The Ogilvie Lions entered the Section 2 9-man playoffs as the number two seed. Last Tuesday, Nov. 17, Ogilvie hosted the Nicollet Raiders in a first-round match-up. The teams have some history as Ogilvie hosted Nicollet in the second round of playoffs last season with Nicollet winning that game. Unfortunately for the Lions, 2020 saw a similar result as Nicollet knocked off the Lions 40-24.
Nicollet’s spread offense gave Ogilvie’s defense fits all night. The first five plays of the game for Nicollet resulted in plays of over 10 yards each. But the Lions defense forced a fumble on the fifth play and recovered the fumble just when it appeared Nicollet would score.
Ogilvie’s offense was able to move the ball from deep in their own territory. During the drive the Lions picked up a fourth down to keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, senior quarterback, Brady Harlan, connected on a long passing play to senior, Beau Burk. This would be a common theme for the Lions offense all game long. Ogilvie moved the ball to the Nicollet 27-yard line before failing to pick up a fourth down and turning the ball over on downs.
On their second drive it appeared the Lions defense would step up and get a stop. But, on a third and 14, the Raiders connected on a 59-yard touchdown pass to take a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter.
On the first play of their second possession, the Lions immediately fumbled the ball away to the Raiders. The first quarter ended with the Lions trailing 6-0, but a wild second quarter was about to ensue.
Early in the second quarter, the Raiders connected for a 33-yard touchdown pass to take a 12-0. Nicollet’s passing attack was almost flawless on the evening. They connected on 19 of 23 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns.
Ogilvie’s offense got cooking on their third possession. On the drive the Lions needed to convert a third and 13. Using a bit of a trick play, Beau Burk connected with Bryce Nelson on a 37- yard play. Later in the drive, facing a fourth down, Harlan connected with Burk on a 16-yard touchdown. With the two-point conversion Ogilvie was back in the game trailing 12-8.
Every time the Lions would score, Nicollet would answer back in short order. The second quarter saw a total of 52 points and seven touchdowns. Ogilvie trailed 34-24 going to halftime.
Ogilvie continued to move the ball effectively on offense. It appeared the Lions were going to perhaps make it a one possession game in the fourth quarter, but a crucial fumble on the Raider’s 5-yard line effectively ended any hope for a comeback.
Harlan connected with Burk 12 times on the night. Those 12 connections between the two seniors went for a total of 236 yards and three touchdowns. Harlan finished the game 13 for 29 for 237 yards.
On the game, head coach Dave Halvorson said, “It was a sad night for our team and especially the seniors to lose a game that we were competitive in and needed a few more breaks and less penalties at bad times. Burk and Harlan both had record nights, but it was not enough to offset their offense. This group has been great to work with and younger players did a super job of helping us prepare for games by running the other team’s offense and defense.
In this most challenging season of COVID, the Lions persevered and had a very successful season. Ogilvie finished the regular season 6-0 and won their district championship. Numerous senior players and managers saw their high school football career come to an end. That group had many great successes over the last few seasons.