NLS coasts to first state football trip
ST. CLOUD -- "It's great," grinned New London-Spicer senior right guard Brandon Murphy. "We're going to state." That was something no Wildcat football player could ever say before. The joy of players and coaches bubbled over as the final seconds ...
ST. CLOUD -- "It's great," grinned New London-Spicer senior right guard Brandon Murphy. "We're going to state."
That was something no Wildcat football player could ever say before.
The joy of players and coaches bubbled over as the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard at Husky Stadium.
The numbers were shocking: Wildcats 30, Albany 0.
The Section 6AAA win in the title game Friday night validated the Wildcats' ticket to the state tournament quarterfinal round.
It was a dominating performance by the Wildcats, who lost to the Huskies 8-7 in September.
The underdogs led the No. 2-ranked and unbeaten Huskies 10-0, then scored three more touchdowns in the second half.
"Everything started clicking," said senior wide receiver Chris Tobkin, who snared a 27-yard scoring pass from Jared Williamson late in the third quarter to push the Wildcats' lead to 23-0. "I don't think any team could have stopped us."
The Wildcats' defense didn't let the Huskies sniff the end zone.
"We didn't change anything (from the first time we played them)," said junior linebacker John Nething. "We shouldn't have given them a touchdown the first time we played. They scored on a screen play."
Eight quarters and only one touchdown against a legendary football program that has reached the state show 17 times and the title game four times.
This may not be one of the great Huskie teams, but the 2008 version had won the West Central North Conference title and came in 10-0. It's an efficient offense that makes few mistakes while grinding it out on the ground.
But New London-Spicer stalled the Huskies' run early and that forced quarterback Zach Posternick to throw more than is customary. Albany would end up with 135 total yards.
The first quarter went scoreless. But early in the second quarter, Taylor Dammermann busted a 42-yard scoring jaunt for a 7-0 New London-Spicer lead. The senior fullback would finish with 139 yards.
Just before half, senior kicker Caleb Friedrich lifted a 27-yard field goal through the uprights.
Albany's biggest gain in the first 24 minutes was a 13-yard run by Lee Spohn, who had rushed for 883 yards in 10 games.
An impressive march in the third quarter added to the NLS first-half momentum. Dammermann and Shawn Halliday bit off big chunks of yardage to get the ball over midfield. Then it was Jay Moten off the left side breaking free on a 46-yard run for a 16-0 lead.
After the pitch-and-run to Tobkin for a 23-0 lead, Halliday went in from six yards out to end the scoring.
"We talked about going to state before the season," said defensive tackle D.J. Rothwell. "It was the goal for us seniors."
"This one was for the community and the school," said New London-Spicer coach Dan Essler. "In the rough times, people stuck by us."
New London-Spicer will be back at St. Cloud State University's Husky Stadium next Friday at 8 p.m. to play Proctor, the 7AAA champion.
NL-Spicer 30, Albany 0
NLS 0 10 13 7 -- 30
Albany 0 0 0 0 -- 0
NLS - Taylor Dammermann 42 run (Caleb Friedrich kick)
NLS - Friedrich 22 field goal
NLS - Jay Moten 46 run (kick fail)
NLS - Chris Tobkin 27 pass from Jared Williamson (Friedrich kick)
NLS - Shawn Halliday 6 run (Friedrich kick)
First downs: 16...Rushing: 46-271 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-8-87-1 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 7-35
Rushing: Shawn Halliday 15-76, Taylor Dammermann 16-139, Derek Henle 3-12, Jay Moten 7-53, Jared Williamson 5-(-9), Jake Essler 3-10, Sam Schmid 1-2, Jack Hartley 4-10... Passing: Williamson 4-8-87-1 ... Receiving: Chris Tobkin 1-27, Derek Dohmann 1-19, Henle 1-5, Moten 1-36 ... Punting: Tobkin 3-35.3 ... Interceptions: Jake Essler 1, Erik Tengwall 1 ... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles (solo-assist): John Nething 8-6, Dammermann 5-1, Luke Reiter 5-4, Sam Schmid 4-3, Erik Tengwall 5-1, Jake Essler 5-1 ... QB sacks: Justin Zylstra, Austin Wentzlaff
First downs: 9 ... Rushing: 36-104 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-11-31-2... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 5-25
Rushing: Sam Conrad 6-24, Lee Spohn 11-40, Zach Posternick 13-39, Brian Bueckers 6-9 ... Passing: Posternick 4-10-31-1, Spohn 0-1-0-1.... Receiving: Joey Blackmore 1-11, Joe Overman 1-9, Bueckers 2-11 ... Punting: Posternick 7-32.9 ... Interceptions: Nathan Ronning ... Fumble recoveries: none ... QB sacks: Bueckers 1, Zach Noreen ½, Taylor Holthaus ½