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Dragon WR Thomas scorches Screaming Eagles for 3 TD's

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sports Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Two scoring plays at the end of each of the first and second quarters -- along with a 63-yard halfback option pass -- was too much for the slipping Lakes Area Screaming Eagles to overcome Saturday against the South Metro Dragons.

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Once again playing with half a team, the Screaming Eagles were facing an uphill battle from the get-go on the Park of Cottage Grove High School football field, as the Dragons aired the ball out to key a 34-7 victory.

The game -- which was called at the 14:24 mark in the fourth quarter due to dangerous storms and lightning in the area -- saw the Eagles' secondary picked apart by South Metro quarterback Joe Stein and wideout Hisheen Thomas, who grabbed five receptions for 170 yards and three touchdowns.

"We didn't have our entire defensive front and many of our secondary players were playing out of position," said Lakes Area head coach and starting quarterback Jason McCloskey. "Last week against Duluth, we played with our backs to the wall and backed into a corner and came out and played well, despite having our top six players out with injury.

"But you can't play like that every week -- it starts catching up with you."

Lakes Area did come out early and set the tone by driving the first series of the game to the South Metro six yard line, before a field goal was blocked by the Dragons.

But an interception by Zach Sullinger gave the Eagles prime realty at the Dragon 26. McCloskey quickly found his favorite target -- wide receiver Mike Christensen -- on the next play for the 26-yard TD pass.

But that would be the only lead the Screaming Eagles sniffed, as South Metro started making big play after big play.

The first was a 36-yard interception returned for a touchdown on a McCloskey pass in the first quarter by Broderick Campbell, to give South Metro a 14-7 lead.

Thomas, who stands over 6-5, made a leaping catch for the Dragons' first touchdown on a 28-yard pass by Stein, with no time left in the first quarter.

That connection worked out well, as Thomas notched two more long touchdown catches in the third quarter, including 40 and 37-yard catches.

But two plays ultimately decided the Screaming Eagles' fate, as the team only trailed 14-7 with under 10 seconds remaining in the first half.

The first play in the sequence came on a third and 33 halfback option pass by Sean Hall to Thomas for a 63-yard gain late in the second quarter.

Hall was able to suck in the coverage on his fake run, thus freeing up Thomas deep in the Eagles' defensive backfield.

Later in the drive on fourth and four, Stein hit running back Sean Hall for a fourth-yard scoring pass with no time remaining on the clock for the 21-7 halftime lead, which deflated the Lakes Area team.

"I tried to rally the team at halftime, but that one really hurt," McCloskey said. "They just started getting the ball to their top athletes.

"That was just blown coverage on the halfback option pass, because you don't provide run support in the secondary until the halfback is past the line of scrimmage."

Thomas then put on the finishing touches with his 40 and 37-yard TD grabs from Stein in the third quarter.

With lightning and strong storms sweeping through the Minneapolis area, the game was called with 14:24 left in the fourth quarter, but the game was pretty well decided by then.

Neither team rushed the ball well, as Dave Moll led the Eagles' running attack with 32 yards and Hall had 31.

Stein accumulated four touchdown passes with 165 yards on a 10-18 day, while McCloskey was 9-24 for 137 yards and three interceptions.

Dropped passes hindered the majority of drives, once again, for Lakes Area.

Christensen led the way in receiving with 71 yards on four catches.

The Screaming Eagles (1-7) will host the Northern Power League leading Fargo-Moorhead Liberty (8-1) Saturday at 5 p.m. during the Frazee Turkey Days celebration.

Screaming Eagles stats

Lake Area at South?Metro, Saturday, July 19.

Dragons 34, Screaming Eagles 7

Lakes Area - 7 0 0 0 -- 7

South Metro - 14 7 13 0 -- 34

LA - Mike Christensen 26-yard pass from Jason McCloskey; Christensen kick. 1st quarter, 7:59.

SM - Hisheen Thomas 28-yard pass from Joe Stein; Jordan Malone kick. 1st, 1:58.

SM - Broderick Campbell 36-yard interception return for touchdown; Malone kick. 1st, 0:00.

SM - Sean Hall 4-yard pass from Stein; Malone kick. 2nd, 0:00.

SM - Thomas 40-yard pass from Stein; kick failed. 3rd, 10:39.

SM - Thomas 37-yard pass from Stein; Malone kick. 3rd, 3:40.

LA SM

First Downs 12 8

By Rushing 4 4

By passing 6 4

By penalty 2 0

Net Yards Rushing 77 76

No. rushes 21 18

Yards gained 90 89

Yards lost 13 13

Net Yards Passing 137 228

No. passes 25 19

Completed 9 11

Incomplete 13 7

Had intercepted 3 1

Interception yards 0 42

Total Offensive Plays 45 38

TOTAL NET YARDS 214 304

Kickoffs 2 5

Yards 40 220

Ave. kickoff 20 44

Kickoffs Returned 2 0

Yards 47 0

Ave. return 23.5 0

Fumbles 0 1

Fumbles lost 0 0

Penalties 7 8

Yards 55 61

* * *

Individual Rushing

Lakes Area --

Player NR YG YL Net

Dave Moll 5 32 0 32

Anthony Carpenter 8 31 0 31

Jason McCloskey 4 19 9 10

Kyler Wegner 4 8 4 4

South Metro -

Sean Hall 8 35 4 31

Johnny McMorris 6 36 6 30

Joe Stein 3 16 3 13

Ladimor Hervey 1 2 0 2

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

Lakes Area --

McCloskey 24 9 13 3 137 1

Christensen 1 0 0 1 0 0

South Metro -

Stein 18 10 7 1 165 4

Hall 1 1 0 0 63 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

Lakes Area --

Christensen 4 71 1

Carpenter 2 32 0

Moll 1 32 0

TJ?Ash 1 5 0

Wegner 1 3 0

South Metro -

Hisheen Thomas 5 170 3

Hall 5 51 1

James Lenoir Jr. 1 7 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

Christensen 2 40 20

South Metro -

Jordan Malone 5 220 44

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

No. 10 1 26 26

Terrel Flanigan 1 21 21

South Metro -

None

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

Lakes Area -

Zach Sullinger 1 0

South Metro -

B. Campbell 1 36

Linnell Hollis 1 6

Malone 1 0

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds.

Lakes Area -

Nick Kaputh 1 3

South Metro -

Darrin?Turley 1 8.

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