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Screaming Eagles go out in style

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

Everything came together for the Lakes Area Screaming Eagles in their last game of their inaugural season, which ended with an impressive 33-6 win over visiting Willmar in Frazee.

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The Screaming Eagles used timely big plays on fourth down, a stringent defense and key special team's play to pound the Mustangs in a game which was called due to unsafe lightning at the 3:13 mark in the third quarter.

"Everything just clicked," said head coach and starting quarterback Jason McCloskey. "We put it all together in that game. Those kind of opportunities have been there all year, but before, we had the dropped passes and miscommunication."

That wasn't the case Saturday, as the Screaming Eagles flew to their second win of the season, ending their schedule with a 2-7 record.

The tone was set on Willmar's first drive, which ended prematurely on the third play of the series with a fumble recovery by Lakes Area defensive lineman Joe Hass.

The turnover set the Eagles on the Mustang 27, which resulted in six points on the first play on the first of three touchdowns scored by running back Dave Moll.

The shifty and speedy back went untouched through the Willmar defense just two minutes into the contest.

"The blocking was very good and the main key were the wide receivers were blocking down field so well," Moll said. "It was fun out there tonight."

The hits kept coming for the Mustangs, who were forced to punt, giving the ball back to the Screaming Eagles, who marched 91 yards on a time-consuming 16-play drive.

The drive was helped by a Willmar penalty on fourth and eight, giving Lakes Area a fresh set of downs and a huge 18-yard pass play from McCloskey to Mike Christensen on fourth and 10.

On the play, Christensen hauled in McCloskey's pass down the visitor's sideline, broke a tackle and rambled to the one-yard line, where running back Anthony Carpenter promptly stuck the ball in on a dive play.

A Rob Peterson 64-yard punt highlighted the next set up downs, putting the home team on the Mustang 16 to start its second scoring drive.

"There was a penalty on the punt before and I took it, despite having the ball on our own 45," McCloskey added. "It just so happened to work in our favor the second time."

But it took a big fourth-down conversion to stick in the second TD.

The fourth-down conversion was the first of three, with the second coming on the next drive and ending on a Moll screen pass from McCloskey down the heart of the Willmar defense on fourth and 17.

Moll not only picked up the first down, he scored the Screaming Eagles' third touchdown, putting the home team up 20-0.

Every bounce went the Lakes Area way, as the extra-point kick attempt was a perfect example.

Christensen was set to kick the PAT, but a bad snap instead bounced past him. The kicker/wide receiver picked it up and found a hole to score the two-point conversion instead.

"Things just get more weirder and weirder," Christensen said after the two-point run.

Willmar did score its lone touchdown, with David Blom capping a 56-yard series on a fourth-yard dive.

Blom -- who ate up the Screaming Eagles' defense in the teams' first meeting for 200-plus rushing yards and three touchdowns -- was held in check by the LA defense, with the Mustang back accumulating only 62 yards rushing.

"The first time, (Blom) had three long runs and we couldn't finish our tackles," McCloskey said. "This time, we stressed just wrapping up and not going for the big hit."

With the game teetering on a blowout at 20-6, the start of the third quarter came the big exclamation point.

Newly-added Chauncey Ames put on an amazing display of swiftness, speed and agility on a 90-yard kickoff return, in which he ended up cutting against the grain twice.

The kickoff return put the Screaming Eagles up 27-6 and the route was on.

"That was a fun one to watch," Moll said of the return.

"The kid is a special talent and he was a good addition the last couple of weeks," said McCloskey of Ames, who also had a 39-yard rushing TD the week before against Fargo-Moorhead.

The scoring was capped on a shovel pass by McCloskey to Moll on fourth and six, resulting in that blowout and Moll's third TD of the game.

It was the second screen TD pass by the duo in the contest -- both on fourth and long.

"We've been working and using that screen pass to Moll all season and it's been relatively successful," McCloskey said. "I have the option to pitch it to Dave (Moll) or go left with it. I rarely had to use the left option.

"We've picked up a lot of first downs with that play."

Neither team rushed the ball particularly well, as Willmar had 71 yards and the Screaming Eagles 63.

But McCloskey had his best game passing, going for 159 yards on an 11-20 day and two touchdowns.

The game also snapped Christensen's five-game touchdown streak, but with Moll leading the way with four receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

The win put a nice cap to the Screaming Eagles' first season, which went well, despite having just two wins.

"It's huge getting this win," said offensive and defensive lineman Hass. "We came together as a team and we are starting to learn how to win. That makes me want to come back and work that much harder next year."

Added McCloskey, "We have shown the ability to play in this league. We won only two games, but we were right in there in four of our losses. We had some success and we started gelling as a team.

"The team's confidence started to show and we should be that much better next year."

Screaming Eagles results

Willmar at Lakes Area in Frazee, Saturday, Aug. 2.

Screaming Eagles 33, Mustangs 6

Willmar - 0 6 0 0 -- 6

Lakes Area - 6 14 13 0 -- 33

LA - Dave Moll 27-yard run; kick blocked. 13:00, 1st quarter.

LA - Anthony Carpenter 1-yard run; pass failed. 14:12, 2nd.

LA - Moll 23-yard pass from Jason McCloskey; Mike Christensen run. 8:09, 2nd.

Will - David Blom 4-yard run; pass failed. 4:12, 2nd.

LA - Chancey Ames 90-yard kickoff return; Christensen kick. 14:34, 3rd.

LA - Moll 38-yard pass from?McCloskey; kick failed. 7:19, 3rd.

LA Will

First Downs 11 6

By Rushing 3 4

By passing 5 2

By penalty 3 0

Net Yards Rushing 63 71

No. rushes 20 22

Yards gained 79 95

Yards lost 16 24

Net Yards Passing 159 36

No. passes 20 13

Completed 11 5

Incomplete 9 8

Had intercepted 0 0

Interception yards 0 0

Total Offensive Plays 40 39

TOTAL NET YARDS 222 107

Kickoffs 6 2

Yards 248 92

Ave. kickoff 41.3 46

Kickoffs Returned 2 6

Yards 114 56

Ave. return 57 9.3

Fumbles 0 1

Fumbles lost 0 1

Penalties 3 7

Yards 14 70

* * *

Individual Rushing

Lakes Area --

Player NR YG YL Net

Dave Moll 7 47 3 44

Anthony Carpenter 9 24 4 20

Chancey Ames 4 8 9 (-1)

Willmar -

David Blom 15 69 7 62

No. 10 7 26 17 9

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

LA --

McCloskey 20 11 9 0 159 2

Willmar -

No. 10 13 5 8 0 36 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

Lakes Area --

Moll 4 88 2

Mike Christensen 2 27 0

Jason Bachmann 2 21 0

Evan Lainey 1 16 0

TJ?Ash 1 5 0

Carpenter 1 2 0

Willmar -

Jarret McAllister 2 18 0

Blom 2 9 0

Roger Sackett 1 9 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

Carpenter 6 248 41.3

Willmar -

No. 27 2 92 46

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

Ames 2 114 57

Willmar -

McAllister 3 39 13

No. 76 1 9 9

Tim Ebbers 1 8 8

Alberto Espinoza 1 0 0

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

Lakes Area -

None

Willmar -

None

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

Lakes Area -

Brian Schroeer 1 11

Ben Geones 1 2

Terrel Flanigan .5 4

Gemenie Strehlow .5 4

Willmar -

None.

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