COKATO — On a wet, drizzly evening, the Chargers (ranked #1 in Class AAA) took advantage of some early miscues by the visiting Watertown-Mayer Royals (#2 in Class AAA) to jump out to an early 21-0 lead, and held on for a 35-25 victory at DC.
The Royals had two snaps sail over the quarterback’s head in the first quarter. The first led to a punt, and DC’s second touchdown. The second was recovered by Jacob Decker, and resulted in DC’s third touchdown, which put DC up 21-0 just nine minutes into the game.
Caleb Thinesen scored the first DC touchdown, on a 44-yard bootleg. Monte Gillman ran it in from 15 yards for DC’s second score, and Tate Link plunged in from one yard out to give the home team a 21-0 lead.
The Royals, to their credit, did not lay down. They scored a touchdown with just 13.5 seconds left in the first half to pull to within 21-6. Then, early in the second half, DL Jason Fenske ripped the ball out of a DC running back’s arms and rumbled down the field to the five-yard line, setting up a second Royals touchdown to pull them to within 21-13.
The Chargers responded with a long drive, but failed to convert on a field goal. Watertown-Mayer then drove 90 yards down the field with relative ease, with Keagan Brassington scoring from two yards out to pull the Royals to within two, 21-19.
The Chargers defense, however, denied that two-point conversion to protect the lead.
DC scored the next two touchdowns, the first coming on a Tate Link 5-yard plunge, and the second coming on another Thinesen bootleg that gave DC a lead of 35-19 with 1:41 left.
Watertown-Mayer was able to drive quickly down the field and score a touchdown with 21 seconds left, but missed the extra point. The Chargers recovered the ensuing onside kick and were able to kneel out the clock.
Tate Link led DC with 152 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. Thinesen also topped the 100-yard mark, rushing seven times for 109 yards and two scores. Monte Gillman had nine carries for 34 yards and a TD.
Thinesen also went 3-6 for 20 yards through the air.
Wyatt McCabe had the bulk of the load for the Royals on the ground, rushing 25 times for 136 yards and a TD.
Quarterback Albert Rundell went 10-20 for 131 yards, and also had two rushing TDs.
Both teams are now 3-1 on the season.