Defense shines in Homecoming victory

(Above) The Osage quarterback tried to scramble after Joey Monson (69) and Austin Larson (68) broke through the line.  -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

Homecoming was sweet for the Clear Lake Lions, as they defeated Osage, 16-6 to remain undefeated in Class 2A District 2.

The Lions (3-1, 2-0), coming off a 48-14 victory over rated Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, had a difficult time getting their offense going.  The Green Devils controlled the line on both sides of the ball in the early going and the Lions had some uncharacteristic drops and a first-of-the-season interception in the first quarter.

“I think there was a little Homecoming lack of concentration,” said Clear Lake Coach Jared DeVries.  “It’s good to learn from that and luckily we were playing so well on defense that we held them while we got our game going.”

The Lions seemed to shake off their rough start with the first of seven sacks in the game in the second quarter.  But again the Lions stalled and were forced to punt.  Clear Lake’s Nick Danielson pounced on a muffed punt return and the Lions were back in business at the Osage 37.

Just when it seemed the Lions were ready to break out, Osage shut them down.  The Green Devils took over on downs at their own 34 and marched to the Lion 39 before Austin Larson, Joey Monson and Rhys Glidden recorded tackles for losses and sacks.  The Green Devils were turned away at the Lion 11 on fourth and goal.

Momentum was fleeting, as quarterback Jaylen DeVries was sacked on third-and-eight and another Lion drive stalled.

The two teams played to a 0-0 tie through one half.

“We knew it would be a battle.  Osage was, by far, the most skilled team we have played so far,” said DeVries.  “We made a few adjustments at the half, but mostly the kids kept playing hard and believing.”

The Lions finally broke through with three-minutes remaining in the third quarter.  A perfectly executed triple option pitch from DeVries to Danielson moved the ball from the 44 to the Osage 23.  Three plays later DeVries found Drew Enke for a 19-yard completion.  Alex Snelling carried the ball over from the one and Zach Lester’s PAT made the score 7-0.

Fifteen seconds into the fourth quarter Nico McPherrin intercepted the Green Devils’ Drew Olson and rambled toward the end zone.  He coughed up the ball on the way, but teammate Dalton Grell was nearby and recovered the rock.  Two plays later DeVries ran the ball in and Lester kicked to double the lead, 14-0.

The Lions were smelling blood in the water as the quarter continued.  As the Green Devils stood waiting for Lester’s kick-off to travel out of bounds, it died at the 36 and the Lions pounced on it.  Clear Lake took the ball to the 23, but Osage was able to slow the Lions’ roll by intercepting DeVries at the 10.  Thurston Taets returned the ball 60-yards and two plays later they scored, but missed the kick, for a 14-6 score with 5:23 remaining on the clock.

After forcing a Clear Lake punt, the Green Devils got the ball back.  But on fourth and long Lester and Sean Wendel sacked Olson in the endzone for a safety.

Olson threw for 52-yards in the game on 5/16 passing and was -33 on the ground.  Zack Williams was the only player to finish in positive yardage for the Green Devils.  He ran 17 times for 98-yards.

DeVries was 14/28 for 132-yards.

The Lions offense had 91-yards on the

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