answered back quickly, capping a two minute drive off with a two yard touchdown run by Slepica, cutting the deficit to three at 24-21.

In the fourth quarter is when things really started to unravel for Chisago Lakes. With eight minutes left in the game, Cambridge-Isanti retook the lead on a one yard touchdown run by Jace Wilkinson, going up 27-24.

Chisago Lakes then put together a masterful drive, bringing the ball all the way down to the Bluejackets’ doorstep inside the 10 yard line, but on a designed option play with two minutes left, Trost was hit hard as he pitched the ball and it squirted loose, and the Bluejackets pounced on it for a crucial turnover.

The ‘Cats were still hoping to make a stop on the defensive side of the ball, but Slepica slipped through the defense, which was selling out for the run, and sprinted 89 yards the other way for the game-sealing touchdown run.

Trost was again the leader for Chisago Lakes, rushing for 190 yards and three touchdowns, while gaining 50 yards on four-of-six passing. Glenna had 54 yards on 11 carries and Chase Hemme got 32 yards on nine carries.

Offensively, our line -- Evan Ginter, Kevin Connery, Colton Degginger, Kenny Smith, and Cole Eisfelder --  played with grit and our backs were very physical,” Weiss said.

The coach also was happy with how his special teams played, saying, “We were very consistent on special teams, led by Ryan Marx (3 tackles), and limited Cambridge's starting field position.  Our punt return and kick off return teams also gave us some good starting field position.  

On defense, Weiss likes the steps being made to improve, but he knows they have to limit the amount of big plays they are giving up. That task will be tough with a brutal three-game stretch coming up. They have defending section champion and 2-0 Andover this week on Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m., and they follow that with a match up against defending state champions Elk River, who is also 2-0 this year. Rogers is next up after that, who has been the class of the Mississippi 8 for years.

“We have a tough group of kids who will continue to improve and play hard throughout the season,” Weiss said about the upcoming schedule. “Moving forward, our challenge is to protect the football on offense, establish field postion with our special teams, and limit the big plays on defense.”

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