Clear Lake won bragging rights in their first meeting on the football field with Mason City after 82 years. The Lions broke open a scoreless game though two quarters with 34 points in the second half. An estimated 6,000 fans watched the Lions
post a 34-7 win Friday at Mohawk Field. The victory also extended Clear Lake’s regular season win streak to 42 games.
“It was a group effort,” said Clear Lake Assistant Coach Eric Perry, who stepped in to lead the team while Head Coach Fred Wieck sat out with a one-week suspension for a pre-season public intoxication charge. Perry credited defensive coach Curt Charlson with preparing his players well-- calling the Lion defensive line the key to the game.
“The defense played outstanding in almost every part of the game. As an offense, we had our challenges and first game problems early,” said Perry.
The Lions’ and Mohawks’ offenses both sputtered in the first half and went into the break in a 0-0 tie. Spectators were certain the team which could score a single fieldgoal, let alone a touchdown, would be the winner. After all, the Lion offense had gained less than 55 yards rushing and quarterback Chase Lester was just 1/4 passing for 32 yards with two interceptions in the first half. Mason City, meanwhile, had fewer than 20 yards of total offense at the break.
But the Lions emerged from halftime with renewed conviction.
“At halftime we had to talk with the offensive line and split ends about blocking,” explained Perry. “Most people thought the O-line had all the problems, but in fact, our split ends and slot backs were to blame, as well. So, the adjustments were mainly with the line and we changed a couple play calls we thought would work better with the defense we saw in the first half. For the most part, we continued to play hard and wore the Mohawks down as a team.”
The Lions started the second half with the ball and marched down the field on four plays to score. Junior running back Carter Hand scored the first of his three touchdowns with 9:56 remaining in the third quarter. Logan Kracht added the PAT for the 7-0 score.
Clear Lake’s defense sacked Mason City quarterback Matt Meyer twice in the following series and caused a fumble which the Lions recovered. After an exchange of possessions, the Lions made the score 14-0 on a hard-nosed run by Hand from 12 yards out. Kracht’s kick was good.
Mason City put a finger in the dike with 8:45 remaining in the game when they scored on a fake punt. Alex Watson reeled in a 54 yard touchdown bomb from Meyer. The TD pass effectively doubled Mason City’s offense output in the game. Miguel Recinos kicked the extra point to make the score 14-7.
Just when it seemed the Mohawks had gotten themselves back into the game, the Lions put it out of reach. A 65 yard run by senior Cody Maulsby moved the ball into Mohawk territory. A few plays later, Maulsby took a pitch from Lester and reached the endzone untouched. Another PAT from Kracht put the score at 21-7.
Hand scored on a 21 yard run with just over one-minute remaining and sophomore Tamarik Lee put the exclamation point on the game by scooping up a Mohawk fumble and running it in from 12 yards out. The kick failed, making the final score 34-7.
The Lions finished with 325 yards of offense, while Mason City managed just 135 total yards of offense.
“Our defensive line was the key to the game,” said Perry. “Steven Akers and Brice Wilke had great games at defensive - Read More Via e-Edition