LESTER PRAIRIE – On the bus ride home from Mankato last week for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football team, you could hear a pin drop. Flash forward to Friday night, and the Bulldogs were flying high. A 34-0 bounce-back victory will do that for a team as the Bulldogs dominated the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers Friday night at Lester Prairie Bulldog Field.
“They did a good job,” LP/HT coach Joe Scoblic said. “We got a little tired there in the second quarter. We talked about it at half, and I think we had a really good second half.”
While the win is nice to get the Bulldogs back to .500 on the season, it’s the change in the defense that has the Bulldogs feeling good. Last week they gave up 39 points to St. Clair/Loyola, including four touchdowns of 40 yards or more. This week, the Bulldogs controlled the line of scrimmage throughout, and forced the Chargers into tough positions and took advantage of that with a shutout.
“I think it was kind of important just for our mental state,” Scoblic said. “We wanted to think we are who we thought we are. I thought the defense played very well tonight.”
Senior Tyler Scheevel was a big reason for that. As the Bulldogs locked in on MVL receiver Jake Kettner with double coverage, that left Scheevel to clog up the holes in the running game, and he did just that.
“We knew we needed to stop (Kettner),” Scoblic said. “That’s their man. We needed to man up on him with a safety over the top. That brings an extra guy out of the box to stop the run. With Tyler inside stopping the run, they couldn’t run or pass to him (Kettner).”
“It felt really good,” Parker Bayerl said about getting the shutout. “It really boosted our defense. Everyone was rising up and making good plays. It felt good to get a team win.”
While Scheevel was stuffing the run game on defense, the Bulldogs were getting contributions from just about everybody on offense. Zach Jackson caught his first varsity touchdown in the first half, and in the second half, Jason Zimprich and Parker Bayerl continued to keep things rolling for the Bulldogs.
With a 20-0 lead, the Bulldogs were looking to pull away for good in the third quarter. Zimprich, a new face on the Bulldogs’ squad this season, broke a big run to set up another scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs.
“I’ve been telling our coaches all year that Jason is sneaky fast,” Scoblic said. “He runs like an old back I (use to have). He doesn’t necessarily look like he’s running that hard, but it’s his separation. He runs hard and has nice moves. He gave that one guy the stiff arm and made a nice run for us. He’s just going to be fabulous for us.”
Following the big run from Zimprich, Michael Ziermann and Bayerl hooked up for a 13-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bulldogs a 27-0 lead with the extra point. It was the first time the two have connected for a score this season, but that could become a nice combo for the Bulldogs as the season goes on.
“It felt good to finally get one,” Bayerl said. “Everyone was hyped. It was just fun.”
Look for the rest of the story, as well as more HJ sports coverage, in the Friday, August 31 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.
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