Knights fall on road at Lanesboro in football


CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Reed Merkel battles for a pass in Kingsland’s game at Lanesboro.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Lucas Howard streaks for the Knights in the game against Lanesboro.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Kaiden Rath and Kingsland teammate Ashton Kohn bring down Lanesboro’s Sawyer Johnson.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Devin Carr carries the ball for Kingsland on a sweep against Lanesboro.
By: 
Chad Smith

The Kingsland football team started the second half of the season with a 34-15 road loss at Lanesboro on Friday night.

The Knights are still looking for their elusive first win as they sit at 0-5 overall, 0-4 in the sub-district. While the loss is disappointing, head coach Brent Stinson said you can’t question the team’s effort and desire.

“I liked the pursuit mentality that our defense played with,” he said. “We did make some mental errors here and there, but overall, the effort was there. Our defense took the right angles to the football and met Lanesboro at the point of attack. We made them earn their yards.”

Three Kingsland defenders combined for almost 25 tackles. Lucas Howard was all over the field, getting eight solo tackles and three assists, with four of those tackles resulting in lost yards for Lanesboro. He also had one sack. Matthew Schwanke added eight solo tackles, one for loss, and had one sack. Ashton Kohn has shown steady improvement all season, finishing last week’s game with seven solo tackles, two assists, and one tackle for loss.

The Kingsland offense did move the ball in spurts but couldn’t sustain a handful of drives because of turnovers. The Knights finished with four turnovers, including three fumbles.

“We had some missed opportunities on offense,” Stinson said. “We worked on our vertical passing game this week and had a good game plan going in. We had five or six passing plays that were just a bit off in the timing. We had opportunities that we just couldn’t complete.”

William Jahn was back under center after missing last week with an injury. He completed five of 16 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. James Howard rushed the ball 10 times for 40 yards and a TD. Lucas Howard added two rushes for 29 yards (14.5 yards per carry). Lucas also caught two passes for 23 yards and a touchdown. Devin Carr added one catch for 25 yards.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Lanesboro coach James Semmen and their offense,” Stinson said. “They played a very clean game, kept their composure, and put together some really long drives.” A lot of the Burro damage came through the air. Burro sophomore QB Seth Semmen threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns as the Burros picked up the District 9-South win.

The young Lanesboro quarterback completed nine of his 16 pass attempts and didn’t throw an interception. Cade Anderson was his top target, catching four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.

“They controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock,” Stinson said. “While a lot of kids in nine-man football play both ways, if you play defense on some of those long drives, it really starts to lean on you after a while.”

Injuries have been a burden for the Kingsland football team all season, making it impossible to get the starting units on both sides of the ball consistently playing together on the field. The Kingsland starting center (Reed Jeno) was out this week, so the team had to do more shuffling on the offensive line.

Schedule

The Knights are back on their home field on Friday night, Oct. 4, against Lyle/Pacelli (1-4, 1-4 sub-district). The Athletics dropped their first four games of the season before beating Mabel-Canton last week 30-18.

“They broke a 31-game losing streak (began with a loss to Mabel-Canton in 2015) with that win,” Stinson said. “They played with a lot of passion last week in getting that win.

“They’ve got some nice athletes and they’ve been throwing the ball really well,” he added. “Our pass coverage will be a big focus in practice this week. We’ll also need to get a good pass rush from the line of scrimmage.”