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JOE MOLLBERG breaks free into the Grand Rapids' secondary Friday evening. The Lakers established a ground game and will key on it against Fargo Davies.

Hoping to build off of 1st win

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With their first win of the season finally in the books, the Detroit Lakes football team now can start making plans of trying to put together a winning streak and start making a climb in the Section 8-4A rankings.

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Although the Lakers are sitting at 1-2, there isn't a team in the section which is pulling away, with Alexandria holding the top spot with 28 points and a 3-0 record.

But the Cardinals play in the rugged Central Lakes Conference and have some tough matchups against Bemidji and Moorhead.

But it's not the other teams Laker head coach Flint Motschenbacher is worried about, it's the improvement of his squad.

"We feel a lot better after gaining our first win," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "I feel good for the kids, especially, because they have been putting in the work."

The Lakers 27-6 defeat of previously ranked Grand Rapids Friday gave a peek of what is to come -- hopefully -- in the next five games.

Defensively, the Lakers clamped down on a high-flying Thunderhawk offense, which picked up only 270 total yards.

In Grand Rapids two previous games, they accumulated 90 points, but DL was able to control the line of scrimmage, limiting the visitors to 30 yards rushing.

That enabled the front seven to start throwing the dice and rush Grand Rapids' quarterback Austin Pohlen, who was sacked three times -- including a crucial 14-yard loss by linebacker Logan Baker on fourth and short on DL's seven.

"Once we were able to starting mixing in our blitzes, it took the timing away from their passing game," Motschenbacher said. "We didn't always get to (Pohlen), but we had a good rush on him.

"If he wasn't elusive as he was, he would have been hit a lot in the pocket."

The Lakers also rediscovered their rushing attack, which picked up 275 yards and led by junior running back Alex Mason with 135 yards on 19 carries -- which nearly doubled his production in his first two games.

Junior quarterback Joe Mollberg also eclipsed the century mark on the ground with 106 yards on 20 carries and also threw for 100 on a 5-12 night.

The offensive line was able to open some gaps between the tackles for Mason, while Mollberg exposed openings around end for some modest to big gains, creating a bevy of third and short situations.

"We had a solid offensive game," Motschenbacher added. "We did have two of our drives killed by penalties and you can't have those.

"The offensive line played better, but still have some things to clean up."

Next up is the first-year program of Fargo Davies, which will be played Friday at 7 p.m. on Mollberg Field.

Davies is in an obvious transition phase, being in its first year of existence, and will bring a load of young players.

They are 0-4 on the season, but still bring some talent, in which the Lakers can't fall asleep on.

"We saw them play against Shanley in their opener and they have really improved since then," Motschenbacher said. "Our concern, though, is for us to get better, we can only worry about us."

Offensively, the Lakers nearly doubled their numbers statistically against Grand Rapids.

Mollberg leads in rushing with 195 yards on 56 carries, while Mason now has 177 yards on 35 carries on the season.

The Laker QB also improved to 228 yards passing and has gone 15-34 with three interceptions and one touchdown.

"We are slowly getting the passing game going will bring it along as the season progresses," Motschenbacher said.

Senior defensive end Jon Gilson also leads the team with three sacks for 25 yards lost.

The Lakers are currently tied with St. Cloud Apollo for fourth place in the section standings with 11 points.

Alexandria leads the way with 28 points, followed by Sartell at 21, Sauk Rapids at 20 and Little Falls at 12.

The bottom two teams include Rocori with five points and Fergus Falls with three.

Laker stats

Detroit Lakes 2010 season stats: 1-2.

Shanley 23, Lakers 21

Bismarck 49, Lakers 7

Lakers 27, Grand Rapids 6

Lakers 55, Opponents 78

Opponents - 29 20 16 13 -- 78

Detroit Lakes - 7 21 7 20 -- 55

Scoring

Joe Mollberg (24 points) - 4 rushing touchdowns.

Alex Mason (12 points) - 2 rushing touchdowns.

Steven Labine (7 points) - 7-8 PAT kicks.

Brian Labat (6 points) - 1 receiving touchdown.

Logan Baker (6 points) - 1 rushing touchdown.

DL Opp

First Downs 39 43

By Rushing 30 24

By passing 7 16

By penalty 2 3

Net Yards Rushing 538 532

Avg. per rush 4.6 5.5

No. rushes 117 97

Yards gained 584 595

Yards lost 46 63

Net Yards Passing 228 436

No. passes 34 72

Completed 15 35

Incomplete 16 36

Had intercepted 3 1

Interception yards 15 36

Total Offensive Plays 169 185 TOTAL NET YARDS 766 968

Kickoffs 12 14

Yards 444 656

Ave. kickoff 37.0 46.9

Kickoffs Returned 12 10

Yards 144 117

Ave. return 12.0 11.7

Fumbles 10 3

Fumbles lost 3 2

Penalties 12 16

Yards 68 98

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Joe Mollberg 56 229 34 195

Alex Mason 35 177 0 177

Nate Baker 8 67 0 67

Logan Baker 11 63 7 56

Casey Fonder 3 26 0 26

Nick Griffith 1 14 0 14

Jon Gilson 1 8 0 8

Noah Kitzman 1 0 0 0

Bryce Dutton 1 0 5 (-5)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 34 15 16 3 228 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Josh Stalberger 6 57 0

Brian Labat 2 77 1

Mason 2 24 0

Rick Hutchinson 2 21 0

N. Baker 1 49 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nate Bausman 12 444 37.0

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Connor McLeod 6 73 12.2

N. Baker 4 52 13

L. Baker 1 12 12

Tanner Twigg 1 7 7

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

McLeod 1 15

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Gilson 3 25

L. Baker 1 14

Luke Patton 1 6

Casey Vanata 1 3.

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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