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Laker defensive lineman Andrew Johnson (74) and linebacker Josh Eggebraaten (28) take down Robbinsdale Armstrong quarterback Erik Ruhland (5) during the first half of Friday night's game at Mollberg Field. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Six interceptions key Laker's first win

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Six interceptions key Laker's first win
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Coming into Friday's game against Robbinsdale Armstrong, the Detroit Lakes football team was prepared to face a no-huddle spread offense.

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Instead, it was the Laker defense which did the spreading -- as in spreading out six interceptions to key their first win of the season, 20-6.

Senior linebacker Alex Feldt had two picks, including one which he returned 66 yards to set up DL's third and final touchdown in the fourth quarter -- effectively breaking the Falcons' back in the process.

"We practiced against the no-huddle spread offense all week, so we knew what was coming," Feldt said. "We played physical against them, played hard and just played Laker football, just like we do every week."

Mixing up coverage and putting pressure on Robbinsdale Armstrong quarterback Erik Ruhland was the perfect recipe for the half dozen interceptions, as well.

"We just mixed up our man and zone coverage and we caught (Ruhland) at times with it. There were times where he thought he was throwing in man coverage and we were in zone and that's how you get interceptions," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "I thought it was a real good defensive game by (DL)."

The Falcons threw the ball and threw it a lot. They finished by tossing it 40 times, completing 21 for 228 yards, but had a 6-to-1 interception to TD ratio.

Robbinsdale also used a no huddle offense throughout the game and relied on rushing the ball in the first half, as running back Prince Kanu had 13 carries for 83 yards.

But DL's defense set their offense up with good field position for three interceptions, to give DL a 14-0 halftime lead.

It was the Lakers' second interception of the game, coming from defensive back Brian Labat, which gave DL a first and 10 on the Falcon 34.

After stalling out in RA territory in the drive before, sophomore running back Alex Mason took it through the right tackle hole for 22 yards on third and one, and later capped the drive with a one-yard bull rush.

DL continued to get the ball in Falcon territory, including at the 25 on a Connor McLeod interception returned 69 yards, but a fumble at the Robbinsdale five ended that drive.

Drive after drive in the first half, the Laker defense continue to defy the Robbinsdale offense, forcing a punt late in the second quarter, where DL took over at the Falcons' 42.

With time ticking away, and the Lakers faced with a fourth and seven from the Robbinsdale 27, a little trickery went a long way.

DL sophomore quarterback Joe Mollberg dropped back in the pocket, then flipped the ball to a motioning tight end Brock Johnson, who pulled back and let a perfect pass fly to wideout Josh Stahlberger.

The lanky receiver broke free from his coverage and caught Johnson's pass in stride in the back of the end zone for the 14-0 lead after a Steven Labine kick, with 31 seconds left in the half.

"Joe just pitched the ball to me and I looked for Josh, who had his guy beat and I was able to get the ball to him," Johnson said.

Down by two scores, the Falcons tried to spread their wings and go to the air, basically abandoning their ground game with just seven carries in the entire second half.

The back breaker came late in the third quarter, when defensive lineman Justin Holm put a hard hit on Ruhland, who was attempting a pass down the middle of the field.

Instead, it fluttered about 10 yards short and into the hands of Feldt, for his second interception.

He rambled to the Falcon two-yard line, where Mollberg finished it off by hitting Johnson in the seam on a pop pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.

"That was a long run," Feldt said of his interception. "I thought I was going to make it in."

Holm, who is bringing that physical presence the Lakers have been needing, said due to DL's size -- or lack of it -- technique is coming into play.

"When the (offensive linemen) are in their two-point stance, they are taught to go up, so with us not being all too big, we are going low and right past them," Holm said. "The coaches have said we need to be physical this year. If the coaches want us to be physical, that's what we'll be, more physical."

Kanu finished the game with 104 rushing yards after his 83 in the first half, while he picked up 91 yards in receiving -- most of them on screen plays.

"When you rush the quarterback, it opens up the screen, so it's give and take," Motschenbacher said.

Mason led the way on the ground for the Lakers with 82 yards, while Mollberg was 5-13 for 94 yards and a touchdown.

The Lakers were also stymied for the second time in as many weeks on a fourth and goal play, this one coming in the third quarter, where they couldn't punch the ball in on four plays from the five-yard line.

"Robbinsdale is a big, physical 5A school, but when we are on the goal line, we need to find ways to get it in there," Motschenbacher said.

Other Lakers who came up with interceptions included Tanner Duncan and Andy Pedersen.

The Lakers (1-1) will open conference play Friday when they travel to Grand Rapids for a 7 p.m. start.

Lakers 20, Falcons 6

Robbinsdale 0 0 0 6 -- 6

Detroit Lakes 7 7 0 6 -- 20

DL - Alex Mason 1-yard run; Steven Labine kick. 1:18, 1st quarter.

DL - Josh Stahlberger 27-yard pass from Brock Johnson; Labine kick. :31, 2nd.

DL - Johnson 1-yard pass from Joe Mollberg; kick blocked. 4th quarter.

RA - Joe Lewis 9-yard pass from No. 18. 2:18, 4th.

DL RA

First Downs 10 13

By Rushing 6 4

By passing 4 9

By penalty 0 0

Net Yards Rushing 129 111

No. rushes 47 22

Yards gained 145 126

Yards lost 16 15

Net Yards Passing 121 228

No. passes 14 40

Completed 6 21

Incomplete 8 13

Had intercepted 0 6

Interception yards 168 0

Total Offensive Plays 63 63

TOTAL NET YARDS 250 339

Kickoffs 4 2

Yards 91 68

Ave. kickoff 22.8 34

Kickoffs Returned 1 0

Yards 15 0

Ave. return 15 0

Fumbles 5 1

Fumbles lost 2 0

Penalties 3 6

Yards 15 60

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Alex Mason 14 82 0 82

Logan Baker 13 25 0 25

Joe Mollberg 20 38 16 22

Robbinsdale Armstrong -

Prince Kanu 16 111 7 104

No. 18 4 15 5 10

Joe Lewis 1 0 0 0

Erik Ruhland 1 0 3 (-3)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Mollberg 13 5 8 0 94 1

Brock Johnson 1 1 0 0 27 1

Robbinsdale Armstrong -

Ruhland 34 18 10 6 210 0

No. 18 6 3 3 0 18 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Stahlberger 3 50 1

Johnson 3 71 1

Robbinsdale Armstrong -

Kanu 7 94 0

J. Lewis 5 54 1

Marcus Lewis 4 50 0

Talimatou Peniatu 2 15 0

Morgan Hampel 2 4 0

CJ Ankrah 1 9 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Steven Labine 4 91 22.8

Robbinsdale Armstrong-

Ryan Johnsrud 2 68 34

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Connor McLeod 1 15 15

Robbinsdale Armstrong-

None

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Alex Feldt 2 66

McLeod 1 69

Tanner Duncan 1 31

Andy Pedersen 1 2

Brian Labat 1 0

Robbinsdale Armstrong -

None

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Andrew Johnson 1 3

Paul Voeltz 1 2

Robbinsdale Armstrong -

Jon Smith 1 10.

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