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Lakers take it to the air to crush Duluth Central

Laker running back Nate Baker (22) runs through a Duluth Central defender on his way to a seven yard touchdown run in the first quarter of Friday night's game at Mollberg Field. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)1 / 4
Laker senior tight end Brock Johnson snares a Joe Mollberg pass during DL's win over Duluth Central. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)2 / 4
Laker quarterback Joe Mollberg throws a pass late in the first half of Friday night's game against Duluth Central. (Taylor Blank/DL Newspapers)3 / 4
Junior linebacker Bryce Dutton. left, and sophomore Brian Labat (6) take down Duluth Central's Justin Luczak (28) in the first half Friday night. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)4 / 4

The Detroit Lakes football team had a few things to air out in its fourth game of the season, and it came at the expense of visiting Duluth Central.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Mollberg had a coming out party of sorts in the form of throwing three touchdown passes, along with 236 yards and an 11-20 evening against an overmatched Trojan defense.

The aerial success by the Lakers, combined with strong defensive effort, was more than enough to squash Duluth Central 34-12 and bring the Lakers back to .500 on the year at 2-2.

"When the receivers got open, I guess I was just lucky enough to hit them," Mollberg said of his evening. "The offensive line also gave me all the time in the world to pass."

His 236 yards more than doubled his previous season high, while Mollberg's favorite target -- junior Josh Stalberger -- also had another productive evening in catching two touchdowns, his fourth and fifth of the season.

"We thought we'd try something different at the beginning," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "We thought we could run and pass it, but we wanted to try and throw it a little more.

"We were trying to spread it out and take the pressure off our running game."

But it wasn't just a catch and throw show by Mollberg and his receivers, but an array of passes which knocked the Trojan defense on their heels.

Several quick hits in DL's first two drives led to an abundance of yards after the catch for the Lakers, and the strikes started early.

DL's first play of the game, a 33-yard catch by Tanner Duncan, set the tone for the remainder of the evening.

It took six plays for the Lakers to find the end zone, ending on a Nate Baker eight-yard scamper at the 9:42 mark of the first quarter.

Mollberg hit Stalberger on drive two on a third and 10 for a 12-yard gain, then nailed senior tight end Brock Johnson on a quick out.

Johnson was able to use his speed past the second level and run past the safety down the visitor's sideline for a 43-yard score and a 14-0 advantage, after a pair of Steven Labine extra point kicks.

With the Trojan defense giving the Laker receivers a nice cushion, Mollberg continued to pick apart the field, as Mason took a pitch and catch 23 yards, followed by a 15-yard gainer by Stalberger.

Johnson hit the seam and was hit by Mollberg for a 17-yard gain, which was followed by a 30-yard quick-out pattern to Stalberger, who broke one tackle and ran the rest of the way for the 30-yard score and the 20-0 DL advantage, 8:25 into the second quarter.

"The linebackers were coming up to the line and we put some good fakes on them to open the receivers up," Mollberg said of the space he was able to use in the second quarter.

The Trojans, who were limited to 27 total yards leading up to their last drive, were able to march 89 yards on a time-consuming 11-play series.

Big runs of 19 and 16 yards by fullback Joey Janchar, along with a 32-yard pass from Anthony Buchberger to Alex Garnett on 4th and eight, gave some life to the Duluth Central sidelines.

Scatback Jeff Ohaju juked his way down the DL sideline for a 20-yard rushing score to put the Trojans on the board and give them some momentum heading into the second half, down 20-6.

But that momentum quickly came crashing down on a blocked punt by Johnson, which gave DL the ball on the Trojan 30.

DL used its ground game, taking five plays to score its fourth TD of the contest, capped on a Mason 14-yard rush around right tackle -- his longest touchdown run of the season.

The final blow came early in the fourth quarter, where Mollberg lofted a fade-route pass to Stalberger, who skied over his Duluth Central counterpart to haul in the 18-yard score on fourth and goal to put DL up 34-6.

"I got the pass off and Josh broke free and had the height to haul it in," Mollberg said of the backbreaking touchdown score.

Duluth Central added one late touchdown on a Steve Knuth 20-yard run.

The Lakers had modest rushing success, rushing the ball 30 times for 146 yards. Mason led the way with 55 yards on eight carries.

Johnson had four receptions for 105 yards, and a score as well.

"I was pleased with the entire team tonight," Motschenbacher said. "They controlled the game for most of the night, we had a good plan defensively and the kids executed it well."

Janchar finished with 99 yards rushing, while Buchberger threw the ball only six times for 60 yards, with more than a few of the snaps coming out of the Wildcat formation.

The Lakers will host Duluth Denfeld for their third North Country Conference matchup of the season Friday at DL's Homecoming game, starting at 7 p.m.

Laker results

Duluth Central at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Sept. 25.

Lakers 34, Trojans 12

Duluth Central - 0 6 0 6 -- 12

Detroit Lakes - 14 6 7 7 -- 34

DL - Nate Baker 8-yard run; Steven Labine kick. 9:42, 1st quarter.

DL - Brock Johnson 43-yard pass from Joe Mollberg; Labine kick. 1st.

DL - Josh Stalberger 30-yard pass from Mollberg; kick failed. 8:25, 2nd.

