Second half adjustments were the difference for Clear Lake in the Lions’ Class 3A District 3 opener played at Waverly-Shell Rock Friday, Sept. 20. The Lions trailed 7-6 at halftime, but roared back for a 35-14 victory to improve to 4-0 overall.
Number five ranked Clear Lake struck quickly, scoring on their first play from scrimmage, but the remainder of the first half was filled with missed opportunities.
After the Lion defense stopped the Go-Hawks’ opening drive, Carter Hand put the Lions on the board with a 58-yard touchdown run on Clear Lake’s first possession. The extra-point kick by Logan Kracht was no good, putting the score a 6-0.
A fumble on the Lions’ next possession gave W-SR the ball on the Clear Lake 42. The Go-Hawks moved the ball forward on a series of passes, ending in a six-yard toss to the endzone and kick to give the Go-Hawks a 7-6 lead.
The Lions drove the ball from their own 29 to the Go-Hawk’s 19-yard line before settling for a field goal try. Kracht’s 35-yard attempt was short and the Lions remained down by a point at the half.
“The kids picked up the adjustments we made at halftime and it was a different second half,” said Head Coach Fred Wieck. “You can’t turn the ball over like that and we didn’t kick well.”
In addition to eliminating mistakes, the Lions found their ground game in the second half and there appeared to be nothing the Go-Hawks could do to stop it. The offensive line opened gaping holes for fullback Pete Swenson to rumble through, helping him to three touchdowns and 157-yards on 16 carries. Swenson scored once in the third quarter and two more times in the fourth. All were on runs in the red zone. Chandler Dierks also scored in the third on a nine-yard run. Quarterback Brock Adams connected with Ernie Miszewski for a successful two-point conversion.
In the third quarter, Clear Lake had 223-yards of offense compared to just 12 for the home team. Final totals had the Lions with 430-yards of offense, while W-SR had 222.
The Go-Hawks scored their final TD in the game midway through the final period when, on fourth and six, Jake Velky threw a seven-yard TD pass. The 79-yard drive was capped with a PAT.
On the night, the Lions amassed 415-yards rushing. Hand finished with 89-yards on 14 carries, Chandler Diercks had seven carries for 60-yards and Alex Gonzalez ran three times for 56-yards. Connor Nosbisch had three carries for 20-yards and Chase Lester touched the ball two times for 15.
Adams was 2/6 passing for 34-yards. The junior ran the ball seven times for 36-yards.
Defensively, the Lions were led by Nosbisch with seven solo and eight assisted tackles. The senior had two solo sacks for loss. Lester and Diercks had eight tackles apiece. Four of Lester’s tackles were solo and two of Diercks’ tackles were solo. Other leaders included Tim Franken with seven tackles, two of them solo, and Miszewski and Swenson each had five tackles.
The Lions have another tough test this Friday when they host eighth ranked Humboldt. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.