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LQPV players finally get 'W'

Lac qui Parle Valley quarterback Chase Keimig throws a pass against Benson last Friday in Benson. <b>(Tribune file photo by Rand Middleton)</b>

BENSON -- Chase Keimig and the rest of the Lac qui Parle Valley football team knew it couldn't happen again. And they weren't going to let it happen again.

The Eagles lost their last seven games of the 2007 season and went the entire 2008 season without collecting a win. They opened this year with another loss, stretching their losing streak to 17 games. The streak would end at 17 as LQPV upended Benson 21-13 Friday in Benson.

"The kids were pretty excited," said Eagles' coach Mark Bjornjeld. "It was a good bus ride home."

The Eagles' previous win was also against Benson, back on Sept. 7, 2007. In between the two wins LQPV was outscored 623-158.

"We kind of buckled down and took it more serious," said Keimig, the team's starting quarterback. "We knew we weren't going 0-for again."

Keimig, who had been a running back in his sophomore and junior seasons, said the team's mentality changed at the halfway point of the 2008 season.

"From about halfway to the end of the season we were just trying to not get blown out. We stayed as positive as we could."

A summer camp this year to North Dakota State University and a new weight room got the players excited for another season, said Bjornjeld.

"We looked at it as a fresh start," added Bjornjeld. "It was a mental thing (last year) and when we would turn the ball over or get a penalty it was like 'here we go again.' We had a change of attitude this season and the kids are really committed."

Benson got a quick leg up on LQPV Friday, but the Eagles responded by scoring twice on Sam Haas' short run and Keimig's 31-yard pass to Haas before Benson tied the game at 13-13 in third quarter.

LQPV then put together a lengthy game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped by Keimig's 12-yard touchdown pass to Haas with just 25 seconds left.

"I guess there was a sigh of relief," said Bjornjeld. "But we knew there was still 25 seconds left. With Benson having a spread offense we knew anything could happen. We just held our breath."

The Eagles were able to breathe a little easier after keeping Benson out of the end zone to end the game.

"We stayed on the field for a while and soaked (the victory) up," said Keimig. "Hopefully this week rolling into Homecoming (Friday against winless Long Prairie-Grey Eagle) we can keep the momentum. But we know nothing is going to be easy."

Jesse Fuchs
I have been with the Tribune since the summer of 1998. I enjoy covering the high school aspect of the business and designing pages.
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