Irish win Homecoming game 18-7

by Dave Schroeder
On a gorgeous October night, before a huge Homecoming crowd, the Maple Lake Irish went to the field to do a little thrashing of the corn. Maple Lake defeated the Holdingford Huskers 18-7 to move their record to 5-1 (4-1 CMC) and solidify their number-one seeding in Section 4AA.
The Irish received the opening kick and started play on their own 38-yard line. Maple Lake ran to a couple of quick first downs, but a holding call helped short-change the drive and they were forced to punt. 
The Huskers took over deep in their own territory and hit it hard, picking up three quick first downs, one on a face mask penalty, and it looked like they would control the flow of the game. However, the Maple Lake defense finally came to life and forced the ball over on downs on the Husker 47-yard line. 
The Irish offense took over and six plays later Brian Redemske scored from five yards out. The XP kick sailed wide-left and the score was Maple Lake 6, Holdingford 0. 
Maple Lake kicked off to Holdingford and the Huskers got a big return to the 50-yard line. The visitors then proceeded to pick up a quick first down as the first quarter came to an end with Maple Lake holding a slim 6-0 lead.
Holdingford started the second quarter with the ball, facing a second-and-seven situation. The Irish defense held once again and turned the ball back on downs. The Irish and Husker defenses took over most of the second quarter. 
Maple Lake was forced to punt twice after three-and-outs and the Irish forced a Husker punt and an interception. This interception by Steve Treptau on an attempted screen pass was huge. It set the Irish offense up deep in Husker territory which led to a big TD just before the half. On a key fourth-and-15, Cam Knudsen hit Mitch Wurm with a clutch pass for a first down to the Husker two-yard line. The next play Knudsen punched it in, the XP pass attempt sailed high, but the Irish moved their lead to 12-0 with less than a minute left in the first half. 
Holdingford got the ball back one more time but could only get off four quick plays, and the half came to an end with Maple Lake holding to their 12-0 lead.
“We came out fired up and the game started well, but, again, a couple of penalties hurt us early,” said Head Coach Tim Knudsen. “We put together one good drive in the first quarter and our defense set us up once again in the second quarter. Both teams were hitting each other hard and the defenses by both teams overall shut the offenses down, but we capitalized a couple of times to get the lead. We may have lost Brian Redemske for awhile to a knee injury in the second quarter.”
After the half-time festivities where the marching band performed an excellent routine, the cheerleaders did a Homecoming dance, King Cam Knudsen and Queen Ann Schwede were presented and the youth football players and coaches were introduced, the teams came back out to begin the second half rumble. 
Maple Lake kicked to the Huskers and the defenses for both teams again set the tone throughout the third quarter. Neither offense could pick up more than one first down in their two series of downs as the offenses punted twice each and little real estate was gained by either. The third quarter went by quickly and Maple Lake still held their 12-0 lead.
The fourth quarter started much like the third quarter as Maple Lake intercepted the Huskers deep in Maple Lake territory when Brady Gagnon picked off his fifth interception in the past four games.
The offense took over on the second yard line and turned the ball back after a three-and-out. Justin Bidwell kicked a nice punt, but a good return set up Holdingford on the Irish 39-yard line. 
On the Huskers’ first play, they scored on a big 39-yard sweep by #23, their XP kick was true and the Huskers, with momentum now on their side, cut the lead to 12-7 with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter. 
The Irish started on offense in good field position on their own 35-yard line. The offense picked up a couple of first downs and burned about four minutes off the clock, but had to punt rather than risk setting up the Huskers in great field position. The punt by Bidwell worked great and Holdingford again took over deep in their own territory with about three minutes to go. 
Maple Lake’s defense again stepped it up, and with a whole field and little time left, Holdingford went to the air. The locals forced three incompletions and a run for no gain to turn the ball back to the offense. 
