KoMets ends Lourdes woes
The recent battles between the Kasson-Mantorville and Rochester Lourdes football team has been one-sided coming into their annual matchup on October 6. With the KoMets hosting a homecoming crowd, this year’s edition already had a big-time feel, but the extra pressure of dealing with past defeats was also something that hung in the air.
K-M hadn’t scored a victory against the Eagles since October 31, 2010 coming into the game, but thanks to an offense that continues to score points and a defense that shut Lourdes down in the second half, the KoMets were able to exorcise those past demons with a 34-14 victory to improve to 6-0 on the season.
“It was long overdue,” K-M football coach Broc Threinen said. “We had some opportunities to do it before now, but we just weren’t able to do it.”
Things got off to a sloppy start in this game as the usual cheery nature of homecoming was soaked in rain. As upwards of three inches fell on the area and the threat of thunderstorms pushed the game’s start time up an hour, the Eagles came out ready to play and marched down the field to take an early lead on a five-yard touchdown by quarterback Pat Leary.
“It was an unusual Lourdes game,” Threinen observed. “Lourdes made their share of mistakes as did we, and maybe the weather played a factor in it, but they have some great, tough kids and some great athletes. Our kids kept battling and I was very proud of how they played.”
Despite the early hole, the KoMets rolled up their sleeves and got to work and after going three-and-out on their first drive, they recovered a fumble soon after that put them into Lourdes territory. Although K-M couldn’t capitalize on the great field position, it tilted the battle and the Eagles worked in the shadow of their own goal post.
Eventually, Easton Knoll would pick off Leary to thwart a drive and Matt Winkle raced 61 yards to the Eagles’ goal line to set up Dalton Head for the equalizer early in the second quarter. The KoMets would duplicate that drive the next time they had the ball with a 33-yard run setting up another Head touchdown to give K-M a 14-7 lead midway through the second.
However, the KoMets would still need to adjust after Zach Jungles hit the corner and raced 67 yards to send the teams into the locker room for halftime tied at 14.
“We really didn’t make too many adjustments [at halftime],” Threinen said. “We just made sure that they knew where they were supposed to be. Once we got that sorted out, we just brought the aggressiveness and took it to them a little bit.”
Although K-M came out and immediately gave up the football with a fumble on the kickoff, the defense the defense would get a stop before the KoMets would come up with a block on the field goal. The play would prove to be the shot of momentum the K-M needed as Winkle would dash for a 30-yard touchdown to go ahead 21-14.
The rest of the game would sit in the hands of K-M as Robby Horsman would sweep for a 16-yard touchdown to double the lead. Although the KoMets would fumble at the goal line to thwart a drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Eagles couldn’t get anything going and Eli Herbst would help lead a long, clock-eating drive to finish off Lourdes with a two-yard touchdown plunge for the victory.
With the KoMets taking sole possession of first place in the Southeast District’s Red Division, they’ll host Pine Island on Friday before heading to Lake City to wrap up the regular season on October 18. They will then get ready for Section 1AAAA play which will likely open up on October 28 in a semifinal matchup.
“The biggest thing is they know that this was a big game, but we have room to improve,” Threinen said. “We want to get better at certain parts of the game and they know that we haven’t reached our main goal in terms of winning the section. Every opportunity we can run into more adversity, the better. Hopefully they understand that and they just keep battling every day.”