DC - Jeff Ohaju 20-yard run; pass failed. 1:09, 2nd.

DL - Alex Mason 14-yard run; Labine kick. 6:26, 3rd.

DL - Stalberger 18-yard pass from Mollberg; Labine kick. 4th.

DC - Steve Knuth 20-yard run; pass failed. 1:26, 4th.

DL DC

First Downs 13 11

By Rushing 6 9

By passing 7 2

By penalty 0 0

Net Yards Rushing 146 187

No. rushes 30 46

Yards gained 151 225

Yards lost 5 38

Net Yards Passing 236 60

No. passes 22 6

Completed 11 2

Incomplete 9 3

Had intercepted 1 1

Interception yards 24 0

Total Offensive Plays 52 57

TOTAL NET YARDS 382 247

Kickoffs 6 4

Yards 300 161

Ave. kickoff 50 40.3

Kickoffs Returned 3 4

Yards 41 79

Ave. return 13.7 19.8

Fumbles 0 3

Fumbles lost 0 1

Penalties 9 2

Yards 70 10

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Alex Mason 8 55 0 55

Nate Baker 8 49 0 49

Joe Mollberg 5 24 3 21

Dominic McAllister 3 14 0 14

Casey Fonder 2 4 0 4

Logan Baker 1 3 0 3

Brian Labat 2 2 1 1

Steven Labine 1 0 1 (-1)

Duluth Central -

Joey Janchar 16 101 2 99

Steve Knuth 9 51 4 47

Alec Theis 7 28 0 28

Jeff Ohaju 5 29 9 20

Kyle Johanssen 2 13 0 13

Anthony Buchberger 1 0 2 (-1)

Nate Beaulieu 2 0 6 (-6)

Justin Luczak 4 4 15 (-11)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 20 11 8 1 236 3

Brock Johnson 1 0 1 0 0 0

Duluth Central -

Buchberger 6 2 3 1 60 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Brock Johnson 4 105 1

Josh Stalberger 3 57 2

Tanner Duncan 2 45 0

Mason 1 23 0

N. Baker 1 6 0

Duluth Central -

Alex Garnett 1 32 0

Joe Rice 1 28 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nate Bausman 6 300 50

Duluth Central -

Ohaju 3 121 40.3

NA 1 40 40

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Jon Gilson 1 16 16

Rick Hutchinson 1 16 16

N. Baker 1 9 9

Duluth Central -

Ohaju 3 59 19.7

Rice 1 20 20

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Andy Pedersen 1 24

Duluth Central -

None.

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Mason 1 2

Duluth Central -

None.

Detroit Lakes 2009 season stats: 2-2.

Lakers 114, Opponents 88

Detroit Lakes - 27 34 21 19 13 -- 80

Opponents - 14 13 28 19 14 -- 88

Scoring leaders

Alex Mason -- 30 points (5 rushing TD).

Josh Stalberger -- 30 points (5 receiving TD).

Joe Mollberg -- 12 points (2 rushing TD).

Brock Johnson -- 16 points (2 receiving TD, 2 PAT reception).

Logan Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

Steven Labine -- 8 points (8-12 PAT kicks).

Nate Baker -- 6 points (1 rushing TD).

Connor McLeod -- 6 points (1 interception return).

DL Opp

First Downs 47 51

By Rushing 27 27

By passing 18 21

By penalty 2 3

Net Yards Rushing 695 695

Avg. per rush 4.5 4.8

No. rushes 155 144

Yards gained 748 801

Yards lost 53 106

Net Yards Passing 547 557

No. passes 65 84

Completed 29 43

Incomplete 32 33

Had intercepted 4 8

Interception yards 203 93

Total Offensive Plays 231 240

TOTAL NET YARDS 1242 1252

Kickoffs 19 16

Yards 792 642

Ave. kickoff 41.7 40.1

Kickoffs Returned 11 12

Yards 194 243

Ave. return 17.6 20.3

Fumbles 8 6

Fumbles lost 5 3

Penalties 33 30

Yards 225 225

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Logan Baker 35 258 0 258

Alex Mason 50 248 0 248

Joe Mollberg 50 166 40 126

Nate Baker 12 56 11 45

Dominic McAllister 3 14 0 14

Casey Fonder 2 4 0 4

Brian Labat 2 2 1 1

Steven Labine 1 0 1 (-1)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 63 28 31 4 520 6

Brock Johnson 2 1 1 0 27 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Josh Stalberger 14 249 5

Brock Johnson 8 188 2

L. Baker 3 31 0

Tanner Duncan 2 45 0

Mason 1 23 0

N. Baker 1 6 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Nathan Bausman 15 701 46.7

Steven Labine 4 91 22.8

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Erik Larson 3 76 25.3

Connor McLeod 3 46 15.3

Nate Baker 3 40 13.3

Jon Gilson 1 16 16

Rick Hutchinson 1 16 16

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

McLeod 2 89

Alex Feldt 2 66

Andy Pedersen 2 26

Tanner Duncan 1 31

Brian Labat 1 0

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Justin Holm 1.5 18

Nathan DuChene 1 6

Andrew Johnson 1 3

Paul Voeltz 1 2

Mason 1 2

Davis Johnson .5 8

Opponets -

Sacks 3 21.

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