9/12/2019 3:00:00 PM Two early key drives cost CL in 24-14 loss to SF
St. Francis 24, Chisago Lakes 14 Last Friday at St. Francis, the two key long drives of the Wildcat football game came in the first quarter. Starting from their own 9, the Wildcats went on an 18-play, 89-yard drive that was stopped at the two-yard line. The Fighting Saints responded with a 15-play, 98-yard scoring drive to go up 7-0 – a 14-point turnaround. The Saints built a 21-6 lead midway through the third quarter and went on to beat the Wildcats 24-14.
The teams exchanged punts on their initial drives and the Wildcats took over at their own 9-yard line. Key plays included a 13-yard pass from quarterback Austin Siefert to running back David Kimlinger. Kimlinger ran for ten more yards after the catch, and the Wildcats had d first down near midfield. On third and eight from the Saint 37, Kimlinger took a pitch left and ran 11 yards for a first down. On third and four from the 20, Siefert kept the ball and ran left, picking up nine yards and a first down. Three plays later, the Wildcats faced fourth and eight from the nine. Cole Peterson took a pitch left, got some daylight and ran toward the left front corner of the end zone. He was stopped near the sideline at the two-yard line, and the Saints took over on downs.
The Saints moved the ball eight yards in three plays and faced fourth and two at the ten-yard line. The Saints lined up in punt formation. But they faked a high snap, and one of the upbacks ran the short snap up the middle for four yards and a first down. “That was a pretty gutsy call that deep in their own territory,” said Wildcat head coach Bill Weiss. “But it worked out for them.”
The Saints faced third and eight on their own 39-yard line and completed a 13-yard pass to keep the drive alive. One third and one at the Wildcat 27, the Saints tried to ram the ball up the middle, but the Wildcat defense stopped them a few inches short of a first down. The Saints went for it on fourth down. A sneak by quarterback Trevor Patterson picked up four yards and a first down. On the next play, misdirection made it look like the play was going left and Patterson ran right, fooling the defense and running untouched into the end zone for a touchdown. After a successful extra point, the Saints led 7-0 early in the second quarter.
Starting from their own 20 on the for next drive, the Wildcats picked up one first down. But on third and three from their own 40, Siefert was sacked, setting up the game’s other key play. The Wildcats lined up to punt. The snap was good, but the punter bobbled it and was swarmed over by the Saints, who tackled him at the 24-yard line. Working with a short field, the Saints soon faced fourth and goal from the 11. Patterson rolled right and completed a pass to the front right corner of the end zone for seven more points and a 14-0 Saints lead in the second quarter.
St. Francis put the game out of reach early in the third quarter. The Wildcats sent the opening kick of the second half out of bounds, and the penalty allowed the Saints to start at their own 35. They went on another 15-play drive that took eight minutes and included a fourth down conversion Facing fourth and three from the Wildcat 32, Patterson completed a 17-yard pass to move the ball down to the 15. Four plays later, he scored on another quarterback sneak from the one-yard line to stretch the lead to 21-0.
The Wildcats started the next drive from their own 22. On the first play, Siefert hit tight end Zach Mueller with a pass up the middle for 17 yards. Two plays later, Kimlinger went up the middle for ten yards and another first down. Fullback Cole Peterson followed with a 27-yard run down the right sideline to move the ball deep into St. Francis territory. On third and five from the thirteen – the eighth play of the drive – Siefert pitched the ball left to Kimlinger. Kimlinger ran a couple of steps, stopped and fired a pass to receiver Kyle Byrne in the end zone for a touchdown. The Wildcats botched the extra point, and now trailed 21-6 late in the third quarter. But the Saints followed with a nine-play drive that ended in a 41-yard field goal by Hunter Dustman to increase the Saints’ lead to 24-6 a few minutes into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats went on a 11-play drive that included a 17-yard pass from Siefert to running back Nick Stone and a 30-yard run by Tommy Dubbs. On first and ten from the 11, Siefert rolled right and threw the ball to the back left corner of the end zone. Stone made a nice catch for a touchdown. After Siefert passed to Mueller for the two-point conversion, the Wildcats had pulled to within ten points at 24-14. Bit it was too little, too late and the Wildcats went down to defeat.
Weiss said “In a game like this, every play counts. Our mishandled snap from punt formation led to a short field and their second score. We can’t afford to make mistakes on special teams like we did against a formidable opponent like St. Francis.”
David Kimlinger played in a game for the first time since last year’s late-season knee injury. He ran the ball six times for 30 yards, caught two passes for 28 yards and threw a touchdown pass. “David had a fair amount of reps in this game,” said Weiss, “but just played on offense. He’s obviously a very skilled player and its good to get him back. There is no question that he adds some elements to what we can do. Unfortunately, senior running back Tim Gregory injured his knee early in the first quarter and will be out for the season. Tim has worked so hard for the past several years. It’s an unfortunate part of the game.”
Weiss continued “Lots of our guys played solid defensively in this game. And it was a short game, in the sense that each team had only six possessions. That’s not surprising, since we both run a ball control type of offense. Their eight-minute drive early in the second half really limited our ability to come back. You had to take advantage every time you got the ball. Simply put, they did, and we didn’t. And that was a big difference in the game. We had our chances, but we need to play a little better, I guess.”
Siefert was 9 for 18 passing, for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also had 13 carries for 57 yards. Peterson led the Wildcats with ten carries for 64 yard and Byrnes was the Wildcats’ leading receiver, with four catches for 38 yards.
Football Notes The Class 4A Wildcats (1-1) will face the Class 6A Buffalo Bison (0-2) at Chisago Lakes High School tomorrow night at 7 p.m. The Bison are led by senior quarterback Aidan Bouman, who is headed to Iowa State next year. In two games so far this season, Bouman has completed 45 of 88 passes for 673 yards and eight touchdowns. But he is missing a couple of top-flight receivers who graduated last year, and the Bison were unable to outscore their first two opponents. Bouman is still a very explosive player and we will have to defend the whole field, because with his arm he can get the ball anywhere. We need to try to limit their success in the passing game, capitalize on their mistakes and control the ball as much as possible to keep it out of Bouman’s hands to give ourselves a chance to win.”