Flyers and snow blanket the Drakes, 38-0
Oct. 9, the Blackduck Drakes football team lost 38-0 to the host Bagley Flyers.
The snow covering the field and blowing through the air hindered the Drakes' aerial attack while Bagley effectively picked up yardage running the football.
The Drakes started the game with the football at their 35 yard line after the kick went out of bounds. The front line of Zach Preston, Garrette Roberts, Al Goodwin, Nick Liapis and Logan Oelke opened a huge hole for quarterback Mike Dexter on the first play enabling him to dash for a first down near midfield. Fullback Nick Andreas and end Jake Olafson made key blocks on the play. Unfortunately, that was the only significant gain the Drakes were able to make and the Flyers took over on downs.
Bagley ran an option offense and picked up yards by confusing the Drakes defense. After picking up a first down running inside tackle they went around end to move the ball inside the 10 yard line before the defense stopped them.
Leading the defensive efforts in the early going were Lucas Krabbenhoft, James Campbell-Eckdahl, Dexter, Liapis, Olafson, Goodwin and Andreas. Goodwin came up with a big tackle on fourth down to give the Drakes the football.
A slip on first down resulted in a fumble which the Drakes were fortunate to recover. A short pass to Alex Lossing came up short of the the first down marker on third down, so he punted the ball away.
The Flyers had a big return coming back to the 26 yard line to set up great field position. After a line plunge they went outside to Austin Bellefy who raced 21 yards to score. Bellefy carried in the two point conversion staking Bagley to an early 8-0 lead with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter.
Olafson returned the kick 15 yards to the 38 but two short runs and a fumble stymied the Drakes drive. Lossing got off a nice punt on the slick turf and the Drakes had excellent coverage. Krabbenhoft raced downfield to make the tackle as teammate Todd Kallroos fell victim to an illegal block. The combination pushed Bagley back to their own 16 yard line.
Bellefy carried four times for 25 yards and then fullback Kris Skersick plunged inside tackle four times to cross midfield as the quarter ended. The defense, led on this series by Goodwin, Preston, Oelke, Andreas, Kallroos, Dexter, Olafson and Liapis, held up well forcing Bagley to turn the ball over on downs.
Three runs ended in lost yards and a penalty pushed the Drakes back another five yards. They were forced to punt again. Skersick plowed into the line behind Bagley players four times to bring the Flyers into Blackduck territory and then Bellefy went outside for a first down inside the 35 yard line. A third sophomore, Nick Neeland, picked up six yards on a counter play before a penalty slowed the drive temporarily.
Blackduck Drakes Head Coach Jesse Hickman and defensive coach Kory Greiner gave some of the starters a rest putting Josh RedDay, Galen Martin, Justin Bryant and Butch Strand in for some second quarter action on defense.
On the next play, Skersick plowed through the middle and then outran everyone to the endzone. When he burst through for the two point conversion with 6:48 on the clock, he upped the score to 16-0, Bagley.
Olafson picked up 18 yards on the kick return and Dexter completed short passes to Olafson and Kallroos to approach midfield. A lost fumble gave the hosts the ball at the Drakes 44 yard line. Seven plays later, Skersick, who picked up 43 yards on the drive, pounded across the goal line from two yards out. He charged right back into the end zone with the conversion giving Bagley a 24-0 lead with 1:43 remaining until half time. The blocking of the Bagley offensive line was superb on that drive forcing the Drakes defensive backfield to do much of the work. Kallroos, Lossing, Dexter, Andreas and Olafson recorded tackles on that drive.
Kallroos picked up 22 yards on the kick return but three incomplete passes and then an interception gave the Flyers another chance with a minute on the clock. Bellefy got loose for good gains twice, but first the duo of Preston and Andreas and the second time the team of Dexter and Bryant were able to pull him down. RedDay and Preston made the stop on a short play and Olafson came up with the tackle to close the half with Bagley up 24-0.
Olafson kicked off for Blackduck to open the second half but a big return moved the ball into Drakes territory before Krabbenhoft made the stop. The Drakes made a nice defensive stand and though Bagley earned a first down Preston recovered a Flyer fumble at the 35.
On second down Lossing crossed midfield for a first down but the offense stalled there.
Bagley quickly scored as Skersick picked up 15 yards and then Bellefy raced 42 yards for the touchdown. Skersick followed big number 77 into the endzone for the two-point conversion giving the Flyers a 32-0 lead with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Interceptions ended the next two Blackduck drives while they forced Bagley to punt in between those two series. The third quarter ended with Bagley threatening to score again from near the 10 yard line. The Drakes defense led by Goodwin, Preston and RedDay was up to the challenge and gave the offense the ball back at the five yard line.
Unfortunately, the offense failed where the defense had succeeded as they fumbled the ball into the endzone and a Bagley player fell on the ball for a touchdown. The Drakes defense stopped the extra point attempt leaving the score at 38-0 with 10:31 on the clock.
Strand picked up 15 yards on the kick return, yet incomplete passes returned the ball to the hosts. Preston came up with another fumble recovery to give Blackduck another chance. Freshmen Brad Kusper, Cory Bryant and Zach Jones all entered the game for the Drakes in the warning minutes. Dexter completed three consecutive passes, two to Lossing and a 31 yard heave to Krabbenhoft who was caught from behind. Kusper caught a pass to the 20 yard line as time ran out to make the final 38-0.
Coach Hickman was unhappy with his team claiming, "We were not ready to play."
The Bagley team on the other hand, were excited to play in the snow and they played their best game of the year according to some parents.
Hickman did see some bright spots complimenting Preston for a great game. Preston, a senior newcomer to the team playing in only his third game, had a great second half. Defensively, he recovered two Flyer fumbles and had five tackles. Offensively his blocking is improving and he retained Blackduck possession by falling on a Drakes fumble.
Lossing also had the best game of his career with five pass receptions, a key 11 yard ground gain and three solo tackles. His pass coverage was also much better than a week earlier.
While some players had trouble with the footing on the snowy field, Olafson stayed upright more than usual and played a solid game with five tackles and two kick returns for 34 yards. Sophomore Goodwin continues to improve becoming more of a inside force each week.
The Drakes close out the regular season hosting Frazee Oct. 21. Their playoff opponent for Oct. 27 is yet to be determined, though travel seems imminent.