The offense got the ball on the Huskers’ 25-yard line. With only 2:45 left in the game they went to the run and picked up a first down on four plays, killing clock time and forcing Holdingford to finally use some time-outs. The Irish were facing fourth-and-three from the 10-yard line with only 1:15 to go in the game and were flagged for a false-start penalty, moving the ball back to the 15-yard line. Now facing a fourth-and-eight, Knudsen called the play and to the surprise of all, hit Wurm with a 15-yard fade, leaping over the shorter Husker defensive back to haul in the TD. The Irish now led 18-7, this time the XP kick was blocked and with only 1:05 left in the game, the Irish kicked off to the Huskers who then made three desperation passes when time ran out.
The Irish travel to Pierz on Oct. 15 for a 7 p.m. contest. The following week, they will host Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on Wednesday night, Oct. 20, for their final regular season game. 
Offensive stats:
Rushing att yds. TDs
Knudsen 18 58 1
Goelz 9 19 -
Puncochar 14 48 -
Redemske 5 50 1
Couette 1 1 -
Totals 47 176 2
Passing att c yds. TDs int.
Knudsen 4 2 37 1 -
Receiving c yds. TDs
Wurm 2 37 1
Defensive leaders: Rachel, 15 tackles, 1 sack; Couette, 10 tackles, 1 sack; Puncochar, 9 tackles; Treptau, 9 tackles, 1 interception; Wurm, 6 tackles; Coughlin, 6 tackles; Kelm, 2 tackles; Goelz, 4 tackles; Gagnon, 2 tackles, 1 interception.
On a gorgeous October night, before a huge Homecoming crowd, the Maple Lake Irish went to the field to do a little thrashing of the corn. Maple Lake defeated the Holdingford Huskers 18-7 to move their record to 5-1 (4-1 CMC) and solidify their number-one seeding in Section 4AA.
The Irish received the opening kick and started play on their own 38-yard line. Maple Lake ran to a couple of quick first downs, but a holding call helped short-change the drive and they were forced to punt. 
The Huskers took over deep in their own territory and hit it hard, picking up three quick first downs, one on a face mask penalty, and it looked like they would control the flow of the game. However, the Maple Lake defense finally came to life and forced the ball over on downs on the Husker 47-yard line. 
The Irish offense took over and six plays later Brian Redemske scored from five yards out. The XP kick sailed wide-left and the score was Maple Lake 6, Holdingford 0. 
Maple Lake kicked off to Holdingford and the Huskers got a big return to the 50-yard line. The visitors then proceeded to pick up a quick first down as the first quarter came to an end with Maple Lake holding a slim 6-0 lead.
Holdingford started the second quarter with the ball, facing a second-and-seven situation. The Irish defense held once again and turned the ball back on downs. The Irish and Husker defenses took over most of the second quarter. 
Maple Lake was forced to punt twice after three-and-outs and the Irish forced a Husker punt and an interception. This interception by Steve Treptau on an attempted screen pass was huge. It set the Irish offense up deep in Husker territory which led to a big TD just before the half. On a key fourth-and-15, Cam Knudsen hit Mitch Wurm with a clutch pass for a first down to the Husker two-yard line. The next play Knudsen punched it in, the XP pass attempt sailed high, but the Irish moved their lead to 12-0 with less than a minute left in the first half. 
Holdingford got the ball back one more time but could only get off four quick plays, and the half came to an end with Maple Lake holding to their 12-0 lead.
“We came out fired up and the game started well, but, again, a couple of penalties hurt us early,” said Head Coach Tim Knudsen. “We put together one good drive in the first quarter and our defense set us up once again in the second quarter. Both teams were hitting each other hard and the defenses by both teams overall shut the offenses down, but we capitalized a couple of times to get the lead. We may have lost Brian Redemske for awhile to a knee injury in the second quarter.”
After the half-time festivities where the marching band performed an excellent routine, the cheerleaders did a Homecoming dance, King Cam Knudsen and Queen Ann Schwede were presented and the youth football players and coaches were introduced, the teams came back out to begin the second half rumble. 
Maple Lake kicked to the Huskers and the defenses for both teams again set the tone throughout the third quarter. Neither offense could pick up more than one first down in their two series of downs as the offenses punted twice each and little real estate was gained by either. The third quarter went by quickly and Maple Lake still held their 12-0 lead.
More information and stats appear in this week's Messenger. 
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