LESTER PRAIRIE – It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football team as they hosted the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Bulldogs. In fact, it was downright frustrating.
Instead of opening the game with three touchdown drives, LP/HT turned the ball over three times (two turnovers on downs and one fumble) inside the 10-yard line. Even with sloppy start, the Bulldogs regrouped and picked up a key 29-0 victory at home against the visiting Bulldogs Friday night in Holy Trinity’s homecoming game.
“We talked about that a lot,” LP/HT coach Joe Scoblic said. “We we’re just finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. We came out of it with an 8-0 lead at half. I told that kids that we couldn’t have played any worse, and we still have an eight-point lead.”
LP/HT opened the game rolling on offense, but penalties and mental mistakes kept them from reaching the end zone in their first three drives of the game. On the first drive, a holding call stalled the drive deep inside J-W-P territory. On the second drive, a 12 men in the huddle penalty turned a fourth-and-goal inside the one, into a fourth-and-five that they couldn’t convert.
“We’ve got to clean those things up,” Scoblic said. “I just don’t understand how we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re better than that. That hurts us. We really should have had 21 points the first half.”
Despite the struggles in the red zone early, LP/HT didn’t let that dictate what happened after. They finally got in the end zone on a 17-yard pass from Michael Ziermann to Dylan Ruzicka to start the scoring with just under six minutes left in the second quarter.
“We knew that they really couldn’t stop us from the get-go,” Ziermann said. “We were moving the ball fine. We started at our 15-yard line and put together and 85-yard drive. We stayed comfortable within ourselves, and our abilities and what we are able to do.”
After missed opportunities kept LP/HT out of the end zone early, they took advantage of a muffed punt by J-W-P to get the scoring started in the second half.
Just four plays later, the Bulldogs turned the muffed punt into six points as Ziermann and Ruzicka hooked up for their second score of the night, this time a 24-yard pass that Ziermann laid in there perfectly.
“He had a lot of audibles tonight and had some really good plays,” Scoblic said about his quarterback. “He’s on the money. There’s no doubt about that. He got a new ball again tonight, and when he gets a new ball, he’s so sharp. Maybe I need to put a new ball in every week.”
With their early struggles behind them and a 14-0 lead, LP/HT began to flex their muscles.
“It was really big,” Scoblic said about turning the turnover into points quickly. “It was really a big play. The momentum really went our way though when we punched that in. We never really looked back after.”
Look for the rest of the story, as well as more HJ sports coverage, in the Friday, September 28 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.
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