Decorah’s big and powerful football team sucked the life right out of the Clear Lake Lions football team Halloween night. The Vikings upended the number one ranked (3A) Lions, 24-8.
“They were too physical for us. We just couldn’t get ‘r done,” said Lions Head Coach Fred Wieck.
Four times the Vikings (9-2) stopped Clear Lake (10-1) inside the red zone, including one on the one yard line. “They were physical and got the best of us tonight. They beat us up on the line of scrimmage.”
Decorah set the tone for the night early, marching 78 yards on 11 plays to score on their first possession. The drive used up almost half of the first quarter and gave them a 7-0 lead.
The Viking defense sacked Clear Lake quarterback Ozzie Adams on his first snap of the game, then kept the Lions from crossing midfield on their first possession.
The Lion defense stiffened on their next trip onto the field. They forced a three-and-out punt which gave the Lions the ball in good field position. The drive continued into the second quarter and moved inside the 10. On first and goal from the four, a false start on the Lions put the ball back to the nine. After two more runs which gained little and another Lion penalty, Logan Kracht’s 23 yard field goal try was blocked and the ball was recovered on the Lion 12.
The Lion defense again forced Decorah to punt, giving Clear Lake the ball at midfield and swinging momentum back their way. But the Viking defense rose up again, sacked Adams and eventually forced a punt.
With time running out in the first half, the Lions got the ball back and took it all the way to the three yard line. On consecutive carries by Tanner Truesdell, Brice Wilke and Michael Keeran the Lions were still one-half yard short of the endzone. A pass on fourth down fell incomplete, ending the Lions’ hopes of evening the score by the half.
The Lions were held on their opening possession of the second half, but Decorah fumbled the punt return and Adams recovered the ball at midfield. The good fortune was short-lived, though, as Adams was intercepted at the Decorah 18. The Vikings masterfully moved the ball down the field and on fourth and two at the 35 went for the first down and got it.
The Vikings made the score 10-0 at the end of the third quarter on a 21-yard field goal and Decorah quarterback Blake Moen slipped away from Logan Kellogg and raced nine yards for another score with 7:40 remaining in the game. The PAT made the score 17-0.
The Vikings put a dagger through the heart of the Lions with a surprise on-side kick following their score. They recovered the ball and launched another TD drive from the Lion 41. With 4:55 remaining they held a 24-0 lead, putting the Lions in serious danger of their first shutout loss in seven years.
The shutout was avoided with :22 left in the game, as Adams connected with Keeran on a 20 yard pass play on fourth and goal. A two-point conversion pass was good to Tanner Tusha for the final, 24-8. Keeran, who caught a total of seven passes for 85 yards in the game, set a single season CLHS record for touchdown receptions when he made his 10th late in the game.
Adams, who finished his CLHS football career as the schools’ top passer, was 14/20 in the -Read More Via e-Edition