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The Blackduck Drakes and the Frazee Hornets battled in a muddy showdown during the final regular season game in Blackduck Oct. 21.

Blackduck Drakes fall to Frazee Hornets, 53-32, in last game

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The Frazee Hornets ended the 2009 Blackduck football season with a 53-32 victory at Sonnek Field Oct. 21.

The loss closed the Drakes season with an 0-8 record and eliminates them from the state playoffs as the ninth team in Section 8A.

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The Hornets built a 14-0 first quarter lead into a 34-12 half-time margin and stretched that to 47-18 after three quarters. With both teams substituting freely in the fourth quarter, it was a fairly even contest. The highlight for the Drakes was that all four of the returning senior letterwinners scored a touchdown. The Drakes five touchdowns matched their total for the previous seven games of the season.

Frazee received the opening kick and drove 65 yards in nine plays to score on a five-yard run. Leading the Drakes defensively in the first quarter were Mike Dexter, Al Goodwin, Alex Lossing, James Campbell-Eckdahl, Todd Kallroos, Nick Andreas, Jake Olafson, Lucas Krabbenhoft, Josh RedDay, Butch Strand, Galen Martin and Zach Preston.

A face mask penalty on the kick return gave the Drakes good field position, but the blocking of linemen Garrette Roberts, Preston, Logan Oelke, Goodwin, RedDay, Strand, Olafson and Krabbenhoft was not sufficient to allow the backs to gain a first down. The Hornets brought the punt back to near midfield and needed only five plays to punch the football into the endzone on an 11 yard run. The two point conversion put Frazee ahead 14-0 with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Blackduck's offense lost ground on their possession though Dexter completed a pass to Kallroos and they punted again. The first quarter ended with Frazee driving near the Blackduck 40 yard line.

On the second play of the second quarter, the Hornets sped inside the 10 yard line and on the second play from there they scored again to go ahead 20-0.

The Drakes offense again had trouble gaining ground. A pass to Krabbenhoft resulted in a loss of yards. On fourth and 13 the Drakes lined up in a shotgun formation which Frazee must have interpreted as a punt formation because they were in punt return mode. Quarterback Dexter took the snap and lofted a pass to Kallroos who was speeding down the sideline. Kallroos pulled in the aerial and raced to the endzone to score on a 70 yard play. The conversion pass was batted away but the Drakes had pulled to 20-6 with 7:46 on the clock.

Frazee wasted little time answering that touchdown as they scored on a 22 yard romp with 6:19 on the clock and their two point pass was good putting them up 28-6. Using an interception to regain the football, the Hornets found pay dirt again with three minutes on the clock to stretch the lead to 34-6.

The ensuing kick off bounced off of RedDay on the front line and the visitors recovered the ball at midfield to start yet another drive. This time, though, the Drakes defenders were up to the task. Defensive Coach Kory Greiner rotated several players in on defensive duty keeping the players energized. Players seeing action defensively in the second quarter not mentioned earlier included Brad Kusper, Brady Gross, Justin Bryant, Nick Liapis, Roberts, Cory Bryant and Oelke. On a fourth and eight yards to go situation, Andreas recovered a Frazee fumble and Blackduck had the ball with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

Blackduck Head Coach Jesse Hickman, in his third year of running the offense, went to his passing attack. An interference call moved the Drakes to the 25 yard line with 34 seconds on the clock. After a pair of plays failed to connect Dexter found Kallroos open for a 25 yard touchdown strike with 15 seconds on the scoreboard. The conversion pass fell incomplete so the score stood 34-12. Frazee recovered the Drakes onside kick, but Lossing came up with the tackle on the only play the Hornets were able to get off before time ran out.

Frazee quickly regained control of the game in the first couple minutes of the second half. The Hornets shut down the Drakes offense and needed only three plays to score with 10:26 on the third quarter clock. Goodwin blocked the extra point kick and Andreas had a nice 18 yard return on the kick off but an interception quickly returned the ball to the Hornets. On first down they scored on a 52 yard run and kicked the extra point to go up 47-12 with 9:49 on the clock.

The Drakes found themselves deep in their own end when they misplayed the kick. A 28 yard reception by sophomore Krabbenhoft moved the ball to near midfield and the offense pushed forward into Hornet territory before surrendering the ball on downs. They regained possession when Oelke recovered a Frazee fumble and senior runners Kallroos, Lossing and Andreas were each able follow their blockers for big gains moving the football to the eight yard line. A penalty and lost yards pushed the Drakes back to the 15 when on fourth down Dexter hit Lossing with a scoring pass. The conversion again went astray making the score 47-18.

Frazee moved into the Blackduck half of the field as the third quarter wound down but ceded the ball on downs after the first play of the fourth quarter. The visitors played freshmen and sophomores for much of the second half. On fourth and 10, Blackduck completed an 11 yard pass -- their fourth fourth down conversion of the game via pass. The blockers went to work opening good holes and with 10:18 left in the game Andreas scored on a four yard run cutting the margin to 47-24.

Blackduck also used their younger players extensively in the last quarter fielding mostly ninth and 10th graders with a few older fellows mixed in. Players not mentioned above in on the action include Zach Jones and Terrance Horton-Ferris.

Frazee scored their last touchdown with nine minutes on the clock to pull ahead 53-24. The Drakes came marching back using a mixed bag of runs, passes, and gimmick plays. Guard Liapis was pulled down for a loss but lineman Oelke picked up four yards on his carry. Olafson had a pair of catches and Kallroos pulled in a pass for a first down and a 23 yard run for another one. Andreas and Lossing also had good gainers courtesy of their blockers. Olafson scored on a two yard plunge with 3:16 on the clock for the final Drakes touchdown. Krabbenhoft pulled in the two point pass to give Blackduck 32 points and complete the scoring for the game.

Four of the freshmen recorded tackles on the Hornets final drive as Kusper, Gross, Bryant and Jones all showed up in the statistics. Their efforts helped return the ball to the Drakes near midfield for one last play which ended in a short gain and left the final score 53-32.

The five touchdowns Blackduck scored doubled the total for the year and is the most the Drakes have put on the board in a couple of years. Coach Hickman was pleased that each of the senior backs were able to score in the game. While the Drakes graduate seven of the 21 players dressed for the game, Hickman notes that several younger players gained valuable experience and developed some confidence playing in this well played game. He stated, "Many sophomores have carried a big load this year and now have high expectations for next season. Next year, we will have a very experienced team with an experienced line that should serve us well."

Hickman went on to say, "I want to thank the parents who have come out to support their young men on the team. A special thanks goes out to the booster club, headed by Sandy Lein, for raising funds throughout the year and supplying the team with some new and very warm sideline jackets. This new equipment was appreciated by our players this cool, wet autumn."

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