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Screaming Eagles continue roll, crush Sting

Screaming Eagles defensive backs Rodney Springs (4) and Dante Mathis (18) break up a Minnesota Sting pass during their playoff game in Frazee last Saturday.1 / 2
Receiver Bert Smith (23) dishes out a stiff-arm against the Minnesota Sting Saturday afternoon.2 / 2

Even Mother Nature is having a tough time stopping the Lakes Area Screaming Eagles this summer.

The Eagles extended their 2010 winning streak to seven games, as they crushed the No. 3 seeded Minnesota Sting 36-0 in the Northern Power Football League playoffs to advance to the championship game Saturday in Menomenie, Wis.

Even the torrential rains and thunderstorms that pounded Frazee Saturday during the tilt, couldn't stop the Screaming Eagles' offense or defense.

All aspects of the game favored Lakes Area, as the Sting had only 11 total yards of offense, while the Screaming Eagles ate up 266 yards in the blowout.

By halftime, Lakes Area led 24-0, as bad weather came in. It was decided to keep playing into the second half, as the Eagles put up two more scores.

"What made the difference, was that this was our third meeting with the Sting and we knew them pretty well," said Lakes Area owner/quarterback Jason McCloskey. "They didn't change much offensively or defensively, and we had a good gameplan heading into it."

The Eagles were able to rush the ball in the mucky conditions, as Kyler Wegner keyed the ground game with 52 yards, while Shawn Peoples had 41.

That was enough to keep the Sting defense honest, as McCloskey was able to dink-and-dunk in the poor conditions, going 11-20 for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

"We hit a lot of bubble screens early on with Bert Smith and James Singer breaking some big ones," McCloskey said. "I hit James on a fourth and long pass play, which helped break open the game."

But the Eagles' defense had an absolutely dominating performance.

They recovered five fumbles by the Sting, while stuffing the visitors for negative six yards and only a 3-16 for 17 yards performance through the air.

The Sting had only three first downs, compared to the Eagles' 17.

Wegner also dominated the line, recording 4.5 sacks from his nose guard and defensive end positions. He also had six tackles for loss.

"We just went some aggressive coverage with our secondary and pinned our ears back and went for the quarterback," McCloskey said of the defensive effort.

The Screaming Eagles will make the trip east to Menomenie to face the Thunderhawks, with whom Lakes Area has split the season series.

The Eagles lost the first game 33-19, but downed the Hawks 42-16 on June 5 in Frazee.

"Their quarterback, Troy Young, is a good dynamic player who can make plays with his feet," McCloskey said. "They have a great defense, too. But we should be ready and we are jacked up to be in the championship game.

"We are just getting more confident and better in each game. The team unity is also the best I've had here."

The Screaming Eagles and Thunderhawks will face off at 5 p.m. for the third league championship.

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