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The Lakers will be hosting the Section 8-4A semifinal game against Thief River Falls Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. Photo by - Brian Basham

Top-seeded Lakers hope to continue undefeated streak

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On its way to an undefeated regular season record, the Class 4A No. 3 ranked Detroit Lakes football team added Thief River Falls as one of its eight wins with a 24-6 road victory Sept. 14.

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The No. 4 seeded Prowlers (5-4) will try and return the favor when they travel to DL's Mollberg Field Saturday for the Section 8-4A semifinals, starting at 7 p.m.

The Lakers will have the benefit of enjoying a bye round after securing the top seed with their 8-0 record.

The Prowlers, on the other hand, had to play in the rain Tuesday, but came out with a convincing 41-14 win over visiting No. 5 Little Falls.

So it will be a quick turnaround for the Prowlers, while the Lakers anxiously await their first playoff game.

In the other quarterfinal game, No. 3 Fergus Falls escaped an upset by No. 6 East Grand Forks, winning by the narrow margin of 21-18.

For DL, its 24-6 game was a typical win for the season.

The Laker defense was dominant, and displayed it with plays including a 60-yard touchdown return by secondary player Sam Champa with 17.3 seconds left in the first half.

That momentum shift put DL up 12-0 at halftime, and the Lakers added two more touchdowns by junior quarterback Michael Herzog to secure a 24-0 advantage, before TRF scored on a 19-yard pass from Nick Hoffard to Logan Johnson.

The Prowler defense was up to the task, as well, as they limited the Lakers to a season-low 90 yards of total rushing.

Herzog did have his first solid passing performance, as he went 8-18 for 157 yards.

But since that third game of the season, both teams have improved.

The Lakers' offense has become more versatile, in part through Herzog's power rushing and an effective passing attack.

The junior QB has since had two 200-plus yards rushing, while accumulating 1,024 yards on the ground for a 4.9 ypc average. He has also reached the end zone 16 times.

He has received some help attacking the middle of the defense from junior running back Jarret Nosal, who has 610 rushing yards on 111 carries.

Nosal, along with senior slotback Stephen Erb (197 rushing yards), have kept defenses honest to the run, which has opened up the top for Herzog to strike.

The passing game has seen Herzog hit nine times for touchdowns, while passing for 594 yards. He has thrown five interceptions, but the Laker defense has created nine picks themselves.

DL has a good advantage in turnover ratio, winning that category by a 16-to-9 margin.

The Laker defense has also been offensive, with three interceptions returned for touchdowns, which has aided the team in outscoring their opponents by a hefty 247-96 edge.

Erb has also keyed the special teams, by being a threat on kickoffs. He is averaging 24.9 yards per return, which has set up the Laker offense in favorable field position.

The Lakers have crept up the state rankings all season and finished No. 3 overall, behind undefeated DeLaSalle and Hutchinson.

Fergus Falls will visit No. 2 Rocori (5-3) in the other semifinal tilt, while the Section 8-4A championship will be Thursday, Nov. 1, inside the Fargodome, starting at 8 p.m.

Laker season stats

The 2012 Detroit Lakes football final regular season stats: Record 8-0.

Detroit Lakes 22, Hermantown 7

Detroit Lakes 21, Pequot Lakes 0

Detroit Lakes 24, Thief River Falls 6

Detroit Lakes 48, Staples-Motley 0

Detroit Lakes 28, East Grand Forks 7

Detroit Lakes 40, Park Rapids 22

Detroit Lakes 36, Perham 28

Detroit Lakes 28, Crookston 20

Lakers 247, Opponents 96

Opponents - 21 28 18 29 -- 96

Detroit Lakes - 52 99 46 50 -- 247

Scoring:

Michael Herzog: 98 points (16 rushing touchdowns, 1 2-point conversion run).

Kirk McLeod: 30 points (4 receiving touchdowns, 1 interception return)

Jarret Nosal: 30 points (5 rushing touchdown)

Stephen Erb: 24 points (1 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 interception return touchdowns)

Christian Tigges: 15 points (15-18 PAT kicks)

Casey Paskey: 12 points (2 receiving touchdown)

Sam Champa: 9 points (1 interception return touchdown, 3-4 PAT kicks).

Derek Long: 6 points (1 receiving touchdown).

A.J. Matter: 6 points (3 2-point conversions catches)

Michael Herrmann: 6 points (1 receiving touchdown)

Christian Hedstrom: 6 points (1 rushing touchdown)

TEAM: 4 points (2 safeties)

Austin Weber: 1 point (1-2 PAT kicks).

DL Opp

First Downs 112 77

By Rushing 98 47

By passing 10 25

By penalty 4 5

Net Yards Rushing 2012 1165

No. rushes 367 270

Yards gained 2141 1278

Yards lost 129 113

Yards per rush avg. 5.5 4.3

Net Yards Passing 618 575

No. passes 66 134

Completed 30 51

Incomplete 29 77

Had intercepted 5 9

Interception yards 225 5

Total Offensive Plays 456 449

TOTAL NET YARDS 2630 1740

Kickoffs 44 22

Yards 1950 793

Ave. kickoff 44.3 36.0

Kickoffs Returned 14 34

Yards 306 566

Ave. return 21.8 16.6

Fumbles 17 15

Fumbles lost 4 7

Penalties 43 34

Yards 353 253

* * *

Individual Rushing

DL --

Player NR YG YL Net

Michael Herzog 205 1115 91 1024

Jarret Nosal 111 625 15 610

Stephen Erb 22 197 0 197

Christian Hedstrom 8 96 6 90

Forrest Schleske 5 41 0 41

Casey Paskey 3 35 0 35

Jeff Gailfus 6 18 3 15

Michael Herrmann 1 6 0 6

Alex Webber 1 5 0 5

Brandon Hofer 2 1 0 1

Brandon Dahring 2 2 2 0

Dylan Bremseth 1 0 2 (-2)

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

DL --

Herzog 65 29 29 5 594 9

Hedstrom 1 1 0 0 24 1

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

DL --

Kirk McLeod 12 263 4

Derek Long 7 167 1

Stephen Erb 5 104 2

Paskey 3 63 2

Brandon Dahring 2 21 0

Herrmann 1 24 1

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Christian Tigges 34 1559 45.9

Sam Champa 9 361 40.1

Austin Weber 1 30 30

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

DL --

Erb 12 299 24.9

Alex Webber 1 4 4

McLeod 1 3 3

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

DL -

Erb 4 38

Champa 2 74

McLeod 2 72

Bremseth 1 41

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

DL -

Brandon Johnson 2 14

Jason Griego 1 11

Tyler Gebhart 1.5 12

Nick Groth 1 5

Kirby Siewert .5 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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