Lakers unleash another scoring barrage at EGF
The No. 4AAAA Detroit Lakes football team continued to put up big numbers in a 42-14 thrashing over East Grand Forks on the road Friday, Oct. 12 to improve to 7-0 on the season.
DL has scored at least 36 points in all seven games and are averaging 42.4 while allowing 14.7 points per game. Friday night played out to the average win this year, but each notch in the win column is a big deal to the players compared to what they witnessed last season.
“It’s a lot better; we definitely had a lot of doubters from last year and we’ve shown them what we can do,” Laker quarterback Max Gunderson said. “Anything is possible. We came out 7-0, looking to be 8-0 after next Wednesday.”
Gunderson has matured since opening the season as a first-year starter at Rocori in week one and with a backfield loaded with weapons, a mean, controlling offensive line and a stout defense, he has plenty of backup to make this season a big success.
“Gundy is a really good leader for us and my favorite thing about him is I have him in fourth hour weight training and he comes to school on Mondays and already has questions about the opposing team,” DL head coach Josh Omang said. “I think there were some questions coming into this year about who was going to be our quarterback and what was going to go on there. That alone, that leadership and the way he manages our offense and knows what we want to do is a big deal and the kids know that.”
The Green Wave did not hand the Lakers the game stifling DL’s opening drive by turning the offense over on downs in the red zone.
DL’s defense stormed the field and allowed no yards on three plays forcing a quick punt to snatch back momentum.
“They’re a bunch of animals,” Gunderson said of the defenders. “It’s unreal.”
The offense kicked into high gear moving 53 yards on five plays culminating in a nine-yard Reed Mace touchdown run and the first of six successful point-after kicks by Braeden Wimmer for a 7-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
DL’s offense hit full stride in the second quarter.
While East Grand Forks struggled to put together first downs, the Lakers scored on three straight possessions.
Gunderson found Jake Bettcher on a 10-yard scoring pass to cap a five-play, 56-yard drive. Mace had a 31-yard run to set the Lakers up at the 10-yard line.
The Green Wave managed to get into Laker territory but a fumble by quarterback Carter Beck ended up in the hands of DL’s Hunter Cheska at the Laker 27.
Nine plays later, DL had moved 61 yards and Mace scored again on a 10-yard run to go up 21-0 with 4:45 remaining until halftime.
DL’s defense camped in the Green Wave backfield on the ensuing drive forcing back-to-back losses totaling 14 yards and forcing another punt.
Gunderson found Bettcher for 16 yards on third and 10 to get to the Laker 40-yard line. Thompson did the rest on a 60-yard sprint down the right sideline for a 28-0 lead that DL took to the half.
Gunderson was calm under center and watching Mace, Bettcher and Thompson hit the end zone made for an entertaining first half.
“It’s awesome just to run the offense, sometimes not even doing much,” Gunderson said. “Just handing the ball off on a drive.”
Rather than beat the running game into the heart of more and more defenders at the line, the Lakers found plenty of success passing, something they know is going to be needed as games get tighter in the postseason.
“We definitely have to work on it,” said Gunderson. “We could have just run it, but we had to work on it a little bit because we’re going to need it in the playoffs.”
The Lakers used a number of sets and worked out of the spread in the second half. East Grand Forks, like many opposing defenses, stacked the box to try to contain Thompson, Mace and Gabe Hanninen. Gunderson connected on six of 11 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just have to make them pay for that,” said Omang. “We threw the ball well. Each week we have some stuff we think we can get on people. Some of it we executed and some we didn’t. We can’t be afraid to throw when we need to and that makes us dangerous.”
East Grand Forks ran 11 plays but could not get past midfield to open the third quarter.
On the Lakers second play of the half, Gunderson and Mace hooked up on a pass over the middle that Mace turned into a 65-yard touchdown reception and a 35-0 lead.
DL’s final score came with six minutes to play on a Thompson one-yard run around right end to cap an 11-play, 51-yard drive.
The Green Wave got two late scores: a Julian Benson one-yard reception from Beck and an Ethan Trebil 54-yard run.
DL had 441 yards of total offense. Thompson was 17-174 with two touchdowns and is 108 yards shy of Mark Leslie’s single-season rushing record.
Mace rushed 16 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two balls for 70 yards and a score. Bettcher had three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Brady Morris and Charles Barnett led the defense with seven tackles each.
East Grand had 184 yards of offense, 134 on the ground.
DL ends the regular season at home against a struggling 0-7 Thief River Falls Prowlers squad Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.
There were no week seven head-to-head Section 8-4A matchups Friday night.
Fergus Falls slipped by Park Rapids at home 13-12.
St. Cloud Apollo defeated Big Lake on the road 24-14.
Rocori lost at No. 3AAAA Hutchinson 25-8.
Little Falls was blown out at home 48-8 by New London-Spicer.
DL 7 21 7 7 - 42
EGF 0 0 0 14 - 14
D - Reed Mace 9 Yd Run (Wmmer Kick)
D - Jacob Bettcher 10 Pass From Max Gunderson (Wimmer Kick)
D - Mace 10 Run (Wimmer Kick)
D - Isaiah Thompson 60 Run (Wimmer Kick)
D - Mace 65 Pass from Max Gunderson (Wimmer Kick)
E - Julian Benson 1 Pass from Carter Beck (Ben Kern Kick)
D - Thompson 1 Run (Wimmer Kick)
E - Ethan Trebil 54 Run (Kern Kick)