9/21/2017 3:32:00 PM Chisago Lakes can't keep up with Andover's offense, lose 62-41
Giving up 62 points was not how the Wildcats wanted to start their brutal three game stretch against two state tournament teams from last year and a perennial state powerhouse.
The Chisago Lakes defense struggled to stop the passing and running of Huskie quarterback Conner Knoepfle and the running game spearheaded by Carsen Syke.
The game flow was similar to the Cambridge-Isanti loss from the week prior, just supersized a bit on the scoring.
The Wildcats took an eary lead when Matt Mohr cruised in from five yards out to put Chisago Lakes up 7-0. It only took Andover a minute and a half to answer with a score of their own, a nine yard touchdown connection from Knoepfle to Andy Groebner.
On the ensuing kickoff Mohr grabbed the ball at the 18 yard line on a short kick and knifed through the Andover special teams for an 82 yard kick return touchdown, giving him his second score of the night only five minutes into the game. Ryan Mower’s extra point sailed wide, but Chisago Lakes still held a 13-6 lead. The action stayed intense early. It only took Andover two plays to answer back, with Knoepfle hitting Kyle Groshong for a 73 yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Groebner’s two point conversion run was successful, giving Andover the 14-13 lead.
The action subsided for about 10 minutes of game time before Knoepfle and Groebner connected for another long touchdown, this one of the 31 yard variety. CL stuffed the two point conversion to stay within six. Just three minutes later, Peter Vitalis broke free for the Wildcats, scoring on a 32 yard touchdown run. Mower’s extra point drew the ‘Cats even with Andover at 20-20.
Then disaster struck for the Wildcats. In a shootout, it’s a race to get the first defensive stop, and the ‘Cats didn’t win that race, giving up a 45-yard touchdown run to Syke. The damage really was compounded on the kickoff, though, as Chisago Lakes fumbled it back to the Huskies deep in their own territory. Just 22 seconds after Syke’s 45 yard touchdown run, he scampered in from 22 yards out, stretching the lead to 34-20 at halftime.
The Huskies received the second half kickoff, and made good on drive, finishing it off with a Knoepfle-to-Groebner connection from 28 yards out. The scoring run capped 20 unanswered points from Andover since the ‘Cats had tied it at 20.
Chisago Lakes did answer back one minute later when Henry Trost called his own number and kept it for a five yard touchdown run, but Andover scored the next two touchdowns of the third quarter, extending their lead to 54-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
Chisago Lakes scored twice, once on a Cole Glenna battering ram touchdown from the one yard line, and another on Mohr’s third score of the game, from 35 yards out. But, Andover struck another big score from Knoepfle to Groebner to make the final tally 62-41 in favor of the Huskies.
Knoepfle was the star of the game, throwing for 263 yard and three touchdowns and running for 111 yards and two scores. Syke had 216 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.
For the Wildcats, Mohr scored three times and had his best game of the year, but it still wasn’t enough to keep CL in the game late.
Andover was just the beginning, however. This week, the ‘Cats play defending state champion and undefeated Elk River at home. The Elks have perfected the misdirection running game over the years and will be hard to stop for a CL defense that is on the ropes currently. After that, the ‘Cats host Rogers, who played angry in a 45-24 shellacking of Cambridge-Isanti last week.