September 5, 2003 at 10:46 a.m.
Pine City 0
Bill Weiss, Chisago Lakes head football coach, couldn’t explain it. How could a game so strange turn out so good?
“It was a little strange, I’ll say that.” said Weiss
Why was this game out of the norm? Here’s a recap.
~The Wildcats starting quarterback, Thomas Moody, left the game in the second quarter because of a separated shoulder. After throwing an interception on his first play from scrimmage, back up Mike Tschida responded by throwing for 106 yards and a touchdown. Four of Tschida’s passes were longer than 15 yards, two were more than 30 yards.
~Known for their running game, Chisago Lakes went to the air on Friday night, throwing for 156 yards, 45 more yards than they gained on the ground.
~Despite unleashing several big plays, Pine City was dropped for a loss 15 times, including losses of 11 yards, 10, 10, nine and seven yards. One play summed it up. After recovering a fumble at the Chisago Lakes, the Wildcats got the ball back after pushing the Dragons into a fourth and 20 situation.
It was obvious that it was game number one in the first quarter, as both teams played to a stalemate. In the second, the game opened up and so did the scoreboard.
While the Dragons fell apart on offense with turnovers, penalties and punts, the ‘Cats began to pick up steam. Moody connected with Kyle Nelson through the air for 34 yards. moving the chains early in the second quarter, but the drive ended with a thud. On fourth down, Moody ran off right tackle for one yard, falling short of the first down marker. Not only did the ‘Cats lose the ball but also their number one quarterback. Moody was out. Enter Tschida.
After a Tschida interception toss on his first throw, Chisago again got the ball back again late in the second quarter. This time, Tschida would be right on target. Three quick runs by Aaron James moved the ‘Cats ahead 18 yards before Tschida hit Nelson for 33 yards down the sidelines. The throw set up a James touchdown run on the next play from five yards out, putting the Wildcats on the board. The extra point missed, keeping the score 6-0 at the half.
“We were pretty optimistic. We made some mistakes but it didn’t hurt us,” said Weiss. “Just the way we were playing, especially on defense, we were feeling pretty confident. We knew eventually that our offense was going to open it up.”
Right on cue, the Chisago offense did just that in the second half. Still 6-0 early in the fourth, Tschida took to the air again, this time finding tight end Marcus Burgin on the right sideline. Burgin, a senior, rumbled in from 24 yards away for the ‘Cats second score of the game. Even with switching quarterbacks. the offense didn’t seem to notice.
“We have two pretty good QB’s,” remarked Weiss. “The difference between the two are pretty minimal. When Thomas went down, I knew as a team, we wouldn’t miss a beat. I think it’s the first year where I’ve had that luxury. Our balance this season is definitely our strength.”
Now leading 12-0, Chisago put things away on both sides of the field as the clock wound down. The Wildcat defense stuffed the Dragons on fourth down, giving the ‘Cats the ball with less than five minutes to play.
Tschida and Burgin didn’t waste any time, hooking up again, this time for 18 yards, placing the ball at the Pine City 22. Two plays later, senior running back Danny Reed blew the doors wide open with a 15 yard touchdown run, catapulting the Wildcats to a 18-0 advantage. The Dragons were stopped on their final possession of the game, securing an 18-0 Chisago win.
“I knew we had some horses. We’re kind of shuffling players around, we have a lot of good players,” said Weiss. On offense, it’s what the defenses are giving us. Over the years, we’ve gotten a reputation as being a running team. Pine City had all 11 players within five to 10 yards of the line, that doesn’t leave you a lot of room for error. Our passing game was more predicated on what they were giving us.
“Overall, I’d give us a B minus for the game because we won,” continued Weiss. “I think we have a lot to learn from that game. Pine City kept us on our toes, I’m glad that happened. We can learn from that and adjust to things better now. It was a good win for us.”
Next up for Chisago Lakes is Foley on the road on Friday night. The Wildcats are 1-0 while Foley is 0-1.
Chisago Lakes 18
Pine City 0
1 2 3 4 F
Pine City 0 0 0 0 0
Chisago Lakes 0 6 0 12 18
CL- James 5 yrd. run
(Swanberg kick failed) 6-0
CL- Burgin 24 yrd. reception
(Swanberg kick failed) 12-0
CL- Reed 15 yrd. run
(Swanberg kick failed) 18-0
Chisago Lakes statistics:
33 rushes, 111 yards, 2 TD
9-15, 156 yards, TD