MINNEOTA - Riding a five game win streak over Little Sioux Conference rival Adrian entering Friday night, the Minneota/Lincoln HI Vikings came into the game with a boat load of confidence and a solid game plan to neutralize the fifth-ranked Dragons. Unfortunately for the Vikings, an injury to starting center/line backer David Noyes forced the Vikings to throw out that game plan and enabled Adrian to pick up their first win over Minneota/Lincoln HI since 2007, 21-7.
The Vikings were also without starting left tackle Jordan Twedt, who sustained an injury earlier in the week during practice.
"Those two injuries on the line, we're thin there to begin with, and having those injuries hurt us definitely," Minneota/Lincoln HI head coach Chad Johnston said. "It made us scramble a little bit and took Coach (Matt) Myrvik out of his game plan. We had what I thought was a great game plan going into the game, but a lot of those game plan decisions involve David Noyes.
"He's a talented center. He can pull, he can do a lot of those things. With him out of the picture it kind of changed some of the things that we needed to do."
Without Noyes and Twedt, the Vikings were unable to establish their historically vaunted running game.
"We had some young guys on the line due to the injuries and just weren't confident with the run game. And unfortunately that allowed Adrian to do pin their ears back and go wild at us," Johnston said.
Adrian7 7 7 0-21
M/LH7 0 0 0-7
A-Nate Loosbrock 20 pass from Logan Rogers (Jake Tiede kick), 2:12
M-Alec Engler 53 pass from Austin Buysse (Niels Peterson kick), 0:42
A-Tiede 2 run (Tiede kick), 0:36
A-Tiede 1 run (Tiede kick), 5:31
Rushing: A-Jake Tiede 20-90.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): A-Logan Rogers 6-10-185-0; M-Austin Buysse 16-32-190-1.
Receiving: A-Nate Loosbrock 4-62.
Tackles: A-Tiede 12, Jake Diekmann 10, Jordan Pruss 10.
INT: A-Cody Polzine; M-None.
FR: A-None; M-Alec Engler.
Meanwhile, the Dragons took advantage of the Vikings' absences on defense.
After successfully converting two fourth downs, the first on fake punt, Adrian's Logan Rogers found Nate Loosbrock for a 20 yard touchdown pass with two minutes, 12 seconds left in the First Quarter. Jake Tiede's extra point put the Dragon's up 7-0.
"Early, defensively, we didn't recognize some formations," Johnston said. "That kind of got us. Obviously a fake punt, that keeps a drive going. And those are things that you can't afford to do."
The Vikings (1-1, 0-1 Little Sioux Conference), however, answered back on the following drive. Unable to get the running game started, the Vikings took to the air.
Quarterback Austin Buysse found Alec Engler for a 53-yard touch down strike up the side line. Engler slipped passed the defense and caught the ball with just 20 yards separating himself from the end zone. Adrian's Cody Polzine was unable to keep Engler out of the end zone, as he broke the plane with just 42 seconds left in the First Quarter. Niels Peterson's extra point evened the game at seven each.
Minneota would not find the scoreboard again, as Adrian clamped down on defense forcing Buysse into hurried throws for the last three quarters. Buysse finished the game 16-for-32 with 190 yards a touchdown and an interception to Polzine.
With Minneota's offense on the fritz (the Vikings had five drives end with three-and-out punts and three drives end in turnovers), the Dragons began to pound away with the lumbering Tiede.
The 6-foot-1, 210 pound senior ran for 90 yards in the game and two scores. His first touchdown, the eventual game winner, came on a two-yard plunge with just 36 seconds remaining in the half. Tiede's own extra point gave the Dragon's a 14-7 lead at the half.
After trading punts to open the second half, Tiede picked up his second touchdown on a one-yard run at the 5:31 mark of the Third Quarter.
Neither team would score in the Fourth Quarter, though Minneota came closest. With the game under five minutes remaining and the Vikings nearing the red zone, Polzine picked off Buysse to end the Vikings threat.
Johnston admitted that losing to Adrian is a bitter pill to swallow, but did note that some positives can be taken from the defeat.
"I think our kids needed to realize that week in and week out, you've got to be ready to play. This is a good conference. We've got good tradition here. We've had some good football teams. But we have a very young, unproven team this year."
Along with the winning streak over Adrian, the loss also broke a 24-game home winning streak for the Vikings.
Minneota/Lincoln HI will look to bounce back from the loss as they continue Little Sioux Conference play against the Russell-Tyler-Ruthon Knights in Tyler on Friday.