KoMets tame the Tigers
The Kasson-Mantorville football team took advantage of playing the 1-4 Albert Lea Tigers by beating them 38-22 on Friday, Oct. 4.
However, you wouldn’t have thought the game would end that way based on the way it started.
Albert Lea scored the first touchdown of the game when quarterback Logan Howe threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Ismael Cabezas.
The Tigers also did a good job of defending the KoMets in the first quarter as they held K-M scoreless.
Kasson-Mantorville Interim Head Coach Joel Swanson said Albert Lea used an aggressive defense to limit K-M’s offense in the first quarter.
“They were adjusting hard to our motion and sending safeties up for our pitch man. They were basically ‘selling out’ to stop our option,” he said.
However, he mentioned that the KoMets’ offense made some adjustments.
“We adjusted by calling different plays or blocking the defense differently to take advantage of their aggressiveness,” he said.
Those different plays and blocking differently made an impact as it led to a Cade Spreiter touchdown run in the second quarter.
After recording a safety earlier in the second quarter, a successful two-point conversion after the touchdown gave K-M a 10-7 lead.
That score held until halftime.
Swanson said his team talked about what they wanted to do in the second half.
“Defensively we just re-emphasized to do our jobs and talked about paths when we blitz and talked about how to react to different blocking schemes,” he said. “Offensively, the coaches talked about how we could take advantage of their aggressively by using some pass plays.”
The KoMets scored the first touchdown of the second half when quarterback Peyton Wilke threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Easton Knoll.
That 17-7 score didn’t last long as K-M tacked on another touchdown less than three minutes later when Wilke connected with Knoll once again, this time a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Swanson said Knoll deserved to be on the receiving end of those two touchdowns.
“Basically Easton was wide open on some passes and that is because of the great blocking he does. Easton never takes a play off. So when we do pass in run situations, the defender reads run and Easton goes right by him,” he said.
At the end of the third quarter the score was 24-7 in favor of the KoMets.
Knoll recorded his third straight touchdown on a 34-yard run to open the scoring in the fourth quarter. That gave K-M a 31-7 lead.
Swanson said the whole offense played their part in giving K-M the 24-point lead.
“Basically, our offense is all based on everyone selling out every play. Cade Spreiter getting two guys to bring him down. Peyton Wilke having another one or two on him and then the blocking too. Along with the line I thought all of our wings also did a nice job of blocking on the edge. It was a great team effort,” he said.
He also mentioned that the offensive line played well even though Albert Lea’s linemen were bigger.
“I thought we adjusted well. Albert Lea’s linemen are really good on both sides of the ball. They also were quite a bit bigger than our guys, so I give our guys credit,” he said.
The Tigers got a 76-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to trim the KoMets’ lead to 31-15, but the K-M defense bounced back when Jacob Keller intercepted Howe and ran it in for a touchdown to give Kasson-Mantorville a 38-15 lead.
Swanson said the KoMets’ defense was focused on limiting the Tigers’ rushing offense.
“They had done very well all season running the ball so we tried to force them to throw the ball against us. As the game went on I think everyone had a better idea of what each player needed to do to neutralize the offense,” he said.
With less than four minutes left in the game, Albert Lea scored the final points of the game on a one-yard touchdown run to make the final score 22-38.
Overall, he was impressed with the KoMets’ convincing road victory.
“Albert Lea has very good size and experience on the line. There is no doubt they could beat us. The home crowd had them “pumped up” for the game. It was good to see our guys keep their composure and come back strong. It was a good team win on the road,” he said.
Kasson-Mantorville will have another tough road test this week when they play Mankato West.
“Playing Mankato West will be a great opportunity for us. They have been one of the top programs in Southern Minnesota for the past 15 years. They try to put their athletes out in space. But overall, we will continue to improve and play as a team,” he said.
The KoMets (4-2) travel to Mankato (5-1) to take on the Scarlet Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.