Lanesboro denied by determined Grand Meadow defense

RON MAYER/NEWS LEADER Seth Semmen looks for a break through the Grand Meadow line during last Friday night’s game. He carried the ball six times.

RON MAYER/NEWS LEADER Orion Sass runs the ball for the Burros during Lanesboro’s game in Grand Meadow last Friday night. He carried the ball six times for 38 yards.
S. Lee Epps

The Lanesboro football boys were backed up in their half of the field most of the night in a 49-24 home loss to visiting and state-ranked No. 9 Grand Meadow on Sept. 20.

The poor field position came with deep Superlark kickoffs and a stingy Grand Meadow defense that forced turnovers in the first four Burro possessions.

Receiving eight kickoffs from Evan Oehlke, the Lanesboro lads never started past their own 31 yard-line. And when they forced turnovers, the Burros took possession at their 5 and 28 yard-lines.

All three LHS touchdowns came with great field position in the fourth quarter against Superlark reserves after the GM starters had retired with a 49-0 cushion.

The fourth quarter was a reversal of fortune with the Burros capitalizing on offensive mistakes by Superlark reserves.

After Jordan Peterson recovered a fumble at the GM 35, Seth Semmen scored on a 24-yard scamper. Semmen passed to Sawyer Johnson for the two-point conversion.

Ryan Kelly fell on a fumble, again at the GM 35, which led to a 3-yard scoring run by Hayden Lawstuen. Orion Sass ran in the extra points.

Peterson blocked a Superlark punt that was covered by Trent Chiglo at midfield. Hayden Lawstuen would score with a 6-yard pass from Stephan Schultz. Ryan Kelly ran in the two-point conversion a few seconds before the finish.

Each team had four turnovers, but the GM starters lost possession only once with an interception by Austin Moen at the LHS 5 yard-line. The ensuing Burro punt had the Larks back in business at the 25. One pass later, it was 35-0.

The four Burro turnovers came during their first four possessions and led to a quick 28-0 deficit.

Lanesboro earned first downs on each of those first four possessions, but GM soon came up with three interceptions and a fumble.

Blake Ludemann returned the first interception 25 yards for a touchdown just seven plays into the game. The third pick-off was returned 34 yards to the Lanesboro 6 yard-line.

GM needed only seven plays to score their first three offensive touchdowns with drives of 38, 51 and 6 yards. The next score came with one play, a 25-yard TD toss from Oehlke to Dusty Copley.

GM (3-1) benefited from the great field position but also averaged 7.4 yards per play - twice that of the Burros' 3.7.

Lanesboro snapped the ball for 63 plays, but the Superlarks gained all their yardage (280 yards) with only 38 plays.

Oehlke threw only three passes, completing two (with one interception) for 73 yards, including the 25-yard TD.

Copley ran only six times but gained 120 yards while scoring touchdowns on 38 and 50-yard runs.

LHS actually led in first downs, 15 to 11. But the Lark attack was so efficient, GM faced third-down only five times while scoring six touchdowns.

Up 35-0 at halftime, the visitors scored on their first two second half possessions. A 48-yard pass set up a five-yard TD run before Copley took a 50-yard toss to complete Superlark scoring.

Lanesboro finished with 233 yards of offense after gaining 120 during those three TD drives. Most (184 yards) came on the ground with only 6-of-16 passing success for only 49 yards.

Freshman reserve quarterback Schultz completed all three of his passes for 35 yards, including the TD toss. Cale Anderson had three receptions for 20 yards. The longest completion was an 18-yarder from Schultz to Wilson Storhoff.

Nate Betz ran 14 times for 61 yards while Sass carried five times for 38 and Semmen six times for another 38.

It was mostly a flag-free affair with only three penalties, two against Lanesboro and one for GM.

It was the ninth straight win in the series for Grand Meadow, which now holds a 15-to-9 edge in 9-man competition versus Lanesboro.

This week and next

Lanesboro hosts winless Kingsland on Friday, Sept. 27, before an Oct. 4 journey to state-ranked Southland. Both of these opponents are playing their first season of 9-man football.