Irish keep rolling with win over BBE

by Dave Schroeder
On a cool, crisp, clear October evening the Irish gridders traveled west to Jaguar country to take on Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Central Minnesota Conference action. The locals came home with a hard-fought, penalty-filled, 21-6 victory to move their season record to 4-1.
On Maple Lake’s first series of downs it took only three plays to get on the board. On a third-and-five Cam Knudsen hit Brian Redemske on a pass and he sprinted 89 yards to pay dirt. The kick was good by Forrest Coughlin and the Irish jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. 
The Jaguars, however, were not going to go quietly. On their first series, with a second-and-12, Tucker Cebulla ran for 71 yards, putting B-B-E deep into Irish territory. The Irish defense, however, rose to the occasion and turned the ball back to the Irish “O” on downs. 
The offense went back to work and once again started to move the ball, and what was an apparent TD was negated by a penalty, the second one on the drive. The offense then tried to force things, but an errant pass was intercepted and the defense went back to work. After giving up a quick 10-yard run, they put the clamps on B-B-E and quickly forced a turnover as Brady Gagnon, cast and all, intercepted his fourth pass in the last three games. 
Getting the ball back deep in Jaguar territory, the offense came to life but another costly penalty moved them back. The first quarter ended with the Irish leading 7-0.
Two plays into the second quarter the Irish were forced to punt, not being able to overcome their penalty yardage. The defense forced a three-and-out and got the ball back just short of mid-field. 
On this series it took the Irish offense only two plays to score. Jordan Goelz picked up 21 yards on the first-down carry and then Knudsen hit Mitch Wurm on a 32-yard pass for the TD. Coughlin was true again and the Irish now led 14-0. 
The rest of the second quarter went by pretty uneventfully as the Irish played solid defense, but the offense kept shooting itself in the foot with a lost fumble, a pass interception and more penalties. The Jaguars played much the same and the half ended with the Irish holding their 14-0 lead.
“A couple big plays buoyed us mightily in the first half,” Coach Tim Knudsen said. “We saw some pretty ugly football, especially offensively, that half. Penalties, turnovers and poor execution at times really hurt us.”
In the third quarter the Irish came out with a bit more focus and on their first series of downs started putting a good, clock-consuming drive together, stringing together five first downs, but again a big holding penalty and costly interception turned the momentum tide back to B-B-E. The Jaguars picked up four quick first downs also, but on a big fourth down, Alex Couette sacked the quarterback and the Irish defense withstood another challenge and got the ball back to the offense. The quarter was almost over and with just three plays, the quarter came to an end. The Irish held their lead from the first half, 14-0.
On the first play of the fourth quarter the Irish faced a fourth-and-one. The Jaguars returned the penalty favor and jumped offside, giving the Irish a first down and a little momentum. The offense put together another time-consuming, 16-play drive, that was marred by two big penalties, but the Irish lads overcame their mistakes this time and marched the ball steadily down the field to take control of the game, scored a big TD on a six-yard run by Goelz and used up almost eight minutes of the fourth quarter. Coughlin again hit the XP kick and the Irish now had a commanding 21-0 lead. 
The Jaguars then got back on offense with time now a big factor. They started to put together a nice drive with a couple of big runs, but the Irish defense again would bend but not break and turned the ball back on downs one last time. 
The offense was trying to run out the clock, but was forced to punt with about 45 seconds to play. The Jaguars then capitalized on a big desperation pass as Cebulla came up big again, getting a 79-yard pass play, this time going the distance, costing the Irish their shut-out. The XP was missed and the score was 21-6. With only time to try one more play, the Jags tried an onside kick. The Irish recovered and the game was history as the Irish moved their record to 4-1.
“We came out a bit more focused in the second half, but still committed too many penalties,” said Coach Knudsen. “We put together that big drive to start the fourth quarter and it stuck the dagger in the Jags when we scored and used up quite a bit of the clock. B-B-E has some good weapons, but we were able to neutralize them most of the game. Our defense carried us much of the night and did bend a little, but they held tough and kept B-B-E in check until that big TD pass.”
Maple Lake will be celebrating Homecoming as Holdingford (also with a 4-1 record) rolls into town Friday night to invade Irish territory. The Irish band will also be doing a small show at halftime.
1 2 3 4 F
BBE 0 0 0 6 6
Maple Lake 7 7 0 7 21
Offensive stats
Rushing att yds Tds
Couette 4 13 -
Puncochar 5 32 -
Redemske 12 50 -
Goelz 9 59 1
Knudsen 18 80
Totals 48 234 1
Passing att c yds Tds  int.
Knudsen 10 5 136 2 3
Receiving c yds. Tds.
Redemske 2 94 1
Wurm 2 39 1
Puncochar 1 3 -
Totals 5 136 2
Defensive leaders: Redemske, 10 tackles; Puncochar, 10 tackles, 1 sack; Wurm, 7 tackles; Couette, 7 tackles, 2 sacks; Rachel, 6 tackles, 1 sack; Coughlin, 6 tackles; Gagnon, 1 tackle, 1 int.; Kelm, 3 tackles; Schaunaman, 3 tackles; Goelz, 4 tackles.
On a cool, crisp, clear October evening the Irish gridders traveled west to Jaguar country to take on Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Central Minnesota Conference action. The locals came home with a hard-fought, penalty-filled, 21-6 victory to move their season record to 4-1.
On Maple Lake’s first series of downs it took only three plays to get on the board. On a third-and-five Cam Knudsen hit Brian Redemske on a pass and he sprinted 89 yards to pay dirt. The kick was good by Forrest Coughlin and the Irish jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. 
The Jaguars, however, were not going to go quietly. On their first series, with a second-and-12, Tucker Cebulla ran for 71 yards, putting B-B-E deep into Irish territory. The Irish defense, however, rose to the occasion and turned the ball back to the Irish “O” on downs. 
The offense went back to work and once again started to move the ball, and what was an apparent TD was negated by a penalty, the second one on the drive. The offense then tried to force things, but an errant pass was intercepted and the defense went back to work. After giving up a quick 10-yard run, they put the clamps on B-B-E and quickly forced a turnover as Brady Gagnon, cast and all, intercepted his fourth pass in the last three games. 
Getting the ball back deep in Jaguar territory, the offense came to life but another costly penalty moved them back. The first quarter ended with the Irish leading 7-0.
Two plays into the second quarter the Irish were forced to punt, not being able to overcome their penalty yardage. The defense forced a three-and-out and got the ball back just short of mid-field. 
On this series it took the Irish offense only two plays to score. Jordan Goelz picked up 21 yards on the first-down carry and then Knudsen hit Mitch Wurm on a 32-yard pass for the TD. Coughlin was true again and the Irish now led 14-0. 
The rest of the second quarter went by pretty uneventfully as the Irish played solid defense, but the offense kept shooting itself in the foot with a lost fumble, a pass interception and more penalties. The Jaguars played much the same and the half ended with the Irish holding their 14-0 lead.
“A couple big plays buoyed us mightily in the first half,” Coach Tim Knudsen said. “We saw some pretty ugly football, especially offensively, that half. Penalties, turnovers and poor execution at times really hurt us.”
More information appears in this week's issue of the Messenger.
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