by ADAM GRUENEWALD
Ahead 14-0 at halftime, the Central football team had to pretty confident as they gathered together inside their bus because of rainy conditions in Arlington.
Sibley East (2-4), who found cover in the baseball field dugout, scored 20 unanswered points and made just enough plays to hold the Raiders off in a Minnesota River Conference contest and make their homecoming night a success.
Coach Paul Henn said his team played well as they are still seeking their first win.
“Another great effort, we are getting closer just have to figure out a way to start closing games and making key plays on both sides when we need them,” he said.
Before the rain started to pour, Central put together two nice scoring drives to open the game.
Starting from their own 20, Zach Storms had a 11 run to the 31 and a defensive pass interference put the Raiders at midfield. Isaac Hormann later found Nick Haupt for a five yard reception on a 3rd-and-4 play and then completed passes to Alex Eichner and Casey Clemensen to put the Raiders in the red zone. Noah Peterson then caught a pass to put the Raiders on the 3-yard line and Hormann lowered his shoulder and rushed in for the touchdown to put the Raiders up 7-0 lead.
The defense stopped the Wolverines on their first possession as Donovan Swanson made a nice tackle on third down.
Starting from their own 35-yard line, Storms had a couple of nice rushes and Peterson had a 23-yard gainer to have Central on the Wolverines’ 31.
After a couple of runs, Hormann found Clemensen for a 23-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, that they would hold onto as both offenses struggled in the downpour.
“We took care of the ball and didn’t make mistakes,” said Henn. “We were able to mix up our offensive looks and keep Sibley off balance.”
With the rain lightening up to a drizzle, the Wolverines came out quickly in the second half as Alex Pedraza and Erik Danielson rushed for a 29-yard touchdown and the kick was missed for a 14-6 Central lead.
The teams then exchanged punts, with the Wolverines starting on their own 20 late in the third quarter, a drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run by Danielson. Lining up for the extra point, the Wolverines failed the two-point conversion as Brice Panning defended Ben White in the end zone, keeping the Raiders ahead, 14-12.
After Dillon Rolf recovered a short kickoff, the Raiders used up the clock driving to Sibley East 29-yard line on a 17-yard reverse by Peterson. A couple of penalties and a sack ended the drive, as the Wolverines started from their own 46 with under five minutes remaining.
Beau Swenson had two big running plays for Sibley East, Danielson scored the go-ahead touchdown and Swenson ran in the conversion for a 20-14 lead.
After an interception, the Raiders defense came up with a stop but the offense couldn’t come up with a miracle with 1 minutes, 2 seconds remaining.
Defensively, the Raiders held the Wolverines to 0-for-5 passing and just 217 yards rushing.
“I thought the first half was as good as they have played all year, played well in the second half but the increased number playing two ways wore us down against the physical style Sibley plays,” said Henn. “Great effort by both teams on both sides of the ball.”
Offensively, Hormann completed 7-of-14 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown, along with one rushing touchdown.
“He had to be big for us,” said Henn. “We have a couple of guys a little beat up so Isaac had to play a bigger role. He really played hard and had a good night.”
Clemensen had two catches for 38 yards and a score and Eichner had three for 35 yards. On the ground, Peterson rushed for 46 yards on 13 carries and Storms gained 39 yards on 11 rushes.
Next up, the Raiders (0-6) will travel to take on Belle Plaine (6-0), who defeated Le Sueur-Henderson 35-0 on Friday.
“This time of year is about getting momentum for playoff time, we have started to play better and are building each week,” said Henn. “We want to continue to see that growth in hopes that it will make a differences in the post season. Belle Plaine is #1 in 3A right now so this will be one of two tough games we have to finish the season.”
Contact Adam Gruenewald at email@example.com.
Sibley East 20, Central 14
Central 7 7 0 0 – 14
SE 0 0 6 14 – 20
C – Isaac Hormann 7 run (Zach Schnabel kick), 3:35
C – Casey Clemensen 23 pass from Hormann (Schnabel kick), 11:46
SE – Erik Danielson 29 run (kick missed), 10:17
SE – Danielson 5 run (pass conversion failed), 8:14
SE – Danielson 30 run (Beau Swenson run), 4:31
First Downs – Central 9, Sibley East 7
Rushes – Central 33-113, Sibley East 41-224
Passing – Central 85, Sibley East 0
Comp-Att-Td-Int – Central 7-15-1-2, Sibley East 0-5-0-0
Fumbles-Lost – Central 1-0, Sibley East 1-0
Penalties-Yards – Central 7-59, Sibley East 6-46
Rushing – Central, Noah Peterson 13-46, Zach Storms 11-39, Zach Heiland 3-5, Isaac Hormann 6-(-)1,
Passing – Central, Isaac Hormann 7-14-85 yards, 1 td, 2 int, Noah Peterson 0-1
Receiving – Central, Casey Clemensen 2-38, Alex Eichner 3-35, Noah Peterson 1-8, Carter Clemensen 1-4, Isaac Hormann 0-0