WABASSO - The Minneota//Lincoln HI football team started strong and held on to defeat Wabasso 34-12 to open the season Thursday night.
"Our big thing was to come out and have a good game right away," said Minneota/Lincoln HI/ head coach Chad Johnston. "We expected a good ball game."
Said Wabasso head coach Joe Kemp, "My main thing was I wanted to see us execute tonight and in the first half we could not execute at all. They are too good of a team to make the mistakes we made."
Photo by Alex Oey
Minneota/Lincoln HI’s Isaac Josephson stiff-arms a Wabasso defender to the ground during Thursday’s non-conference football game in Wabasso.
The Vikings (1-0 overall) capitalized on their first drive, taking three plays for Austin Buysse to find Isaac Josephson for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Niels Peterson hit the extra point to make it 7-0 with 32 second gone in the game.
"I saw the outside linebacker jump and I laid it out for Isaac," Buysse said. "He made a great catch on the ball."
The Rabbits (0-1) had a strong first drive that was negated with a fumble that Minneota/Lincoln HI's David Noyes recovered.
The teams traded punts before Buysse and Josephson connected again, this time for a nine-yard touchdown. The Peterson extra point was good and Minneota/Lincoln HI had a 14-0 lead.
"(Buysse) read the defense well," Josephson said. "I got open and he put the ball where it had to be."
Wabasso's offense continued to sputter and a Josephson punt return to the Rabbits' 11 set up an 11-yard scamper by Jeff Gladis as time expired to stretch the Viking lead to 21 following the Peterson extra point.
"Our offensive line did a very good job and we got some key blocks on the outside from our wide receivers," Gladis said. "I just got it to the outside and beat the safety around the corner."
The teams traded punts on their first drives of the second quarter, and with Wabasso pinned at their own five-yard line, Minneota/Lincoln HI's Nathan Pavek picked off a Neil Eichten pass and returned it 20 yards for the touchdown. Peterson's fourth extra point of the game made it 28-0.
"Everything was going right," Pavek said. "My guys started blocking for me, so I followed them."
Another Pavek interception ended Wabasso's last drive of the half and the Vikings took their 28-0 into the third quarter.
In the second half, penalties plagued Minneota/Lincoln HI, negating an interception and several solid plays. With 2:35 left in the third quarter, Seth Guetter fought through a pass interference to make an acrobatic catch off the defender for Wabasso's first score. The two-point conversion failed, but the Rabbits were on the board, 28-6.
"He pushed me, it bounced off his helmet and came right down," Guetter said. "It was kind of luck."
In the fourth quarter Wabasso was able to put together another solid drive that was capped off with a three-yard plunge by Eichten to make it 28-12. The Rabbits were unable to convert the two-point conversion again.
The Vikings were not finished on the night as Gladis found the end zone for the second time, scoring on a 28-yard run. The two-point conversion failed and Minneota/Lincoln HI held on for a 34-12 win.
"We're doing some very good things," Johnston said. "We need to get consistent and play for four quarters."
"It's just improvement the whole season," Kemp said. "It's a journey and you have to be good in Week 9 as compared to Week 1. We think we'll see these guys somewhere down the road again and we hope for the opportunity. We just need to take that second half and build off of it."
|Minneota/LHI||21 7 0 6 — 34|
|Wabasso||0 0 6 6 — 12|
|M-Isaac Josephson 53 pass from Austin Buysse (Niels Peterson kick), 11:28|
|M-Josephson 9 pass from Buysse (Peterson kick), 2:24|
|M-Jeff Gladis 11 run (Peterson kick), 0:00|
|M-Nathan Pavek 20 interception return (Peterson kick), 6:16|
|W-Seth Guetter 10 pass from Neil Eichten (Conversion failed), 2:35|
|W-Eichten 3 run (Conversion failed), 9:44|
|M-Gladis 28 run (Conversion failed), 5:18|
|Rushing: M/LHI-Jeff Gladis 22-209, Isaac Josephson 8-24; W-Blake Altermatt 21-112, Tanner Rohlik 7-30, Neil Eichten 1-3.|
|Passing (comp-att-yards-int): M/LHI-Austin Buysse 11-20-139-1; W-Eichten 15-26-128-3.|
|Receiving: M/LHI-Josephson 6-92, Alec Engler 3-26; W-Seth Guetter 5-49, Scott Jenniges 3-13, Caleb Salfer 2-50.|